I was assigned to build my own personal brand. What does that mean?

By Guest Blogger Angie Shadle. Operations Manager and Marketing Account Manager for Growin’​ Out Loud Darlin’​ LLC.

Image of a hand holding a clock

Has anyone ever told you that you need to build a personal brand? 

That is what I was tasked to do by my boss (and amazing sister-in-law… Awww hugs!) Amy House, just months into working for her business. 

What the heck does she expect… miracles!?

What in the heck does that even mean?! After multiple discussions with Amy and doing my own research, I learned that personal branding is the way that you represent yourself online and in person for your business. It allows you to have a say in how YOU market YOURSELF and gives you control in producing an accurate picture of YOUR identity.  When you build a personal brand, it enables others to have a level of understanding about the type of person YOU are, what YOU stand for, values YOU embrace, and how YOU express those values. Are YOU seeing a trend here? Personal branding is YOUR story.

Once upon a time… 

So, with all that in mind, did this help me understand what my personal brand was? NOPE! This was not an easy task for me. This was going to take some work to determine how I wanted to represent myself. Actually, kind of reinvent myself. How would I broadcast that out there to the world and how did I want people to perceive it?

Here are some things that I did that helped me come up with my personal brand.

I wrote down what I perceive to be my own strengths and weaknesses. I asked multiple friends and family members to provide me with words or phrases that described me as a person. I found a whole page of descriptive words and circled all the ones I felt stood out to be me. I compiled all these words into columns by similarity. Once I had my columns, I took the 4 columns that had the most characteristics listed. I reviewed the words and their meanings and came up with one primary word that embodied each column.  These top 4 words became my personal brand. 

Then I thought, what is it that I want to share as my personal brand and what do I have to offer?

Since my personal brand is me and what I do behind the job (a marketing account manager) for the company (Growin’ Out Loud Darlin’), I wanted to be able to share with people business marketing tips for branding, social media, and email marketing. Tell about the hurdles I have come across and worked around, and some inspiration to help them think through their own marketing struggles. I want to be a solution to problems that others might be having and to share what I have learned. 

Next, I worked on creating a look for the graphics I wanted to create. Determining the look, feel and style that I felt was me. Something that when people saw just the graphic, they would know it was mine. 

Then it was time to figured out my call sign (Maverick, Goose, IceMan…please don’t tell me you don’t know what that is from!), what my @username would be for social platforms, something unique and not common that could also be used as a hashtag, for our monthly marketing email. That way when you searched it, it would lead you straight to me. My username would be @TheAngieApproach. It is my take on all things related to business marketing. 

Time to broadcast my personal brand. 

Once I had all this down, then it was time to get to work and start being someone that shares some knowledge to help bring a little insight or solves some marketing problems for others. I created my own business pages, developed a hashtag strategy to target my preferred audience, invited all my personal profile friends to like my pages, and started a consistent posting strategy. 

Personal branding worth it?

Absolutely! Even if you helped one person, it was worth it. I have had people refer business to our company through my personal branding page. I have had people comment how helpful a tip was or what a great reminder that little tidbit was. That they realized that trick was something that has cut down on productivity. That they were able to learn something they were unaware of. Being able to help bring a solution to someone else’s problem or struggle because of what I share in my knowledge and trials and errors is exactly what I wanted to share in my story-my personal branding. 

People don’t want to just buy a company’s product or service; they want to know who the actual people are behind it. 

Don’t be afraid to create your own personal brand and share your story. That is what your audience wants to buy into.