Teaching about self-branding should be done as soon as the students begin using social media sites and other sites to post online.
The most important thing to teach students is that what they post is a reflection of themselves. Other people see that information a form opinions of their personality, life, and values. Once that opinion is formed it is often very difficult to change it. According to Dan Schawbel (2009), “Brand discovery is about figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life, setting goals, writing down a mission, vision, and personal brand statement (what you do and who you serve), as well as creating a development plan.” Students are getting online earlier and earlier and it is hard for some of them to plan beyond the weekend (sometimes even the next day), but by introducing them to the concept when they first begin to share information we can hopefully get them to think responsibly about what they are putting out there and to form short term goals and plans (and eventually long term ones).
Lea Alcantara has a worksheet, The Art of Self-Branding Worksheet, on her website, http://www.lealea.net/blog/comments/the-art-of-self-branding-part-three/, which allows people to share adjectives describing a person. This would be a good tool to use in the classroom for students to learn what others think about them (both through school and other venues). This could also be incorporated into an English lesson on adjectives. Students can then use this to brainstorm ideas for their brand and then create one.
With so much emphasis being placed on effective teachers these days, branding is a good way to highlight the strengths of the teacher. It could also be good for students to protect their identity. They could use their brand logo instead on their assignments instead of their names. (I know this would protect teachers when displaying student work also, since we are not allowed to have names showing.)
Alcantara, L. (2009). The art of self-branding. Retrieved from http://www.lealea.net/blog/comments/the-art-of-self-branding-part-three/
Schawbel, D. (2009). Personal branding 101: How to discover and create your brand. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2009/02/05/personal-branding-101/