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5 things Young People Can Do Over The Summer To Improve Their Personal Brand

By July 22, 2019June 23rd, 2022No Comments

If you’re a parent reading this blog – yes, I am telling your children to spend more time on a computer

If you’re a young person reading this blog – sorry this might not be as fun a banter with mates on Social Media, but it is pretty damn essential and won’t take you forever

As exam season is over, summer is here and let’s face it there’s the odd afternoon where you get a little bored – it’s time to look at 5 things Young People Can Do Over The Summer To Improve Their Personal Brand

1. Social media audit

You’ve just finished your exams and you have 3 months until the next year of study. Of course there is fun with friends and experience life and summer gives you. It’s needed and it’s important and it’s something you should still do

rather than spending every single moment heads down being totally career and money focused

But a social media audit is something that could be done in an hour or two and could massively help you in years to come

What I mean by social media audit is simply looking through previous social media posts and your privacy settings to make sure that you represent yourself in the best possible light

It would be a massive tragedy if you worked so hard on your exam results to then lose your perfect job because something you posted on social media a few years ago

You’ve probably heard about numerous celebrities that have been called out and burnt at the stake by the media because of things they’ve posted when they were younger. But you don’t have to be famous or a celebrity for social media to impact your life prospects or your career – if you want to see this in action google “Paris Brown” or “Laura Goodman vegan” to see 2 cases where unknowns lost their job due to social media posts

Social media audit are checks for simple things like profanities, drinks or drugs references and anything that could be considered offensive such as racism, sexism and homophobia

It’s a simple way to protect your personal brand and reputation online

2. Set up LinkedIn

When I deliver personal branding workshops to thousands of young people each summer taking part in the NCS program, one thing that is highlighted is how few young people have set up a LinkedIn profile

90% of the room always use Snapchat and Instagram because they’re seen as fun and where their peers spend time. But if you’re looking for a social network that is designed for business, careers and your future then LinkedIn is definitely something you should be looking at for your future

Part CV, part networking tool, part storytelling platform 60% of the UK workforce are on LinkedIn and you might have heard of the phrase “It’s not what you know, but who you know”. The benefits of setting up a LinkedIn early as you start to build your network now and leverage the opportunities that have already come from work experience

I always say to young people that I want you to be so proactive on social media can you put all the people of your parents age out of a job. You should be so highly networked by the time you leave university or formal Education that you have a stronger network then your parents

My business now is 10 years old and at the time of writing this blog I have 380 LinkedIn Recommendations – the average person in my industry that has been running their business for a similar period of time has 15-20 LinkedIn Recommendations. In terms of the doors that get opened or closed, LinkedIn means doors open for myself, whereas doors get slammed in my “competitions” face.

LinkedIn is vital for your career

3. Work experience

“Which is more important – Experience or qualifications?” is a question that is asked constantly

We haven’t got time to go that in depth but IMHO both are important. The theory that education qualifications give you a grounding in, topped up with the practicality experience gives you is a winning combination

Experience also gives you another massive advantage and that is an expanded network of contacts. People who can help you.

Summer might be a traditionally hard time to gain work experience placements as many of small businesses teams and management may be away and if this is the case think outside the box. Don’t take no for an answer – present an alternative

For instance at Altrincham HQ we find it hard to offer office-based placements as we don’t know where will be from one month to the next and find it very hard to commit to a person coming into the office. But there are always ways that if you’re comfortable working remotely and having regular contact via phone email or WhatsApp as well as the odd meeting you can gain useful valuable work experience based around the concept of content marketing and local marketing. Take a look at our social media pages and suggest a project you could do in the short term, deliver it and produce content that wows our audience

It’s initiative like this that will open doors and allow us to give more opportunities to young people and give more LinkedIn testimonials and recommendations to you

4. Set up a professional Twitter or Instagram account
In an ideal world you would opt for both Twitter and Instagram, but if time is limited, think about where your target market are in terms of careers and employees

If you want to get involved in the creative sector such as art, photography and visual media – then Instagram might be the place for you

Do you want to get involved in sectors where the industry likes having conversations and discussions – then Twitter might be the place for you

You might even not be thinking of employment and actually thinking if I have a strong enough brand on social media then I could set my own business up

Either way think about setting up a separate professional social media profile, so that you can keep your personal profile for conversations with friends and appropriate professional profile for conversations with the industry and people you want to work with

5. Build Your Own Website

I started way too late, but at 21 years old I designed and put together my very 1st website

Within months I had 10,000 readers a week, my most read blog was read by over 500,000 people and the attention gained me work with the likes of the BBC and publications in London and America

That I did that back in 1999 is the reason I do what I do now in a separate business all these years later

Not bad for something that a guy from South Manchester set up from his bedroom

Nowadays setting up a well designed website has never been easier. It costs about £6.99 to get your domain name for 2 years and with either a friend who’s good at web design or an online tutorial you could have a WordPress website live within a day. After that if the website isn’t too content intensive your hosting will cost around £5-15 a month max

Own your personal brand now with either a personal website or your brand name website you choose to go under – when you do this google becomes your friend

Personal Branding For 16 to 18 Year Olds
Your child’s future is too important to be left to chance: 121 Personal Branding & Social Media workshops for young people attending with a parent / guardian

We’re now opening this up to 121 hands on workshops for both young people attending with a parent / guardian

Our 121 workshops will include

* What Is A Personal Brand?
* How To Use Social Media To Build Your Personal Brand
* The Importance Of Creating Content
* Playing To Your Strengths On Social Media
* Setting Up Your LinkedIn & Using It To Its Full Potential
* How to build your network
* Why the “old boys club” and “old girls network” is important?
* Twitter For Careers
* Social Media Privacy Settings and How To Safeguard Your Future

Full info here

Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

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