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Branding Your Identity: Tips from KMEL

Marketing yourself for success

By Robert Betancourt
On November 8, 2012


As part of a continuing education series celebrating Black Panther Month at Laney College, the Black Student Union (BSU) hosted an information session on Oct. 25 in the Laney College Forum. They coordinated with DeVry University to sponsor the event featuring KMEL associate director Kenard "K2" Karter.

K2 started by asking a question: "By a show of hands, how many brands do we have in the room?" He waited for everyone to raise their hands. He suggests that you picture yourself as a brand.

K2 also thinks it is essential that you are familiar with your brand. "It's important that you know your brand inside and out," he said. One of the methods he suggests for creating your brand is organizing your work into a presentation.

Having a presentation of your work is important, such as a portfolio or demo reel. "You got to have a presentation of who you are," K2 said. He believes you should continue to improve your presentation.

"Continue to keep yourself sharp by rehearsing your plan, rehearsing who you are, and what you look like on paper. Somebody who has never met you before, when they look at you on paper, can they get a feel for who you are? Do they respect you for who you are and what your professional skills say?" he asked.

K2 suggests giving yourself a purpose by building yourself up as a person. "When you look at some of the basics... fundamentals of life and being successful... for me [it is] sports, education, and family... all those are personal things that help build your person, knowing who you are, because at the end of the day you gotta be doing whatever it is you are doing for a reason," he asked.

K2 spoke about how he gained experience while breaking into the field of radio broadcasting. He was strategic about building his brand. "For me, I really kicked the door in when I did something so incredible, which was, I worked for free," he said.

K2 has advice on what it takes to be successful. "Show up time, be on point, be prepared." K2 went on to describe how he gained knowledge in his field. "I saw people who were doing what I wanted to do and I asked them to mentor me."

K2 described how content defines your brand. Listeners have expectations from a radio station about what material that the station will play, because the station has put a lot of research and time into creating their brand. Their brand is defined by its programming.

Your brand is also defined as the programming you have in your life. K2 surrounds himself with people that have initiative in being part of creating the programming in social situations.

"For me personally, I don't like to call and talk to people when they are always waiting on you to provide the programming. I like you to have your own programming ideas too," he said.

K2 suggests you embrace having competition in the field by being prepared. "If you are good at what you do, you welcome the competition. Bring it on. I ain't mad. I'm ready. I am not ignoring you. I'm ready. We got to determine who our competition is and be ready for them when they come," he said.

You are a brand. It is important that you work on your presentation of that brand. Sometimes it may require working for free to gain that knowledge. It is essential to reach out to others who are in your field. Constantly update and improve your brand presentation. K2 asked a very important question during his information session to the audience: "What can people expect from your brand?"

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