Watching and Learning-Building a Different Personal Brand

It feels good being in the limelight sometimes.

But only for short periods. Longtermwise, that fame can be also prove beneficial. It does help to build a personal brand. Slowly. Its such a booster with confidence. Thats so important to me where I am in my career and life stage. I feel a different career beckons me but I can’t quiet pinpoint what it is as yet.

My humanitarian passion is even more obvious and pressing now. That is a goal I have to achieve first and foremost. It will really build my brand on an international level. Like Angelina Jolie, I’ve always looked up to her as a role model for humanity.  Her tireless, passionate advocacy on behalf of the world’s most disadvantaged people-the refugees has never cease to amaze me! I share her anguish when she visits the refugee camps and makes time to listen to the stories of children, women and men who are forced to flee for their lives. She makes a profound difference. I want to be able to contribute to the world that way too. One day I believe I can. That journey has already started.

What’s a brand? I love Sue Allen’s contribution in our local newspaper Dominion Post about how Jacinda Ardern is building her brand. Ms Ardern has taken over the leadership of Labour, a major political party that could have otherwise hit ground bottom if drastic changes were not done to it’s leadership roles in New Zealand. Her article is at: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/95517743/sue-allen-the-making-of-brand-jacinda

Being a 36 year old woman-single and independent, I’ve also struggled with being questioned a lot about starting a family. It’s obviously a dilemma I have faced from friends and families who love me so dearly and would only want the best for me. Of course my goal has always been wanting to have a family and raise a couple of children, but only with the right man. A man who will be equally supportive of my goals, plans and vision and me. In return I will be supporting him as well with his. It would be a dream come true one day. The options of surrogacy and adoptions have presented themselves to me at times and I feel reassured with technology with it’s advantages it could offer in this day and age. But of course, my dilemma comes just like what Ms Ardern had related to. There is an article here: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/95348298/Jacinda-Ardern-says-career-v-children-is-a-dilemma-lots-of-women-face?cid=app-iPhone

Juggling a demanding job and working multiple jobs to get ahead in life has been bestowed in me. Its the strong work ethic I have installed in me from my parents. It is solely for my own benefit at this stage. I am juggling multiple responsbilities all for my own mutual benefit. But I do believe the time will come. I say that with a lot more confidence and faith now compared to 10 years ago. I’ve felt anxious at times to be fair. Observing my good friends who have taken a different pathway with getting married and raising their families had often taken a toll on me (I am happy for them) but many times, I keep reminding myself the multitudes of achievement I have gained and sealed to propel me forward. Its a life of freedom and independence and I am quietly embracing it.

Personal branding is about the way you project yourself, and ultimately, what other people say and think of you.

Its the way you speak, the language you use, how you project yourself in person and online, it’s the issues you champion, the events you’re seen at-it’s about everything that builds external perception of you.

Its about having a key message or value proposition; what is the one thing you are, or do, that makes you unique amongst the competition.

Marsha Hunter, a guest writer on Entrepreneur emphasized 4 steps to building a stellar personal brand. They resonated with me. As an entrepreneur, I want to build a brand that essentially shines-and sparkles. And pops. In essence, I want to be seen. To get the message out or the product. To stand out from the crowd. But that all takes time-and patience. And it is entirely possible.

Who are you? Authenticity matters!

Authenticity matters. The brand is you-it’s me! Find out what is UNIQUE about your PERSONAL brand and put that out to the world. The world will respond to your unique position and voice.

Whats your voice? Raising the volume!

Your voice matters. My voice matters. It needs to be consistent and  focused on inspiration. These days with the technology, engagement with your audience is everything and marketing through inspirational messages is very highly effective.

Can you be trusted? Position yourself as a trusted source!

The most important question is can your followers trust you? Why should they trust you? Are you an authority on your subject? If your followers are going to trust you, you need to become an expert in the field. You essentially become an expert on your customers dreams, hopes and pains. It will mean finding and investing in mentors and gleaning everything you can from them. Yes, knowledge is power!

Who are your friends? The power of community!

Think in terms of community. Find your local and international community. Dont forget the online community. The power of social media online is highly effective too. Get your voice across all the various social media platforms.

Building a brand takes time and effort. Constructing and crafting that brand should be about who you are and what you have to give to the world. Do your research. Contribute. Be yourself. Put it out into the world. The world just might respond!

It is important to have that successful brand. Matt Sweetwood from Entrepreneur outlines the powerful reasons of having a successful brand. It creates opportunity-opportunity finds you. A few times, I have been asked to be the guest speaker at different events over the years. The 19th of September 2017, I will be a guest speaker at the local Rotary Club-my presentation is titled “Paddling and Steering the Waka alone in Foreign Waters” I look forward to the challenge and the opportunity.

The online and in-person networking increases substantially. People will connect with you through the social media as well as physical networking events because of your desirability and uniqueness. Serendipitous success is always a part of a successful brand-that I believe and trust. There have been so many people who have reached out to me when I have successfully organised humanitarian fundraisers through the years. That was a testament to crafting that brand. My confidence grew. I made a lot of new friends who contributed and recommended my competence and proficiency.  My skills and expertised were sought after to serve on community boards and advisory groups-it felt satisfying. Its a great way to give back to the community too. I love that powerful part. Governor General

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