My journey to being a personal brand
I first heard the term personal branding in 2010, and I had no idea what it was or what it could do for me. Little did I know, several years later I would be a 3-time award-winning graphic designer, CEO of a branding agency, President of a non-profit organization and beloved as “The People’s Entrepreneur”. And, I boldly say that God, personal branding and a determination to succeed has afforded me those opportunities and made me the man I am today.
I must be honest, though–I never wanted to be a brand because I didn’t want to people to think I was arrogant or prideful–that’s not my personality at all. Most folks are dog-lovers–I’m a people-lover, and I dedicate my life to serving others. Becoming a personal brand was the best career decision I’ve ever made because it allows me to be who I truly am, without apology. If you’ve thought about branding yourself, but have similar concerns, then you should do it. Here’s why:
The fact that you don’t want to be prideful will keep you from being prideful. The same is true with success–I believe your fear of failure will keep you from failing and drive you to succeed. It’s all about having the right mindset and motives.
After I heard the term personal branding, I started researching and learning everything I could about it. Then, I started testing what I learned on myself and what do you know? It worked. Now, I spend my time helping others build their brand around who they are and what they love.
One thing I’ve discovered from branding myself is that if you don’t put yourself out there, you can’t expect anyone else to do it. If you don’t promote your own product or service, how can you expect other people to do it? You have to make yourself available for people to communicate and work with.
What is personal branding?
Simply put, personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. Essentially, you are the brand that represents your business, company or organization. As an entrepreneur or business professional, you are a walking billboard, and no one can represent your business as good as you. You are the most accurate representation of your business there is, and no one can explain your vision the way that you can.
Your brand is all the things that make you who you are. You have unique characteristics, gifts, skills, personality traits, passions and interests that make up your personal DNA. Personal branding is mixing all of those ingredients, and creating a product or service around your passion that can benefit others by solving problems, providing information, convenience and value. Personal branding is about packaging YOU and presenting/marketing yourself to your audience in such a way that adds value to their lives.
Why is personal branding important?
Personal branding is a vital part of your success because whether you like it or not, you are a brand. There’s no changing that; that’s just the way it is. The danger in not embracing your brand is the fact that your brand is talking about you to the world, without you leading the conversation. For example, I’m sure you know someone who’s always negative and never has anything positive to say. They see the glass as half empty instead of half full. That’s their brand, everyone knows it, and that’s what people tell other people about them. Branding is what people say about you when you’re not around. It’s your reputation with your audience.
My question to is this: what reputation is your personal brand creating for you? Personal branding is so important because when you’re purposeful about guiding and cultivating your brand, you can use it as an asset to your success.
So, what are you going to do to cultivate and build your personal brand? Will you continue to ignore it, or will you use it as a tool to help you reach your American Dream of peace, freedom, and happiness? If you don’t know where or how to get started, sign up for my free 3-part video series to jumpstart your brand in 30 days or less.
Peace unto my friend,
Leave a comment and tell me how your personal brand has helped you reach success.