Purpose. Lead. Slay (and how to build your personal brand).

 3 Top Authors Share Their Tips.

Last week, I went to an AMAZING event at Google HQ in London, called “Purpose. Lead and Slay.The speaker line up was impressive – Jessica Huie, author of “Purpose”, Dr Yvonne Thompson, author of “7 Traits Of Highly Successful Women On Boards and finally Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené, authors of “Slay in Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible”.

As I listened to their compelling and inspiring stories, on why and how they came to write their books, the word “brand” came up again and again.   All 4 amazing women spoke about how important it was to stand out, be different and represent something bigger than yourself. All 4 spoke about their journeys to find their authentic selves and how important it was to live up to this.  

So, when it came to the Q&A, I had to ask them if they had any tips on how to build a personal brand, so I could share them with you all.

As you’d expect, their answers were GOLD.  There is SO much in their 8-minute answer, that I’ve posted my terrible video on our YouTube channel in case you want to watch it. (Ignore the background noise.  I was engrossed and vocal about it).

However, if you don’t have time to watch, I’ve pulled out highlights from the wealth of wisdom.

Here are 5 top tips on building your personal brand:

Please note: We think these 3 authors are amazing.  But they are not associated with Brand by Me in any way.  The reflections below are our takeouts based on what we heard at the event and are not endorsed by the authors themselves.  

1. Make sure your personal brand is bigger than you

This was not, strictly speaking, directly from the Q&A but the biggest take out from all 3 authors telling their stories.  All 3 had spotted a gap and identified an opportunity to help a wider audience by telling their powerful story. And their stories were incredibly personal, but their books and reason for writing them were way bigger than themselves.

 

2. Talk to your audience exclusively (don’t worry about appealing to the masses)

Yomi Adegoke made this point about the Slay in Your Lane brand, but it equally applies when building a personal brand.  Both authors were very clear that this book was targeted at black women. And they were unapologetic about this – turning down deals and rejecting any attempt to water down content or tone based on a misguided perception of what would give it broader appeal.  Know your audience and don’t be afraid to alienate those who will never support or engage with you.

 

3. Understand your story and live by it

For Elizabeth Uviebinené, your personal brand is about storytelling.  She emphasised that a personal brand is about someone being able to understand your story very quickly.  Have a strong understanding of your story and rehearse it because it takes time to get right. And once you understand what your brand or story is, be consistent with it across platforms and in person.

 

4. Know the difference between your personal brand and your company’s brand

Dr Yvonne Thompson stressed the importance of understanding your personal brand at work. She said “Don’t confuse your personal brand with the brand of where you work.  Often people get so mixed up with their corporate brand, that they become the “corporate” person and when they leave that company, they have nothing.”

It’s great to be associated with the brand of a particular company, but when you leave you need to make sure you know who you are and how you stand out so that you don’t disappear. As Dr Thompson says, “Your personal brand is about you.”

 

5. Your personal brand is an asset

Reinforcing the importance of building a personal brand at work, Jessica Huie had a positive view to share.  She reflected that your personal brand is an asset to your employer and stated that many employers are now encouraging and helping people to find their personal brands.  This is so true. Consumers no longer want a corporate voice from organisations, they want to talk to the humans behind the brand - employees, founders, or advocates. And that means showing who you are.

These 4 inspiring authors did not set out to build or become a personal brand.  They weren’t cynically aiming for self-promotion or to gather followings of thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of people.  Because that’s not what a personal brand is about. Building a personal brand is all about increasing the impact you have so you can help and inspire the people who need you the most.  And I hope that these tips do exactly that and help you find your Purpose, Lead with success and Slay in Your Lane. Whatever that looks like for you.

Hope you’ve enjoyed these tips – for more brand tips, sign up to our newsletter.

Hope you’ve enjoyed these tips – for more brand tips, sign up to our newsletter. 

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