Cassie Clark.
epic shit.
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The Importance of Personal Branding

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IT IS SUPER IMPORTANT- 

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This year I had envisioned myself going back to the class room and teaching the Interior Design Portfolio Preparation Class; a lot of factors prohibited me from doing so this year- but I wanted to keep the momentum going with something that I have been working on for over a year and test portions of it on this platform. 

I wanted to share some Folio tips and tricks as design students began to think about internships and how to market themselves in order to stand out from the crowd this 2017 school year. First a few things about me and why this is so important to me.  I have taught at the College for Creative Studies as adjust faculty for the last five years in the Interior Design Department- responsible for evolving the curriculum- into a very focused branding class for the Interior Design Department.  Responsible for the translation thought various mediums including traditional print PDF format- digital, resume, cover letter, business cards, and the very important web digital format. I was able tor re-craft it and redefined the class structure for what I had seen the market change into and what I knew the students had to do in order to get internships and thus careers.

I have been on both sides of the interview table- and know how to interview and know what employers are looking for.

Preparing a successful portfolio in no longer about a bunch of pretty pictures, it now has evolved into who and how you think, your process and your brand. When you start prying into who you are as a person as a brand- this can lead to excessive use of tissues, ice cream consumption and alcoholic beverage or in my case red bull to calm your design soul.   

The first topic that we will begin exploring is; Identifying what personal branding is and why you should care. 

Branding is the silent ambassador it speaks to the essence of who you are. It is silent and it is unique to you. It conveys and emotion a feeling.  As a student or even as a design professional your ability to think and market yourself as a brand is one of the most powerful tools in your tool belt.  Your personal brand is who you are as a designer; how you dress, how you look, what you choose to respond to, what you post on social media, all of this speaks to your brand.  

It defines who you are.

Who people perceive you to be.

Who you want to be.

 

You need to think of all the parts of your branding as a package. You are a BRAND. And I encourage you to think like a brand- creating a personal brand will help you stand out from your competition. 

Branding is the act of imprinting or engraving a brand name or symbol onto a product. You and your designs are the product.  Just like Apple, Nike, Cadillac are brands- so are you. 

You need to create the emotional connection between you and your brand to your audience- your audience being a range of people from your college instructors, career services, the department head of your major, to potential employers. 

This shit isn’t easy- you have to dig deep into yourself and really explore who you are as a designer, you must live struggle with the good, the bad, even the ugly- And as you over turn the rocks you will find a lot of ugly.

Sounds fun?!? It is actually one of my most hated and most love things to do; to work on my personal brand. I go through a brand refresh once a year around this time just to make sure I am still relevant in the design community.  This year I did a over haul on my brand, and my website interface and it took a few months to develop and implement.

I hope you will join the journey of brand exploration over the coming weeks.