Reinventing Yourself to Build Your Personal Brand
When you leave the room, what do people say about you?
Is it something that happens by default? Or is it something that you’ve helped craft and influence?
Oddly, some people don’t want a personal brand when we each have one all along. So, it’s not anymore a matter of “Do I want one?” or “Should I get one?” It’s now “I have one—what is it?”
AJ Vaden, co-founder and CEO of Brand Builders Group challenges and inspires us to reinvent ourselves as part of building and monetizing our personal brand. She doesn’t believe in coincidence—she teaches us that we can create the life we want by living our own truth and uniqueness.
Personal Branding Defined
A lot of people misunderstand personal branding. They think it’s only a personal brand if you have a large social media following or are classified as an “influencer.” They somehow tie it to some celebrity or influencer status. They tie it to a business model, a reach platform.
The truth is, all of these have nothing to do with a personal brand.
Personal branding is really just the intentional effort of building your reputation.
It’s a new trendy term for a long, old, established concept that was true a thousand years ago and will be true a thousand years from now. It’s your reputation.
We have the most ability and influence today, more than ever before, to craft the reputation we want. People get more access to who we are if we allow them. We now have a lot of opportunities to become known for what we want to be known for and to be known by who we want to be known by. The challenge is that some of us aren’t really clear on what it is.
What do you want to be known for?
It evolves as you do.
Many find it challenging to identify their personal brand because it changes, it evolves—as it should because we change and evolve.
So this isn’t something you can just sit with and do at once in your life. You are a very different human today than you were in college, your early 20s, or your pre-kids era.
Your reputation precedes you.
It does. And you get to influence that based on who you hang out with, what you talk about, what you share, what groups you’re part of, what you put online, what you do interviews on, where you speak, and how you show up. It’s all the different things that are compartmentalized daily, making up this overarching “who am I” question.
Identifying your personal brand doesn’t happen in one part, and it’s not supposed to happen overnight—it needs to shift and evolve.
You’re not going to figure out who you are and what you believe your calling is in a one-hour workshop. That’s not how it works, but you can make progress in that.
How do we create more impact?
How do we reach more people and share the message that we really feel like we were put on this earth to share?
National Research Study on the Impacts of Personal Branding
AJ and her team did the first-ever National research study on the impacts of personal branding and what that means for Americans today. The study determined how personal branding influences our purchase behavior and how it impacts traditional advertisers.
She shares her top 3 takeaways from the study:
- For Americans, a personal brand is just someone who is simply recognizable to them.
- 74% of the Americans said they are more likely to trust you if you have an established personal brand.
- 67% of the Americans said that the No.1 most important thing to them when deciding whom to purchase from was whether or not they had testimonials.
We want the trust factor, we want someone else who seems to be in our shoes, one who has the same problem as us and has worked with you, to tell us that you solved their problem for them.
We all want 3rd party validation—that you are who you say you are and do what you say you’re going to do—from people who look and feel like me, your customer.
Give us that. It’s more important than having a huge social media following, a nice website, book, blog, content, podcasting, or anything else.
Do you have clients? Did you help them? Are they willing to tell me about it? These build the trust factor we want.
Do you know why influencer marketing is the beast that it is today? It’s because companies realize that trust is held with the individual, not them.
Companies spend so much on influencers because they know their audience trusts them. If influencers are willing to use the product and like it and tell their audience about it, their audience is much more likely to listen to them than the company itself.
However, when you’re no longer doing it in a truthful, honest, and authentic way, when it becomes about the business of marketing as opposed to the passion of discovering the product, the trust factor decreases, and your personal brand diminishes.
Don’t lose who you are trying to serve every master. Remember that at the end of the day, people started following you because of you. And they care much more about who you are than what you do.
You don’t have to be on every platform, you don’t have to be everywhere, but you have to be exactly where your audience is.
Journey of Discovery
Building your personal brand is a journey to discovery.
It’s discovering who you are and what you want to be known for. It’s part of establishing your legacy when you’re gone, all the while increasing your impact while you’re still here.
We’re not a fit for everyone, and we’re okay with that. But if we know exactly who we’re fit for, we know who we’re meant to serve.
Are you ready to reinvent yourself to build and monetize your personal brand? Book a free brand strategy call with Brand Builders Group at https://freebrandcall.com/torigordon/. Don’t hesitate to reach out to AJ Vaden if you have questions! See you next week for another insightful Coachable episode!