Personal Branding 101: A Recruiter’s Guide to #GrandeFierceness

Establishing and promoting what you stand for is what the start of 2019 has been all about. Whether you’re a social justice warrior, a talent acquisition ace, a fashion queen, or anywhere in between, we all have something we are passionate about–something that differentiates us from the rest of the world.

That’s why personal branding has taken off in recent years.

What is personal branding?

The term “personal brand” was thought to have originated in a 1997 article by Tom Peters. Peters discusses how everything we see is branded. Your sweatshirt, your coffee cup, your shoes; everything comes from some brand. That’s why Peters suggests that it’s time for people like us to start thinking like big brands and make our mark–literally–on the world (including candidates!).

But, it’s not the easiest thing to do.

Creating a personal brand takes time. Time and money. Time and money and patience and failure. But, eventually, your personal brand sticks. And now with the rise of social media, everyone has an opportunity to craft their own brand.

Before we discuss how to get started on your personal brand as a recruiter, I wanted to take a minute to share some of my favorite examples of the concept. Hopefully, these can not only epitomize personal brands but also give you some inspiration to get yours started.

 Most of the personal brands that I interact with come from Instagram, and with influencers popping up left and right, everyone is trying to claim their spot in our branded world.

  1. Kim Kardashian West: Everyone has an opinion on the Kardashians–but you know what? You only know them because of their branding.
  2. Isaac Hindin-Miller: Although lesser known than the Kardashian clan, Hindin-Miller has recently been making a name for himself in the music scene and in the fashion world. He’s even started his own line of branded apparel with his “I LIKE YOU!” logo.
  3. Tyra Banks: Banks has been a staple in the world of fashion and branding since she first started modeling at age 15. As the first woman of African American descent to be featured on the covers of GQ and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, there’s no doubt she is a personal branding force majeure–I mean, ever heard of smize?
  4. Ariana Grande: Ah, Ari, everyone’s newest queen. We all know Grande from her catchy hits and stardom on Nickelodeon, but we also know her because of her branding: the iconic ponytail.

Despite how you may personally feel about these individuals, there is no denying they are killing it when it comes to branding themselves. And there’s nothing better than seeing these brands interact with each other.

In a tweet to the singer in early February, Tyra Banks used #GrandeFierceness to compliment a recent photo of Ari. This then sparked a conversation between the two about the ponytail, makeovers, and personal branding.

Banks goes on to mention the class she teaches on personal branding at Stanford and how, on day one, she lectures about the power of Ari’s ponytail.




What we can learn from Ari and Tyra

 Stick with what works! Banks‚Äôs response, ‚Äúyou betta not touch that tail,‚Äù tells you everything you need to know.

 Now you just have to find your own version of the iconic pony and apply it to your recruiting strategy.

 How to get your own personal brand started

  1. Find out who you really are, what you’re good at, what you stand for, what you want to be known for, and what you like doing. Once you get all of these down, it makes it easier to start the actual branding process. You have to really commit to whatever it is and start being a thought leader in that space. Most importantly, be genuine.
  2. Start on social. There’s no need to go spend a bunch of money on a website if you’re just starting out. Utilizing social media is an easy–and free–way to reach a lot of people. Even if you don’t have a huge following, it’s easier to build an audience on social platforms than through a website.
  3. Be consistent. Like Ari, stick with what’s working. It’s much easier for people to recognize you if stick with one thing and constantly create around that. But don’t forget to be unique.
  4. Use inspiration. Find brands you like and follow their example. Don’t copy, cause then you won’t stand out, but there’s nothing wrong with taking cues from others.

How to use your personal brand to rocket your recruiter status 

  1. Build trust faster. Having a recognizable personal brand as a recruiter encourages candidates to trust your help and take the next step in their career. If your personal brand shows who you are and what you’re about, it establishes a relationship before even speaking.
  2. Provide transparency. With an active personal brand, you can show candidates an idea of what they might be getting into with a certain job, organization, or even you. You can show candidates the life they could be living by cross-promoting your client’s content on your own social and putting the message in your own personally-branded words with some punchy copy.
  3. Spread the word. Word of mouth is the most efficient form of advertising–by having your brand out there, candidates can refer you to friends that need your help, or just give you a shout out on social to help your following grow.
  4. Show dedication. If you put passion behind your posts and promote your client with your personal brand, it shows hiring leaders your commitment to helping their company excel with the top talent you recruit.

Now it’s just up to you. Find what you love, start acting on it, start posting to social, get your story and your brand out there for your connections to see.

Don’t forget, you betta not touch that pony.

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