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22 Jan


Senior Associate Consultant

This post originally appeared on The Branding Muse by Emmelie De La Cruz


At times, it can be discouraging to see peers and those in your circle breeze by you as you struggle to build your brand. I always like to remind the young people I work with and speak to, not to compare their beginning to someone else’s middle. When you are a personal branding strategist, I swear you are more of a life coach than you are a branding expert. The goal of building a personal brand shouldn’t be to attract more followers on Instagram and Twitter, but to become more marketable in your business and career. Your personal brand helps you to embrace your purpose and live your passion in a way that wasn’t possible before.


According to the Manpower Group Annual Survey in 2011, 5 out of 6 people in North America are considering changing jobs. Thus, the competition is fierce and the number of people that are creating “brands” and “businesses” (and yes, I use those terms lightly in this context.) are exponentially increasing every month. So whether you are trying to supplement your income as a consultant or freelancer, want to switch industries, launch your career out of college or simply create an avenue to do what you love, a personal brand is the first step.


However, blogging and social media are simply strategies to build a personal brand. Your personal brand is your message, the return on investment (ROI) that people get when they interact or work with you. What are you doing for others? What do you bring to the table? Building a successful brand is one of the most humbling experiences, because you are bearing it all and being uniquely and unapologetically you. That kind of spiritual and emotional nudity and confidence takes courage. The more that you grow and become self-assured, the easier building this intangible brand will be. You cannot touch and feel your brand. You can’t fully describe it, but it is a collection of moments, skill sets and experiences that come together to speak to who you are on a personal and professional level. It is based as much on your personality as it does on your expertise.


Once you are clear on this, you will stop asking yourself why no one reads your blog, or obsessing over your Instagram followers and begin to connect with the right people and opportunities. You build a brand because you’re ready to give of yourself and pour into other people. You build a brand because you are willing to honestly and whole-heartedly share your expertise, regardless of what you will get in return. You empty yourself to fill others up. Whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee, you know what it’s like to give all of yourself and leave it all on your desk to come back and do it again the next day. Don’t build a brand for the validation of others. Build your brand to leave a legacy, no matter how great or how small.



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