Ask yourself these two questions:
Who are you?
Who does the world think you are?
Got your answers? Good.
The purpose of those questions is get you to think about your “brand.”
The reason I put brand in quotations, is because the word is just a fancier way to show yourself to the world.
The secret to building a successful personal brand is really just honestly explaining who you are to the world.
If you’re like me, the idea of sitting down, maybe creating a website and building a persona you want the world to see you as probably makes you feel like this:
Don’t worry though. Everything’s going to be okay and you’ll figure it out once you understand that building your “brand” doesn’t happen in a day.
So what gives me all of this power to tell you about branding and what a personal brand should be?
First of all: I’ve been there.
This blog post you’re reading on this website is a part of my personal brand.
I could’ve chosen to write specifically about hard news, politics or how to not burn down your kitchen while trying to make kale chips.
While I enjoy those things, talking about one of those subjects every week isn’t what I wanted to do. I wanted to be able to connect with people in a unique way, hence creating a different definition of a “lifestyle blog.”
Creating somewhat universal content that connects with people is something I enjoy and it’s something that I do on a regular basis, so it just naturally formed into who I am– my brand.
Second of all: I had the privilege to sit before amazing podcaster, writer, entrepreneur and pie chart maker Ann Friedman a few times this week. She returned to her alma mater to talk about branding.
Ann explained that the best way to get people to understand who you are as a “brand” is being able to show what you do and deciding how you talk about it.
While tweeting, pitching story ideas and podcasting isn’t everyone’s track to success, the point Ann was trying to get across was just by doing the things you enjoy and are good at, “eventually people will get what you’re all about.”
So take your time. Build your website to show the work you’re proud of and enjoyed working on. Share what you’re passionate about.
Don’t be afraid to share your successes, but also don’t be lazy. Fact check, spell check and do all that kind of good stuff. After all, something tells me you’re going to want to have people think highly of you.
Nothing happens overnight, but if you keep doing what you love and talking about it, people will take notice.