5 LESSONS LEARNED for Personal Branding

By Anna-Marie Plechata

In this article, I would like to share with you what I have learned during the Social Media Marketing course, led by professor Denny McCorkle at the University of Northern Colorado.

5 Lessons Learned

1. What is PB&J?

Surprisingly, PB&J is not a shortcut for Peanut Butter&Jelly sandwiches (at least not in this context, even though I loooove PB&J sandwiches). It is a shortcut for Personal Branding & Job Search.

Adobe Spark (16)

During the SMM course, I have learned, how important it is for my future career, to build my personal brand. It is not something you can do within a couple of days. I realized that you need to work hard and really spend hours with designing your social media profiles and creating the content. You have to keep posting, sharing and making comments every day.

See what professor Denny McCorkle says about it “Do’s & Don’ts When Using Blogging for Personal Branding & Job Search”.

2. Once you press “ENTER” you can’t take it back.

Once you make a post or comment, you cannot take it back. It is there and it will be there (somewhere in the huge online word) probably forever. When potential employers are checking you out, search on the internet is the easiest thing for them to do. Believe it or not, it is easier than calling your previous employer and they can get to know much more about you by this way. Embarrassing photos from high school? Drunken comments? You do not want to do that. Golden rule? The mom test – Are you ok with your mom seeing what you are sharing on social media?

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3. Activity is essential.

Being active and building a personal brand on social media is 100% worth it. Even if you are struggling with engagement, no comments, no likes… keep posting! Somebody sees you. When YOU are checking social media, you do not always make a comment or give a like, even though you like it. That is what people do. But they DO see you. Once they will reach to you, offer you a job or cooperation on an interesting project. But remember, always be yourself!

“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde

4. Tools are handy.

During building my portfolio and personal brand I learned how tools are handy. Using tools such as Hootsuite can truly help with managing the time. When you know that you will be busy the other day, or that you are going for a holiday, you can schedule your posts so nobody will recognize that you are lying on the beach and not sitting by the computer.

5. Make a plan!

What do you want to achieve? How do you want to present yourself? What impression do you want to make? I realized that it is crucial to know answers to these questions before you start doing anything. Have a goal. Make a plan. What to share with your audience and when and what form and style. Think about where you can add a little bit of humor and where it is inappropriate. I was tracking down every post/comment I made (piece of paper worked great for me).

Check this “A Nine-Step Path to Personal Branding“.

personal branding


Be patient. Think twice before making a post. Make a plan. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were most likely laying bricks every hour. Building a personal brand is time-consuming but it is worth every effort.

What obstacles did you have to overcome to build your own personal brand? What did you struggle with? Was it worth it? If not, please comment and tell me why.

Image credit: Anna-Marie Plechata

Comment or tweet me at @AnnaPlechata with the hashtag #HRtist.