Personal Branding

I’m feeling a little agitated and unfocused today so during my lunch break I decided to do the free Coursera course on Personal Branding by Kimberly Barker, an emerging technology librarian at the University of Virginia.

Barker says that everyone has a gift to offer the world and that personal branding is about letting other people know what that gift is. She also describes it as what qualities other people associate you with and as the lens by which you view the world.

Key Words

In the course you need to pick 3 key words. I’m picking Autonomy, Competence, and Connection. These are said to be 3 innate needs that people have as part of the self-determination theory.

  • Autonomy:  This is the need for people to feel like they have control over their own lives.
  • Competence:  This is the need for people to feel like they are learning and gaining mastery of skills and tasks.
  • Connection:  This is the need for people to feel like they belong and are connected to other People

I chose these because these are things I am striving for and these are areas that I want to inspire and motivate others in.

Mission Statement

Barker asks you to develop a personal brand mission statement and asks this question, “What do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

She says the mission statement shouldn’t be more than 3 sentences. It should be something you can memorize and possibly share with others. She suggests sharing it on a personal website.

My mission is to both inspire and motivate others to achieve personal control over their life trajectory, develop skills in what ever areas they find meaningful, and to develop personal connections with those whom they chose.

Board of Directors

Next Barker talks about choosing a “board of directors” of people who are there to help and guide your personal brand. She recommends 4 individuals and they should have these 3 qualities:

  • Someone you admire and respect
  • Someone who cares deeply about you, and who is invested in you as a person
  • Someone who will be honest with you

A reference article Barker references, Five People You Need On Your Personal Board of Directiors, lists types of roles you might consider people to have in this board of directors. I’m going to use their format but list only initials of people who might fill these roles.

The Connector: Someone well established, well connected, and well respected in their field. I feel some people might fill multiple roles here but I think this person might be DI.

The Accountability Master: Someone to hold you to accountable. This is going to be AS. AS is a new person in my life but I feel like his job is to keep me on track. At least for certain goals I am working on.

The Shoulder to Cry on: Someone to listen to your woes. I think maybe AA would fill this role, or perhaps JM?

The Dreamer: Someone who who thinks big and believes in you. I don’t have anyone for this position yet. There is a vacancy.

The Mentor: Someone who pushes you to do your best. I think this has to be SC, although he might be a the dreamer role or the connector too.

Next Barker goes over social media and personal websites but honestly, I glossed over the section.

Reputation Management

Barker talks about managing your reputation online. I think its important but I am not sure what to make of it at the moment. She talks about setting up search engine alterts. This was a new one to me. You can go to after signing into your google account and you can set up search alters. I setup a couple of these. I’ve never heard of this so I’m curious to see what this looks like. Are people googling me?

Thats all I have for this for now. It was an interesting free course. I’ve got to get back to work now. byeee

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