In this recap from a recent episode of RevShow, Rob and I discussed the idea of building your personal brand for career success. To help us explore this idea, we spoke with Selina Thomas, who was a candidate for Santa Clarita City Council. This is a great conversation for anyone who is looking to build their personal brand and reach their professional and personal goals. If you would like to view the conversation in its entirety, go ahead and click on the play button above. I hope you enjoy the conversation!
Have you been looking for tips on building your personal brand for career success? If so, you are definitely in the right place.
No matter your personal or professional goals, you will find it much easier to reach those goals by leveraging a strong personal brand. Personal brands help you get noticed. They can help you generate inbound traffic and connect you with people that you may not have even thought to connect with. For the sales and marketing professionals out there, your personal brand can help you generate more conversions and hit your sales goals. They are that powerful.
At the same time, it can be difficult to build a personal brand. In other circumstances, you may not even know where to get started. The great news is that there are several steps that you can take right now to build a stronger personal brand and get much closer to your career goals.
To help us discuss this topic, Rob and I were pleased to speak with Selina Thomas. We met Selina because she actually works in the same building as us. Selina was running for Santa Clarita City Council and has plenty of knowledge about building a personal brand and how your personal brand can help you get the most out of your career. Along with her candidacy, Selina is the founder and CEO of 6 Degrees HR Consulting, which is an outsourced HR consulting firm.
In this post, we are going to discuss plenty of topics, including the importance of omnichannel marketing, the halo effect of personal branding, and more. Further, we are going to do so by evaluating Selina’s life and candidacy, as it represents a great example of how you can build an extremely personal brand. Whether you are just thinking about your personal brand or want to take your personal brand to the next level, you can take a lot away from this conversation. Let’s get into it.
The Crux of Personal Branding
To kick off this conversation, I think it is helpful to get at the crux of personal branding. I think of it like this:
So much of personal branding is about how we can create a message that gets out to people, generates some sort of feeling, and convinces those people to take some sort of action. In the sales and marketing context, that action is obviously purchasing your product or service. But if you are just trying to build your individual brand, that action could be getting a coffee meeting or strengthening an already-existing relationship. The possibilities are endless.
If you were to boil it down to its elements, it is about messaging and distribution. If you are looking to build a personal brand on a large scale, you can’t do much better than leveraging the power of video. While I may be biased, video is the tool to help you both create awesome content and deliver it to any type of audience. Whether you are trying to show off your knowledge of your sector or industry or simply want to display your warm personality, video can help you get the job done.
No matter what medium you choose, however, you want to evoke some sort of reaction in your audience. Ideally, your audience will be so impressed with your message that they will rush to grab their credit cards and make a purchase. It often doesn’t work like that, however, so you may need to spend some time nurturing those audience members. As we’ll discuss below in more detail, consistency is vital here. If you can consistently deliver value and cause your audience members to feel some sort of positive emotion, you will be in a great place to bolster your personal brand.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Relationships
When we are talking about personal branding, it is easy to think about exciting things like building the best possible LinkedIn page or creating the most compelling video series that you can host on YouTube. Granted, those things are important. If you execute well on these things, you will be in a fantastic position to create an extremely strong personal brand.
That being said, personal relationships are a crucial part of building a strong personal brand. Selina can speak from experience. Entering the political foray, she clearly sees that relationships are essential. Not only that, but the relationships that she already has are crucial to speaking to who she is. They can convince others to believe in Selina and the job that she would serve in elected office.
At Dubb, we often see the power of social proof. We specifically see it when Dubb users use the reply with video call to action button below their videos. This makes it extremely easy for a viewer to record a quick testimonial video for the Dubb user, who can then easily add that testimonial video with others to a showcase page. Once you do this, it makes it extremely easy for a brand new prospect or person to trust you. Here, you are essentially borrowing the credibility of others to bolster your own credibility.
Social proof through testimonials isn’t just helpful when you are reaching out to a new prospect or client. It is a way to supercharge your personal brand. If you are seen as someone who is trusting, caring, and adds value to the world, you will be able to unlock plenty of new opportunities. Some of these opportunities may not even be on your radar right now. We will repeat this throughout the article, but it is one of the benefits of building a strong personal brand. You unlock the power of serendipity, meaning that a game-changing prospect, customer, or opportunity may be just around the corner. It can even change your life.
