This blog was originally created for a class, but I wanted to pick it back up again. Future topics might revolve around art or advertising since those topics mostly fill my college days. For this post I want to talk about personal branding.
I’m in the process of apply for summer internships. The last few summers I’ve stayed at home in Durham working part time at an unpaid internship and part time at a summer camp. This summer I want to branch out and live in a new city. I didn’t study abroad so this is my “intern not in Durham, NC summer.” I’ve been applying to internships at both art museums and advertising agencies in major cities such as New York and Chicago.
Many of the ad agency applications aren’t your typical send a resume and cover letter. They want to see who you are, how you use social media and can you brand yourself.
When I first saw the request of branding myself, I was at a total loss. I’m a 21-year-old college student. How do I brand myself?
In media ethics we talked a lot about seeking advice from professionals when faced with a dilemma. So that’s what I did. I reached out to Coyte Cooper, UNC Professor and author of Impressions: The Power of Personal Branding in Living an Extraordinary Life. Coyte gave me great advice. He said I needed to think about what my values are. When someone looked at my social media accounts what did I want them to take away from it? What impression did I want people to receive of me?
Next, I researched what other people and companies do to brand themselves. A new trend is for companies to portray their values in their social media accounts rather than their products. I think Urban Outfitters does a great job of this as mentioned in this article by McKinney ad agency.
In a way that is my goal as well – to portray my values as I brand myself. I wanted to avoid the “Hi I’m Morgan and this is what I like” posts. Instead I chose to focus on what has made me the person I am today. I believe that as people we are constantly evolving. Each day changes us in some way. Who we are tomorrow will be slightly different than who we are today.
My overall campaign is #ConstructingMe from my personal tagline Constructing the best me. Over the course of the next few weeks in Instagram posts I hope to unveil who I was and the person I am becoming. Follow along at @morgan.trachtman on Instagram.