Personal Branding 101: Step 4

The Final Branding Step

Happy Friday, beautiful people! We have finally made it to the last of four steps covering my Personal Branding 101 series. For those of you who have been keeping up with me over the past several Fridays, welcome back and thank you for continuing to show up! If this is the first time that you are joining us, you are more than welcome to start with this post, but everything will probably make a little more sense if you go back and catch up on the three insightful topics we’ve already covered:

Step 1: You Do Not Build a Brand, You are Your Brand

Step 2: Document. Do not Create

Step 3: Leveraging Your Mediums

Being that this is the last step, I want to give one final reminder to submit any questions about personal branding that you might have for me. Next Friday is QA! All of your awesome questions will be met with my feedback. Anything you want to know about building a successful personal brand, submit away by leaving a comment below, or feel free to DM me on Instagram @laurenewalsh in this format: “Blog Series Q: xxxx”. The cut off for questions will be Wednesday, June 24. I am so excited to keep adding to the already growing list!

Step 4. Start Now

Get a leg up on the competition by starting now. Personal branding is not something that can be met by success with a passive mentality. It doesn’t matter what stage of life you are in, or to a further extent, what stage your personal brand is in, start taking action to promote yourself and establish your brand. If the pandemic of 2020 has taught us two big lessons, it’s that you can’t always control what circumstances you are placed in; and when you have that chance to seize opportunities, do so. Life is too short, and there will always be excuses that can be justified. Counteract this and work on taking that first step.

Take the First Step

I have been receiving more resumes than ever lately and I am so excited to see the initiative that individuals are taking to reach out. Not only are they promoting themselves and the value they offer, to an extent they are essentially promoting their brand to me. For anyone who is looking to start establishing their brand and leveraging their available mediums, what are you waiting for? Timing is so important when it comes to seizing opportunities that come your way; preparation and figuring out what is going to set you apart are in your best interest now, so that you don’t miss out in the future.

For any students who might be reading this, please don’t wait until you’re just about to graduate or already out of school before you begin to work on this. Now is your key time to be networking, asking for advice, and asking as many questions as possible. For those of you who are considering pursuing a new business venture, don’t wait for “someday;” I guarantee that you will end up chasing that for far too long. Start your preparation now. Understand that the brand you hope to eventually put legs on is being shaped at this very moment. Reach out and network with individuals who might be good to know in the future. Start researching your market, competitors, target audience, etc. to help offset the extensive work that has to take place when you first start any kind of entrepreneurial work.

Connect

I know that there is always a misconception that people in high places and those who hold influence are too busy to connect and offer help or advice. Please trust me when I say that you will never know until you try. Some calls or emails may never be returned, but there are people out there who may surprise you. When people have received support to help get them to where they are in their career, they understand the impact this can have, and are much more willing to connect.

Start by following people who are in your industry–or the industry you would like to enter–that you look up to and/or admire. Reach out to them. Send them a direct message or an email and ask if you can have 15 minutes of their time. If they are willing to give you space on their calendar, make sure that you seize the opportunity and please, please, please prepare. It is said that the time you spend preparing for a conversation should be at least twice the length as the time someone is willing to give you. Preparing a list of questions should become second nature whenever you set up a call; it can be a really great idea to consider sending these to the person ahead of time. Not only does this give you more thoughtful answers on their end, but it is a great display of preparation for you and your brand. When you do eventually get those 15 minutes, take as many notes as possible for future reference.

Stay the Course

The first step that everyone takes for their personal brand is going to look different; this is actually true for every step that follows as well. The experiences that are part of your story, and the individuals whom you have crossed paths with throughout that story, are going to play different roles in shaping how these can be applicable to your brand. I want to encourage everyone who is reading this, no matter where you currently are in your personal branding journey, to stay the course. Ride the highs and brace for the lows. Put in work now. Be persistent and don’t take setbacks personally; let those fuel your drive to overcome. Be sure to prepare in any way that you can, so when opportunities present themselves, you are ready to capitalize. And lastly, be true to yourself so you can establish a unique and authentic brand.

While the four steps to this series are now complete, we still have one more Personal Branding 101 meeting on the books for next Friday. This will not focus on a single topic, but will dive deeper into all kinds of questions that readers (like yourself) want to learn more about. Pass on your personal branding questions, and I will make sure these are all covered so as to get you wonderful people the answers you’re looking for! Until then, stay healthy, stay active, start now, and stay the course.

With Love,

– LW

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