The Cornerstone to Building Your Personal Brand

A millennial marketer answers your top #MarketingProbz

August 11, 2016

Millennial on bike

A few months ago I braved the heat of the summer subway and hopped the PATH to Jersey to see Gary Vaynerchuk keynote at Propeller Fest. Up until now, I had been doing everything I could to dodge the #AskGaryVee bandwagon. Yet, somehow I found myself on a train to the “dirty jers” to see what the rage was all about. I thought, at best, maybe I’d make some good connects and, at worst, I thought seeing Gary in person would help me quickly determine if he was someone I should pay attention to or weed out.

That’s how it works. Attention is currency; and, not just in business. Whether you’re trying to get a promotion, land a scholarship, make that big sale for your company, or generate more valuable career opportunities attention is ‘cash money’. But how do you harness it? And, better yet, why is building a personal brand something you should care about? Below I answer some of the most common marketing problems millennials are facing in building their personal brands.

Check out the excerpts from my vlog series (MarketingProbz) below. Then, head on over to the #MarketingProbz google form and, if you’re feeling it, go ahead and submit a question about a marketing challenge facing you right now.

Why is building a personal brand so crucial? 

This week’s #MarketingProbz challenge comes from Daniel Bielak, a recent high school graduate and the Founder/Host of The Youth Empowerment Podcast (which you should definitely check out)!

Daniel’s #MarketingProbz questions was—why is building a personal brand so crucial?

According to the LEVEL blog from Northeastern University, we generate 2.5 Exabytes of data every day. Watching 90 years of HD video would only generate a fraction of that amount of data. Like it or not, realize it or not, we’re going about our daily lives sprinkling a never ending trail of breadcrumbs behind us.

Your data doesn’t merely identify who you are, where you’ve been, or what interests you. Each tiny datapoint creates an instance of behavior; your activity or inactivity in a certain situation. When analyzed these individual interactions combine to reveal a set of evidence that suggests something about you.

This phenomenon is unprecedented in human history. If Mad Men had been set in our decade, Dick Whitman would have had to pull something more along the lines of Jason Bourne to successfully assume the identity of Don Draper. Our actions and intentions are becoming more and more transparent and trackable each day.  

Sonia Simone, or The Pink Haired Marketer as she is best known, nails it when she says—

“Define yourself. When you let other people do it, they just mess it up.”

Taking your personal brand to the next level

So, now we can agree that personal brand building serves a valid purpose, no matter who you are or what you do. So, how do we build a brand that attracts our target audience and has the potential to acquire influence? With content and consistency.

If attention is currency, then control is content. “Content” is really just another way of saying ‘information and experiences that provide value’. Consistency is the sustainable act of sharing. When creating content and sharing your story, consistency is how you provide value.

Of all the #MarketingProbz questions I recieve, content and consistency seem to be among the most common of the challenges facing people who want to build a brand or audience online. I’m with you. Time is the most valuable thing we have and the one resource we can’t replenish.

The struggle to maintain consistency is real, especially when you’re investing your time into something that isn’t necessarily going to show any immediate traction or return.

Think of content as the gateway to your virtual rabbit hole. Case in point: suppose I never made it to Jersey to see GaryVee speak? Without content he would have no way of truly capturing my attention. By consistently producing content Gary creates a well of knowledge, insight, and information. The more consistent, relatable and targeted the content is, the deeper I fall into entrapment.

Follow @marketingprobz on Snapchat and YouTube where I’ll be sharing specific strategies for how to build your brand across LinkedIn and other social platforms.

Don't miss my webinar with LinkedIn's Alex Rynne next Tuesday, 'How Millennials Are Building Their Personal Brand on LinkedIn.' Trust me, you definitely don’t want to miss it.

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