This is the first of ten posts where we follow Marcos Salazar’s personal branding journey, as he uses the concepts and four-step process outlined in Me 2.0 for his own career.
I recently had dinner with a good friend of mine and received what I can only label as The Personal Branding Kiss of Death. We were having a nice time catching up and I was telling her about the new clothing business I was launching in New York when she said to me, “That’s awesome! I don’t think I will ever be able to keep track of everything you’re doing. Whenever I talk about you and my friends ask what you do, I can never give them a good answer because you’re involved in so many exciting things.”
While her comment was meant to be a compliment, I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of sadness when I heard her say this. It was unsettling to know that someone who knew me well was unable to easily tell people all the things I was doing. This proved to be a wake up call and made me realize that I needed a branding makeover.
Letting my personal brand slide
For the past eight months, my entire focus had been on launching my clothing company. I had worked really hard building the new business and had done a good job of marketing it (we even got in the New York Times within the first week of launch). However, the side effect of all this was everything related to my former brand of being an expert on the psychology of life after college, Gen-Y, and young professional issues lay by the wayside.
The night my friend gave me The Personal Branding Kiss of Death, I looked at the young professional blog I had started last year and saw that I hadn’t posted anything in over 8 months! I also hadn’t posted a tweet on my personal Twitter account in over 7 months and hadn’t not logged into my LinkedIn account for 4 months! And the sales of my book were not doing to well either. Not good.
To help jump start my journey of developing a better personal brand I purchased Dan Schawbel’s book Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success. However, I didn’t want to go through this all alone and that’s where YOU come into play.
Over the coming weeks, I will be writing a series of posts for the Personal Branding Blog where you can follow my progress on developing a better personal brand. I will be using Me 2.0 as my guide and will be implementing the four steps Dan developed for his book – discovering, creating, communicating, and maintaining your personal brand – on my journey. During this branding makeover, I would greatly appreciate your feedback as well as letting me know your own experiences in using the principles found in Me 2.0.
My goal: create an integrated personal brand connecting all my pursuits
What makes my personal branding journey unique is that I wear many different hats and sometimes those hats can seem quite unrelated. By day, I am a psychology and leadership researcher for the Girl Scouts, I’m the author of two books (one being The Turbulent Twenties Survival Guide that focuses on the psychology of life after college) and I’m working on a new one, I’m a professional speaker on Gen Y and Career issues, a freelance writer on local topics in New York City, a clothing designer, an entrepreneur who owns two businesses, I run a positive psychology website, am about to release my first iPhone app, am a Spinning instructor, and have recently become involved in community organizing in the area in which I currently live.
One of the main challenges I face during this journey is figuring out how to integrate all my talents, passions, and work experiences into a unified personal brand. I believe this is something that’s becoming increasingly common among Gen Y workers today. As we move from job to job gaining more work experience and developing new and different skill sets, it will be a challenge for all of us to maintain a consistent brand across the years.
I am excited to get back into the blogging community and I look forward to our conversations in my future posts.
Marcos Salazar is the author of The Turbulent Twenties Survival Guide, which focuses on the psychology of life after college and what graduates go through as the make the transition from school to the working world. He writes a psychology and career blog for young professionals at www.marcossalazar.com. You can connect with him on Twitter @marcossalazar.