You As Your Own Brand - Geoffresh Inc. Speaks at UIC's Alumni Mentorship Program

What direction do you want to take yourself? That was the question I posed to the students at UIC's Alumni Mentorship Program. After that I asked, "What image do you want to display?" This allowed the students to think up many great questions and engage with me as I used our company's story about how we found our direction and brand.

But why should you brand yourself?

It really helps you stand out. When you meet someone for the first time, what are they going to remember about you? Most likely your image and what you are doing. If you don't manage this image and direction, the people you meet will make an impression of you consisting of your image as well as where they think you are headed. It may be a potential employer, a client, a friend, or even a potential life partner. 

This goes beyond just being memorable, but also showing what you stand for. This can be showing that you are an expert in your field, but expertise is a time sensitive skill. Having direction shows that you are also endeavoring to keep pushing forward your expertise. Although there are areas that you may not have full knowledge of, it is important to show that you are ever growing. Not just to say it, but to show it. Remember, the brand is your image not what you are saying, but what others can see  you doing.

One of the best ways to know that your brand is working is you will start seeing that you are becoming the "go - to" person for your friends. But don't let it stop just there! Make your clients comfortable enough to know that you have the skills to take their project and that they don't look anywhere else but you. You offer what they need and if you don't know how to complete all of the project, push forward to learn. That is how you will grow as a brand.

Before heading out and starting to set your direction, keep in mind the brand name. If you choose something different than your actual name, keep it unique and easy to remember. Maybe something you can have fun with? Make it something easy to remember but still something unique enough so there is not too much competition. This is where you get to be creative. Choose a name that represents you, what you do, and what image you want to give off.

With that- I hope that this advice helps out the UIC students as well as students around the world. Good luck!