If you read this post, it’s very unlikely that you don’t know what a personal brand is.
Wikipedia defines it as “the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual, group, or organization”
In my mind, personal branding used to mainly refer to celebrities, political figures, or life coaches.
Now, it seems that the word branding is in the mouth of everyone doing anything online, and personal branding followed.
You’ll see people branding themselves as whatever they want to, with their whole newsfeed starting to look like a mediocre commercial selling scammy products (i.e. themselves).
That’s why, even though I did some shallow researches about personal branding during the past years, I kept in mind this negative opinion about it, based on those who just tried to turn themselves into whatever type of coach or consultant.
I DON’T WANT TO FEEL STUCK DOING ONE THING
I just do what I like to do, regardless if people are following me or not.
Each project I launch, each article I write, I do it because I feel like doing it. And if nobody was paying attention, I’d keep doing it anyway.
Now you should call me out and say: “So why do you publish content online instead of keeping it for yourself?”
I called myself out too, and spontaneously found 2 answers:
Publishing my content makes me accountable and committed to producing it
Each of my articles might eventually help or inspire at least 1 person, somewhere in the World. So why keeping it for myself?
Publishing this daily article on the blog makes me feel great, and knowing that someone could get something out of it makes me feel even better.
But what I like the most, is the freedom I have to talk about anything I actually want to talk about.
Today we talk about personal branding, and tomorrow we’ll talk about sustainably develop a virgin island. I love it.
And that’s one of the other reason why I feel like building a personal brand doesn’t sound so good to me: because I don’t want to be “known” for one thing and having to stick to it.
A friend of mine started as a travel blogger years ago, writing about backpack traveling. He built a 6 figures blog with hundreds of thousands of followers.
And now, he feels stuck because his audience is made of backpackers, but he became a serial entrepreneur, and he doesn’t identify to his audience anymore.
I DON’T HAVE ANYTHING TO SELL ANYWAY
This is my second biggest objection to building a personal brand: I don’t have anything to sell.
Most of the people I see out there build a personal brand to be identified as “the guy who is an expert at whatever, and who sell whatever product related to it.”
But what do I have to sell?
I don’t have a sales funnel with my face on it and a tagline saying I am super great at this so people should definitely buy my $997 onlytraining.
I don’t have a free ebook that will change your life that I use to upsell you some private coaching, 6 figures consulting, or whatever people upsell from an ebook.
The one thing that gets me the most excited is when I receive an email from someone I never heard of, saying he/she read something I wrote one day, and this piece of content made a positive difference in his/her life.
I truly love to know that because of the process of putting some personal thoughts into words, someone got value from it.
Each one of those emails literally makes my day.
And it’s free.
BUILDING A PERSONAL BRAND TO IMPACT MORE PEOPLE?
Like everyone, I often question myself about the meaning of life.
Not like everyone, I often come to the conclusion that life has absolutely no meaning at all. And I’m fine with it.
Which either means that we should all kill ourselves right now, or that we have the opportunity to create the meaning we want for ourselves in this life.
I didn’t kill myself yet, so I guess I chose the second option.
I decided that if life meant anything for me, it would be to positively impact the World we are living in while building myself a life I can enjoy on the way, and pass it on to my kids later.
I know, it sounds simple, vague, and cheesy.
But it’s still a good guideline for me because it shows some far ahead direction I can follow.
I have a more detailed version of this “meaning of life” thing, I’ll keep it for another article.
Back to the main topic: should I build a personal brand to impact more people?
Put differently: could I keep focusing on creating content I love creating while building a personal brand in order to make this content reach more people than today?
I usually don’t check my statistics, but just had a look at it and found out that around 10,000 people read my blog posts on Medium during the past 30 days. And it’s about the same number on this blog (I share the same content on both).
It’s around 20,000 people total every month who read my articles, and who potentially get something out of them (it’s probably less, but we don’t care, let’s just use numbers as a matter of scale)
What if it was 100,000? 5x more.
What if it was 1,000,000? 50x more.
Impacting more people is appealing, but it also makes me feel like I should create content of a higher quality.
Because more people might read it, I’d feel more responsible for delivering better content, more developed thoughts, more actionable advice.
Which leads me to the next question I want to ask myself:
SHOULD I CREATE A PERSONAL BRAND TO STEP UP MY OWN GAME?
I’ve been posting daily for a while.
I know how it feels, I know how to come up with something (more or less) meaningful as soon as I open my laptop, I know how to stay committed and consistent.
But because the main goal was to “just post something every day”, and because I didn’t really care who was reading or what they would get from it (as long as it was decent and online), I didn’t step up my game regarding the content itself.
It’s fine, I respected the rules I set for myself.
But isn’t it time to go further?
I don’t need to create a personal brand to set a goal for myself to improve the quality of the content I post, but what if doing both at the same time was a great combination to commit to?
What if I could keep sharing with people about what I want to, without sticking to a specific topic, while going a bit deeper into what I am talking about?
It’s probably not a coincidence that I have those thoughts a week after I started to commit to deep working every morning.
I have more focused time to write on this blog, which means I stop writing those blog posts at the last moment (30 minutes before sleeping).
More focused time means I can dig deeper into the questions I ask myself, and the answers I find.
As I am writing this, I also realise one more thing.
I ALREADY HAVE A PERSONAL BRAND, AND IT ALREADY HELPED ME A LOT
When I was the guy organising parties for students in France, 6 years ago, people knew and followed me to stay updated about the next events.
They would share my contact with those who needed to organise an event, and I would get contacted by bars, nightclubs and students associations on Facebook to do what I did back then: organising events.
When I was the guy traveling the world on a bicycle, 4 years ago, people followed me to see in which country I was, what I was up to, who I was meeting on the road.
They would introduce me to people they knew in different countries, and I met a lot of incredible people thanks to them and slept in a lot of different places.
When I was the guy building a 6-figures e-com business, 2 years ago, people followed me to hear from what we were going through, what useful insights we had to share.
They would connect with me, share their own insights, and eventually, we ended up organising an Ecom Villa with 17 people from 3 continents in Bali.
Now I am the guy building the Hustlers Villa in Bali, since last February, and people started to contact me in order to get a room, join the community, or just come to meet and connect.
Today, they often introduce me as someone to meet and talk about the place as somewhere to go for online entrepreneurs going to Bali.
Now I am also the guy building Reconnect, an eco-retreat on a private island in Sulawesi, and people contact me in order to get a chance to invest or to be part of the project in a way or another.
Even if I didn’t share much about it, yet.
All those 5 points above happened because I had a personal brand.
And because people connected with the stories I shared, at some point.
In the end, whether I accept it or not, I actually already have a personal brand. One I didn’t craft consciously or strategically, but still something.
SO WHAT DO I DO NOW?
During the next month, I will focus on delivering higher quality content (I mean deeper), and share more on a personal level, to give more character to what I write.
Someone recently offered to give me 4 sessions of Personal Branding Coaching, and since I think it’s an interesting coincidence, I accepted.
I never went deeper into this topic, and working with someone who is 100% focused on it might be an interesting experience. I will definitely share with you what I learn and how it can be useful for you as well.
On the other hand, if you start seeing me driving a Lamborghini in Facebook video ads, selling a “Life Transformation Coaching Package” for only $2,997, PLEASE, come to Bali and slap me in the face.
Love you, talk to you tomorrow,
Original Post: http://bit.ly/32EnOxF