Why Branding Yourself is Important? (And how to do it)
Happy Sunday Y’all.
When I left the previous agency, I lost 2.5 years of branding. My certifications, awards, profiles, articles, Google Local, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Behance and Google Plus were connected to my former agency email. That was a mistake. I lost hundreds of hours of work and my personal brand (since I could no longer update). It was a jarring experience to see the hard work you put in… disappear when I left the company.
Rather than be discouraged, I viewed it as an opportunity to expand my reach. Here’s the list of action items I created for myself when I left my old agency in June 2015. I've made a lot of progress since then. It has worked well in generating leads and opportunities.
Speak at a startup / marketing / business conference once a month:
I’ve spoken at 12 conferences this year. 2 business (yesterday was business), 1 multi-level marketing, 4 startup, 2 automotive, and 3 legal. Speaking at conferences is incredibly rewarding. I find interesting events on EventBrite, Linkedin, and Facebook. It’s a numbers game. I contacted 25 different conferences before receiving my first yes. After my first, booking additional speaking engagements were much easier. The last 3 conferences found me on Linkedin and paid a travel stipend. My best advice is to put yourself out there and see what happens. Speaking at conferences is a great way to brand yourself as an expert.
Writing 2 articles a day for Linkedin / Twitter / Facebook / Blog:
This has been a struggle. You quickly run out of ideas. I wake up early every morning to blog. And I write a blog before I go do sleep. This unflinching habit has helped me produce 2 blogs a day for the last 3 months. It’s incredibly rewarding. It wakes you up and puts you to sleep. My current blog topics have ranged from Pokemon Go to complaining about startup life. Choose something easy to write about.
Recording 1 video a day on YouTube:
To be honest… I produce more videos for my hobby channel. I’ve been able to hit 1 video a day for the last 90 days. It’s a great way to practice talking about new topics. It helps me practice explaining marketing concepts to clients. Video is a fascinating medium with the potential to grow exponentially within the next year. Now is the prefect time to start.
Designing 1 artwork a month on Behance:
Graphic design is incredibly rewarding. Only problem, it doesn’t pay much. However, it’s a great outlet to release stress. It’s a great way to release creativity. Most of the graphic design I do is for my hobby channel or for non-profits.
Attending 1 startup breakfast a month:
Startup breakfasts are amazing. This goes hand in hand with being part of the local community. Houston doesn’t have the most marketing agencies or startups. But it provides an opportunity to grow a smaller niche in a large market. I’ve met amazing content, seo, and ppc firms from the startup breakfasts I’ve attended. I’ve given them references and they’ve given me ones as well. And it’s fun complaining about agency life to people who understand. You have to eat breakfast anyways, why not take the opportunity to talk to expand your horizons?
Become a top 100,000 website:
This goal is still a work in progress. According to Alexa, guttulus.com ranks 381,488 globally and 365,566 in the US. Reaching the top 100,000 has been an important metric. I spent hundreds of hours redesigning and populating my website with articles. It’s a way for me to give back to the community. I do my SEO and local listings. No one else works on the website. One odd fact is the office hours are set from 7pm until 8am! I was being weird when I decided to do that. I hope to break top 300,000 by the end of this year. And top 200,000 by the end of next year. Having a website is the ultimate branding.
Branding yourself doesn’t cost money. It cost time and passion. There are many benefits including a morale boost for your employees. At my agency, each Friday, we spend the last 2 hours on personal branding. This could be personal social media or projects or even face booking family. Employees are paid during this period but are not allowed to work on client related projects. This has proven to be a great team building exercise. I’d recommend it.
Setting a checklist and a schedule are the key to success. Without either, I'd probably spend my free time playing Final Fantasy.
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