So if you are interacting with someone that had a great experience with you and your business, don’t hesitate to ask for a video testimonial. Even if you aren’t gathering video testimonials, make sure that you are keeping up with your contacts and providing as much value as you can. Embrace the “connector” mindset and try to help others achieve their goals and dreams. By approaching personal relationships in this way, you are in a great position to build and strengthen your personal brand.
Recognize the Power of Omnichannel Marketing
I think that one of the more striking things about Selina’s campaign was her embrace of omnichannel marketing. During her campaign, she has been on virtually every possible channel. She posts content (or has had content written about her) on Instagram, LinkedIn, The Signal, Santa Clarita magazine, YouTube, Facebook, and TikTok. Selina even bought space on a billboard so that she could advertise her candidacy. What is even more amazing is that Selina is running all of her social media content by herself.
By running her campaigns by herself, Selina argued that she is better able to control the narrative. She can do so in a way that is more authentic to her. She also argues that her ability to operate as a one-person band sends a signal to her audience (which is potential voters). That signal is that she is motivated, capable, and willing to put in the long hours in pursuit of a goal. She views her campaign as a job interview, so she is showing in a real, tangible way what she is capable of.
So what does this mean for you? I think there are several key takeaways here. First, there is power in omnichannel marketing. On the surface, it is pretty obvious. The more platforms where you post content, the greater the chance that your message is received and heard. For instance, even if your preferred social network is LinkedIn, there may be times when a key prospect isn’t active on LinkedIn (or is off the platform entirely). Because of this, diversifying your mediums and channels is an intelligent way to extend your reach and engage with more prospects and clients.
This extended reach, however, comes at a cost. That cost comes from time. Either you can follow Selina’s lead and do it yourself or delegate this work to a colleague. Whatever you choose, just recognize the fact that being omnichannel is likely going to take you much more time than if you were posting on a single channel. That being said, if you are able to do this, you can accelerate your personal brand and get substantially more attention in your sector or industry.
The great news is that with Dubb, you can easily post your video content to a wide array of websites and platforms. Once you have created your video (either on the Dubb platform or itself or somewhere else), you can click on the send and share button to copy and paste your video wherever you’d like. The exact preview may change (for instance, when you are emailing your video content, a three-second animated GIF preview will appear. By contrast, if you are sending your video in a LinkedIn message, you will see a still thumbnail preview). Considering this, however, this is a great way to get your video content quickly distributed to some of your favorite platforms.
In the end, omnichannel marketing is a fantastic way to spread the word about your talents, capabilities, knowledge, and work ethic. I encourage you to follow Selina’s example and see for yourself.
When you think about building your personal brand for career success, it’s easy to think that your personal brand needs to be as polished as possible. To take this further, you may think you need to have the most buttoned-up, professional profile picture possible. The same is true when creating video content. Because of this self-imposed pressure, we may not even want to create video content in the first place.
Ultimately, Selina and I are here to help take some pressure off of you. When you are creating your personal brand, you don’t need to feel like you are attending a black-tie event. You don’t need to be so stiff and formal. Instead, you should be yourself.
I’d go one step further and argue that authenticity is your secret weapon in building your personal brand. Your audience wants to see the real you, not the artificial you. Just remember: people don’t buy from companies. They buy from people. And people are inherently flawed. We aren’t perfect, and trying to put up a perfect face is a losing battle.
So what can you do? Selina recommends that you share some of your bloopers. This may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but sharing your bloopers is a great way to humanize yourself. As Selina admitted, she isn’t perfect. She also doesn’t profess to be perfect. She understands that we all make mistakes and one of the best ways to show off our humanity is to admit this truth. Granted, I don’t think you should be leading with some of your bloopers. Bloopers are effective to some extent, and you obviously want your first impression to be of competence and confidence. At the same time, however, bloopers can help you create stronger connections with the members of your audience.
Along with this, sharing bloopers exposes your vulnerability. Vulnerability is yet another trait that can help you build your personal brand and accomplish your personal and professional goals. The thinking here echoes what I said above. Showing off your vulnerability shows that you are a human. Selina has been vulnerable ever since she was competing in rodeo contests when she was younger. While you don’t know what people are going to call you when you open up, you can focus on what you can control. These are things like your work ethic, your intentions behind your work, and your inner monologue throughout your day. Whether you are creating video content for one of your social media channels or are simply building your personal brand at a conference or event, don’t hesitate to be vulnerable.
Take What You Have and Use It To Your Advantage
Now, when you are creating content for your personal brand, you may not be entirely satisfied with the content that you are creating. Some of it may have to do with the fact that you think your story is “boring” or that you don’t have much to say.
