Saturday, February 06, 2010
5 ways for Educators to Go Public with their Brand
I smile when I check into Linkedin and see the power educations with whom I’ve worked for years profiled online. It’s pitiful, really. Many of the best educators I know have half–baked profiles and 3 connections. Better not go on linkedin,com at all if that’s all you are willing to invest in putting your brand out to the world of work. Linkin.com is a basic place to develop your authentic professional brand, and a great web 2.0 introduction to connecting to other’s brands, the people who are like you. Twitter and Facebook, the other preferred giants of social media may eventually figure into your branding plan. But as I said, small sure steps!
• Once you’ve done the simple personal audit, confirm that advancing what you stand for, your brand, is a comfortable process for you, and something you can talk about to the public. Begin testing the waters with a little discipline. Becoming an early adopter of a social media site. Linkedin.com is a good start. You are not simply dismissing social media anymore once you engage. Set up your profile, create a CV, absolutely post a professional photo. Start looking around to see who you know onsite and ask them to link their profile with yours. Visit Linked.in every day. Join a few groups that align with your professional interest. Answer questions when your groups put out some interesting content. Grow your brand as a connected social networker as you introduce people to each other and to content and good ideas online.
• Read a bit about branding on a personal level, then ask yourself if this is a fit. Am I capable of this thinking? Can I live it, and comfortably talk the talk about myself so that I can teach this process to others? If you can, in a real time, public way. You might use your brand statement to refine what matters to you about branding and use the thinking as you start conversation in meetings about school policy, culture, and achievement.
• It is absolutely necessary for your brand to be part of developing the school’s brand promise, so think of ways to visibly show you recognize and live your brand.. Authenticity of brand and you effort to promote yours, helps you influence others about a Brand-ed view. Ask others what they think about branding, about how people view personal brands, children, teens young adults are all branding themselves personally. This innovative type of thinking as an exciting change for leaders as they think of bringing the brands of students and the community together in a school-wide brand.
• Attend organizations and meetings and bring up the branding conversation. You will be surprised at the positive and interested response you receive, especially from younger educators who have this branded and social sense already developed in their communication life. You will look very current and even hip. Not bad as part of an educational leaders’ brand!
• Work in your brand journal at the initial level of story. If your brand is one of resilience, for instance, tell the stories in your life that have shaped that view. The STORY of your personal brand journey is of importance to creating a Brand Ed community. This attention to story may form the beginning of a newsletter or personal blog that is part of building your brand.
Thinking about personal branding may feel a bit uncomfortable, but if approached as a communication vehicle, and as a way for the brand personality to lead to a better perception of yourself as a thought leader, it can only enhance the entire school’s perception. Using the social media to share this persona is an absolute first step for leaders. Get beyond the fact that someone may take issue with your brand. Believe me, there are ways to approach any difficult or negative issue about online branding, and that’s usually done through face to face contact which most leaders are very sure of handling. Discover, shape and share your brand with pride!