Success stories are inspiring, so I asked every Personal Branding Blog contributor to describe when they first felt their own personal branding success.
There were two main instances that had proved the power of personal branding to me and they both happened in unison. First, after six months between March 14th and August 1st, Fast Company wrote about everything I was doing in this space, including this blog, the magazine, the articles I was writing for other magazines, the online TV show, and the awards. Once that Fast Company article was published, back when the site looked much different and each article had ten times more visibility, it was picked up by my company’s PR group and sent to a Vice President. I was then recruited based on my passion outside of work, that I had considered a hobby and I was able to co-create a ‘brand’ new position called “social media specialist.” Once that occurred, I had a very compelling story, which eventually became the book Me 2.0! I had proven to myself that I was taking the advice I was giving, with great results.
There was definitely a tipping point when my personal branding efforts started paying off. One day, opportunities started approaching me, without any effort on my part. Bloggers, authors, businesspeople, careerists, and complete strangers who resonated with my brand started contacting me directly, seemingly out of the blue. That’s how I realized that personal branding was real. Because it acted as a magnet, attracting like-minded people, with similar goals and passions, some of whom now work for me or work with me.
For me, the first time I felt my personal branding efforts were really paying off was when a reader, who works in a high position at a Fortune 100 company, quoted me on his own blog as an innovation expert.
As someone who loves reading, I also felt the personal branding was worth it when authors started offering books to me and asking me for reviews because they thought I have influence in the field!
My personal brand started succeeding at many of its goals from my very first post on the Personal Branding Blog. One of my main goals was to get back into blogging as well as reconnect with Gen Y/Millennial space, and I did that instantly. I got back in touch with old friends as well as started making new ones, and began creating a strong network of like-minded colleagues within the first week of getting “out there.” It has only been a month since my first post and new jobs and project opportunities have already come my way. I am just at the beginning of my personal branding journey and I look forward to seeing what exciting things arise as I continue to build my personal brand over the next year.
When I first got into the networking field I knew I had to differentiate myself from others who speak and write on the topic. Fortunately, picking my niche was an easy choice since I personally was interested in a more strategic approach of networking smarter, not harder. My first product was a self-published tips booklet I wrote in 2003 called “102 Secrets to Smarter Networking.” Within six months, orders started coming in from Australia, Europe and Asia, and I started getting paid speaking gigs from organizations that had never heard me speak. Big lesson learned is that having a tangible product can help accelerate market acceptance of your personal brand.
October 2007 was a key milestone of my personal branding success. I celebrated the launch of my new book, Speak Up! & Succeed: How to get everything you want in meetings, presentations and conversations. Over one hundred people came to the event and I gave my first speech based solely on the book’s message. I felt that what I was messaging was being received and remembered.
The coverage I received in the media including Investors Business Daily and CNBC made it clear to me that my brand was strong since it was generating media queries. The book increased the number of speaking engagements I received, including ones in Hong Kong and Korea as well as around the US.
Maria Elena Duron:
I help people to be buzz-worthy so for me the moments of success come when someone speaks positively on your behalf. When you can move, touch and inspire another person to action, you feel you are “on brand” and provide them a message that is easy for them to transport to their friends, colleagues and contacts.
I noticed as I “said less” and they spoke of who I am and how I helped. I was attracting more and more opportunities to apply what is uniquely me. And, when the television station approached me to talk about what I love, it was a sweet moment! I’ve been on television every week for three years now with tips on your brand and being buzz-worthy.
The very first time that I felt my personal brand was succeeding was when I was invited to speak at UCLA for a business fraternity. This wasn’t just any business fraternity; it was actually a rival business fraternity to my own. Imagine trying to recruit members to your fraternity, and then the featured speaker is from another business fraternity. But this wasn’t the event that stood out in my mind that day. What stood out was when a random UCLA student walked up to me and asked me if I was Jun Loayza. We sat down and chatted for a good 15 minutes where he told me how he had found my blog and had inspired him to become an entrepreneur.
That was the first time I felt like I had reached out to someone and really made a positive impact on someone’s life. Ever since then, I have made it a goal to respond to every single email and comment that I receive. I’ve noticed that the more I give to the online community, the more I receive back in return.
You may not know it, but there are people reading your blog right now who don’t comment, but who truly walk away with something very valuable. Keep writing and keep putting your readership first; I promise you that what you get in return will be one of the best things for you personally and professionally.
When I started blogging on JobMob in 2006 during my own job search, my goals were to:
- find a job
- help people with job search tips that were (or weren’t) working for me
- learn about blogging from the inside out
- create my own web presence
Some of those goals are related to personal branding, but I certainly didn’t have any specific personal branding goals back then. In fact, it took over a year before I fully realized the branding potential of what I was doing around the time I pulled a guerrilla marketing stunt at the LeWeb3 2007 conference which led to my first consulting client. A few months after that in February 2008, I attended a local speed networking event where almost everyone I met already knew who I was, and it had nothing to do with the stunt and everything to do with my blog. One person even thanked me profusely for having helped her get back on her feet after a recent layoff, and explained how she’d recommended me to her friends.