Guest Blogger: Chellie Phillips
Personal Branding Allows You to Tell the Story of You
We All Have a Story To Tell
We all have a story to tell. The events and experiences we encounter in our lives shape who we are and how the world looks at us. Personal branding allows you to take control of the narrative. It gives you the power to address where you are and where you want to be in a way that moves you toward the desired outcome.
The first question I’m asked is, why do I need a personal brand?
That answer can vary widely. It might be because you are interested in a new career. Maybe you’re a budding entrepreneur looking to build a business or an author wanting to grow a following. Or perhaps you are looking for the right volunteer opportunity to fit your special talents. No matter the reason, personal branding is a valuable tool for you to use.
What is a Personal Brand
So, what is a personal brand?
Personal branding is more easily thought of as your reputation. It’s what people think of you when you’re not in the room.
Think of it as an investment in you. In today’s digital world, someone else will control it for you if you aren't controlling your story. It’s important that your branding is authentic to you. And before you let that internal negative speak take hold – yes, the one that says you aren’t important or don’t have something of value to share – think again. You do have value.
If you’re uncomfortable talking about yourself or struggling to find the right path, ask five people closest to you what are the five words they think of when they think of you or what skills they associate with you.
This will give you a good look at where your brand currently stands and how closely it aligns with the version you want to share with the world.
Then dive a little deeper. Ask yourself: How do I want to position myself? What makes me different? What problems can I solve for others? How can I highlight the strengths I bring to the table? What skills can I offer an employer?
It's easy just to assume that building your brand is all about managing social media. While that’s a piece of it, there’s so much more. To me, it’s incredibly important for women if you are looking to stand out, get ahead or deal with adversity. Why? Because branding is about advocating for yourself and what matters to you. It’s about not waiting for someone else to see your value.
What does your brand do?
Personal branding gives a voice to who you are or want to be. It’s about being heard, seen, and valued. It’s your differentiator. It’s what makes you stand out from everyone else. It helps you share your purpose.
It can help you connect and build a valuable network. Our network is incredibly important. This is where you’ll find opportunities, even when you aren’t looking. It’s drawing people to you because you share similar beliefs and interests.
What it’s not about are numbers.
It doesn’t matter if you have 100 followers or 10,000 followers. If your mission is to help someone cope with a cancer diagnosis, as long as your message reaches them, that’s what is important. If your goal is to find a career that utilizes your skills so you can send your child to gymnastics, as long as an employer with the right position sees you as an ideal candidate, it doesn’t matter how many people like or follow you. It’s about your message reaching the right person. If you help one person, isn’t that better than helping none?
What’s stopping you?
Are you afraid life has to be perfect before you share yourself with the world? If that’s the case, it won’t ever happen. None of us are perfect. Just perfectly us. Don’t let fear keep you hidden. We have to stop the comparison game and focus on our ultimate goals.
The great thing about your personal brand is that it evolves as you grow personally and professionally. It doesn’t stay stagnant. The only part that should stay constant is the values you reflect. Especially in trying times as we live in now, showing and remaining steadfast in your values will make a great impact. It’s ok to be vulnerable. Everyone has scrapes and scars, making us who we are today. An audience will relate to the struggles you’ve gone through. It’s like giving them behind-the-scenes in your life.
Do you feel like you’re too late to the party?
It’s never too late to start building your brand. A Chinese proverb says the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. You could have done it then, and it would bear the fruit now. You might think that means you’ve done it all wrong, and what’s the use?
But the rest of the proverb goes…” the second-best time to plant a tree is today.” Ask yourself, what can you do right now or today to start? What is one action I can take? What do I want the future to be? Don’t waste time looking behind; instead, focus on how you can multiply the future.
The more time you spend getting comfortable sharing your skills and experience, the easier it will become. It’s about asking who you can help or serve. Don’t let your own insecurity consume you. Let this be the year you build a personal brand that can be an inspiration to others. To help you get started, download my FREE guide to Building Your Brand at https://www.chelliephillips.com/buildmybrand .
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