Instagram: Standing Out with Personal Branding

Have you ever wondered how Instagram can set you apart in a competitive job market? This blog post explores the significance of personal branding and how social media can serve as a valuable tool in that regard.

What is a personal brand?

  • Personal brands are the culmination of your unique skills, experiences, and interests that represent you personally and professionally. It helps shape how others perceive you and the impact you make on your audience.
  • They communicate what you can offer to others by highlighting your skills and expertise and what makes you stand out from other candidates through portfolios or social media pages. 

Why is it important?

  • A strong personal brand can help differentiate college students from their peers in a competitive job market. 
  • Employers look for candidates who possess not only the necessary skills, but a unique identity and strong personal attributes.
  • Building a personal brand can allow you to connect and network with professionals and alumni in your field of interest.
  • They can help to develop effective communication, networking, and content creation skills, which allows students to establish themselves and gain experiences essential for not only the marketing field but many others as well. 

Forbes Councils Member, Yasmin Walter states in her article about personal branding that “When people hear your name, they should immediately think of the qualities that define you, your values and what you stand for.”

Tips on using Instagram to build your personal brand: 

Instagram stands out as a tool for building and showing off your personal brand. Because it’s a visual-centric interface and has a large user base, it’s one of the top apps for marketing. This establishes an opportunity to create a platform in your niche. Here are some tips to effectively use Instagram for personal branding:

  • Establish your brand: Determine what you want your personal brand to represent. What are you interested in? What sets you apart from your peers? Your Instagram content should reflect these aspects of your personality and professional identity.
  • High quality content: Ensure that you post content that matches the quality of your work, use a high quality profile picture that reflects your brand, and use a consistent visual style and theme to make your content recognizable and memorable. 
  • Engage with your audience:  Active engagement with followers is important to growing your platform and personal brand. This includes responding to comments, messages, and mentions.
  • Use your analytics to your advantage:  Use Instagram Insights to track the performance of your posts, stories, and audience demographics. You can also see metrics such as engagement rate, reach, impressions, and follower growth to understand what content resonates best with your audience and adjust your strategy accordingly.
  • Stay consistent: Consistency is key to building a strong personal brand on Instagram. Stick to a regular posting schedule and maintain a consistent voice and aesthetic across your content. 

An example of a Denison student, Ava Peterson ’24, effectively using Instagram for personal branding. Peterson showcases her art on her page and makes use of various features to enhance its appeal and interactivity. She maintains a consistent color scheme and aesthetic theme to ensure cohesiveness throughout her account. In her bio, she defines herself as a Columbus-based artist and BFA student who has a love for Mary Janes. Check out her account!

Keep an eye on The Knowlton Center’s page to see if any events or workshops interest you!

By Virginia Swain
Virginia Swain Peer Career Fellow: Marketing, Sales and Communications