Building your personal brand: Not as challenging as you might think!

J-School has been back in session for approximately five hours, which means by my conservative estimate, you have probably heard the term “personal brand” dropped about 10,000 times. “Develop your personal brand. You can’t have a successful journalism career without a strong personal brand,” etc. But how do you actually accomplish this?

It sounds complicated, but according to Mark S. Luckie at 10,000 Words, it’s actually pretty simple. Toss away all the social networking, cross-platform integration plans and focus on a few tips you’ve probably known since kindergarten, or at least since your first year at J-School.

A few of Luckie’s tips from his post, 5 Things I’ve learned about building a personal brand and why everything you’ve heard is bogus:

Be nice

“There are many talented people out there competing for work and the attention of online readers and communities,” wrote Luckie. “What separates the talented from the equally talented but successful, is a good, genuine, likeable personality. You don’t have to be Mr. or Ms. Smiley Face, but people appreciate kindness and humanity. Being arrogant, antisocial, cliquish, or rude will turn many people off and damage your personal brand.”

Say Yes!!!

Luckie wrote: “Not too long ago, I was at a conference and after a long day of workshops I faced the decision of either going back to the hotel room or attending a post-conference networking session. Suffice it to say I would not have my current position if I hadn’t opted to attend the session. Follow the example of Jim Carrey in the movie Yes Man and learn to say yes to new and unique opportunities… you never know where they may lead.”

(I added an extra exclamation point for effect (!) because this one is so important. The best way to find a job is to find out who’s hiring. Only a handful of keen young writers will land the Holy Grails of internships, but the other however-many-thousands of us will find work in less obvious places. Oh, and like Luckie, I also met my future boss while covering an event that I didn’t really want to go to in the first place.)

Luckie’s other tips? Show, don’t tell; do favours for people; ditch the “rules.” Read the rest of his article here.

Now that was a lot easier than I thought it would be, too. Whew! What do you think, readers? Does Luckie speak the truth, or is it really all about how many people are following you on Twitter?