It can be easy to feel this way when we look at how our idols are portrayed in the media. When we read articles or watch documentaries on our heroes, it can seem like they live such interesting lives. They have twists and turns in their story, and they almost always come out on top.
While you may not have started a billion dollar company (yet!) or achieved massive fame, the great news is that you can still build an outstanding personal brand. You can do so by leveraging what you already have. Selina had to make a substantial change in her life. She had to leave Bakersfield and start over. Her father had even shown her what that looked like when she was 10 years old. Selina uses her background and her story to her advantage by showing her resilience, tenacity, and ability to adapt to change. It makes for an extremely compelling personal brand that she is now leveraging in the political arena.
So think about your life story. Note the setbacks and triumphs that you have already experienced. I’m sure that you can think of several great examples. From there, use those anecdotes and stories to highlight the positive traits that you have. I’m sure you can think of something great.
You will also want to iterate. Building a personal brand, like building a company or something else, is all about iterating on the data that you receive. One of the great things about building your personal brand on Dubb, for instance, is that you can get a substantial amount of data and analytics concerning the performance of your videos. Using Dubb, you can see things like your clickthrough rates, email open rates, and even whether viewers left emoji reactions to your Dubb videos.
It gets better. By using Dubb, you can get this type of granular data for individual audience members. When you are building a personal brand, you likely want to target a large audience. However, like I said when discussing the power of relationships, there is immense value in building your brand one person at a time. Because of this, using Dubb’s analytical tools, you can see whether your video content is resonating with individuals that received your videos. For instance, if you see that an individual stopped watching your video at a certain point, you may want to do some digging to find out why. It can be a personal reason (perhaps they had an Internet problem or had to stop the video to take care of their kids) or it can be a larger reason (like a certain part of your video did not resonate with the viewer). Ultimately, the devil is in the details, so you’ll want to look at your analytics to see how you can better create your video content.
In the end, use the tools that you have in front of you. Use your story and convey the message that you want to convey. And if you are using video to build your personal brand, don’t hesitate to iterate. Your future self will thank you.
Consistently Document Your Life
I wanted to wrap up my key takeaways by speaking about a simple, yet extremely powerful idea. In building your personal brand for career success, it pays to consistently document your life. This is a habit that must be built, but if you can successfully do it, you can build an extremely strong (and durable) personal brand.
Selina understands the power of consistent documentation. Not only does she constantly create stellar content about her life so that potential voters can learn about her, but she imparted the benefits of documentation to her daughter. When her daughter was in Paris, she had torn her ACL and meniscus. This is a devastating injury for an elite athlete like her daughter. As she was proceeding through rehab, Selina told her to use the time from her injury to both recover and inspire others. Doing so, it could fuel her to become a better athlete (both physically and emotionally).
As Selina said, everyone loves seeing that type of journey. It is a journey that is about overcoming adversity and reaching your goals. The great news is that you don’t have to suffer physical injuries or go through a similarly difficult experience to get these benefits. You just have to get into the routine of documenting your life.
It’s interesting: when you get in the habit of documenting the conflict and the process, some fascinating opportunities may emerge. In Selina’s case, she was able to get some articles written about her. In your case, it may be something else. It can be meeting a million dollar client or meeting a hungry individual who will become your next great colleague. It may even be a totally unknown client clicking on the “buy” button after watching one of your videos.
Whatever the case may be, you put the odds in your favor if you are consistently creating content. Now, to be clear, the content should be valuable content. You don’t want to waste your audience’s time, so you must ensure that you are adding value to your audience’s lives. Assuming that you do, you are, once again, leveraging serendipity to accomplish your goals.
Going Forward and Building Your Personal Brand
We started this post by bringing up the idea of building your personal brand for career success. As you can see from Selina’s story, there are plenty of ways that you can build your personal brand right now. You can take out your phone and start recording compelling video content. You can leverage omnichannel marketing and authentically tell your story.
But in the end, it all comes down to execution. You need to make personal brand building a priority. It needs to move up your to-do list (even if that to-do list is incredibly long). Fortunately, this is within your control. The best time to get started on this process is right now.
At Dubb, we enjoy thinking about topics like building your personal brand for career success. If you have any questions about the topics or ideas discussed in this post, feel free to contact our team. You can also click here to learn more about Dubb and click here to sign up for a free 14-day trial of our premium plans.