Personal Branding Via Your Headline

Marketing has taken over the world, and not only for businesses and products.  Now we are told to market ourselves, to create our own personal brand.  At first glance, this may seem silly.  Since I’m a nerd though, I love the concept of personal branding.

Melissa Gesing:  Organizing queen, headhunter, political enthusiast, concert-goer, bookworm, godmother.  Make it a venti in the morning, red in the evening.

Too often we let our random jobs define us, when it should be the other way around.  For many years, I was the student, retail manager, political staffer.  But I’m so much more than my full time job!

Since I began this blog, I’ve reviewed my headline many times and have tweaked it a few of those times.  I keep this as consistent as possible with my summary on social media sites.  LinkedIn is a bit tougher, because I want to create a more professional persona.  But then I struggle to let my personality shine if I feel too restricted.

How to create your personal brand headline: Brainstorm the top ten things you like to do!  Some of these may be work related, recreational, or random hobbies.  Throw it all together into something consistent with the message you are sending to people on a day to day basis.

My personal brand headline is quite a hodge podge of stuff.  I have so many projects and interests, so I find it daunting to narrow it down.  I am  Type A and constantly evolving, which leads to a lot of reviewing and adjusting.

Organizing Queen: I love organizing everything – messy rooms, small and large events, volunteers, you name it.

Headhunter: I recently began a venture with A-PLUS Recruiting where I cold call businesses to drum up new business and search online for qualified candidates to fill spots.  I also like hunting for the right people in general – whether it’s expanding my professional contacts or simply being a social butterfly and enjoying the company of fun people.

Political Enthusiast: I left the political mention off of my headline for quite a while, but now it seems foolish not to include it.  I often shy away from mentioning politics because people often zero in on that item and ignore all of the other things that make me who I am.  Alas though, I love politics and will always be involved in some capacity.

Concert-Goer: One of my favorite past times is going to concerts with my best concert buddy Jen.  Most recently, I went to see U2 in St. Louis.

Bookworm: Ever since I have been able to read, I have enjoyed it.  I read everything from chick lit to biographies.  Currently, I am reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Godmother: Talk to me for ten minutes, and you will inevitably hear about my nephew Gabriel and niece Lucy.  I love them to pieces and babysit them on Fridays.

Make it a venti in the morning, red in the evening: Coffee and wine are fabulous.  I enjoy various area coffee shops including Starbucks, Dunn Bros., and Redband Coffee.  I also enjoy Target‘s selection of wine and winding down at The Grape Life.

The toughest part of the headline is to leave out job titles.  As mentioned above, this may be necessary to include on LinkedIn, but think of it more as keywords there to let your imagination go.  If you love your job title and that is what you do with your life, more power to you.  However, I am aiming for a well-rounded headline that shares a glimpse of me.

Skeptics of this sort of thing likely think people who know us will know who we are without a headline.  True, but what about those people who only know you on the surface and might benefit from knowing more?  I have stumbled upon several new projects and opportunities by showing more sides of myself than just the full time or day job that threatens to take over my life.

Your Twitter profile is a good place to start with summarizing your brand in a headline, and I love reading others’ blurbs.  The character limit is a good thing, because it forces you to be concise.

Most importantly, have fun creating and refining your personal brand.  I am living out my headline today – babysitting Gabriel and Lucy.  Happy Friday, everyone!

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