Personal Branding

Follow Your Curiosity

I had a conversation with my bestie

She said to me, follow your curiosity

for it is the ultimate expression of your identity.

Imagine a world where you know nothing

and that is the beginning of something.

Even if you don’t know where you shine

or where your interests align,

resist the urge to whine.

Give yourself permission

to experience this confusion

because it informs your mission

and ultimately your passion.

Out of this chaos, you’ll get the right information.

And it might seem like a mess

something very hard to express

but as you put yourself through this test,

you’ll find your best.

Follow your curiosity

to rid yourself of a crisis of identity.

Become an Effective Cross-Cultural Communicator & Connector

How To Build A Following With Your Expertise

One of the most common challenges I have noticed while working with aspiring thought leaders and change makers is that a lot of them struggle with ways to position themselves as experts or the go-to people in their field of interest.

In fact, the number one question I get asked is this:

"What is the best way to communicate to my potential clients and the world that I am a subject matter expert in XXX?"

Essentially, they want to know how they can translate their expertise in a way that demonstrates trust and leads to a following.

So I recently asked Josue Peña, a growth expert who has a 200 million follower network this same question when I interviewed him for Thought Leader Academy and here's what he said: 

  • Provide value in what you're an expert in OR
  • Become the Google of the niche you want to be an expert in

Let me explain...

Provide Value In What You're An Expert In

Is there something you are legitimately good at and passionate about?

Share it with the world!

Identify one or two channels that you can consistently share your ideas, frameworks, messages and thoughts on.

Consider the following methods when providing value.

Create Content: You can do this by using one of these or all there (blogs, vlogs or podcasts). I mentioned these three because some of you may consume information in different ways. 

Whatever way you do, always create content and have it all point to a personal website of yours.

You can't avoid this!

Start off by doing this once a week and see if you can build from there. This will train you to organize your thoughts efficiently and coherently! 

Having a personal website is important because it's your digital home and is not subject to the algorithm changes other platforms that aren't yours may experience. It also allows you to collect email addresses which you can use to develop deeper bonds and relationships.

Speak: When starting out, you don't have to do anything too complex here. Start out locally and identify industry events, chapter meetings, and networking meetings that would benefit from hearing your voice. By consistently sharing your knowledge, you’ll hone your ability to communicate effectively and see what resonates vs what doesn't. It will also help with your confidence as you will become more comfortable with the idea that you're an expert. This will serve as a good reminder to you when that pesky imposter syndrome decides to show up. Make sure you document your presentations by recording it as well as taking photos. The videos could be used as part of your speaker reel, your YouTube channel or repurposed as social media content, blog posts or podcast episodes.

Also, make sure you collect testimonials! They will help to validate you.

Coach/Consult: Once you've consistently been creating content and speaking, you'll be able to position yourself as a coach or consultant to individuals, corporations and both because you'd have had the assets to back up your credibility at this point.

Creating content and speaking will help you develop your voice and frameworks.

So don't be afraid to step out as a coach or consultant. Even if you only have one or two clients to start off with, provide value for them and they will become followers or even better, evangelists.

Become The Google Of The Niche You Want To Be An Expert In

So what exactly does it mean to be the Google of the niche you want to be an expert in? 

Well, let's think about what you use Google for.

You use it to:

find out what something is,

how to do something OR

where to go

Now apply that same concept to an expertise you're interested in developing.

If you don't feel like you're an expert in anything, then think about what field you want to be an expert in and create a list of all the things you want to know about that field. 

Got it?

Good! Now, start documenting your journey towards getting there.

As you're documenting, you will be doing things like:

  1. Listing out the recurring themes that come up in your conversations with your clients/prospects -- you can even keep a note on your phone so you have it with you all the time
  2. Keeping track of new trends, tips, or tools that are important for your market to know about? You can talk about it yourself or bring on a guest expert to your platform to discuss
  3. Sharing what's working for YOU right now? "Behind the scenes" is something your audience will love because it humanizes you
  4. Sharing learning experiences you have had recently. Think of breakthroughs, setbacks, obstacles, or a challenge you're working through now or have overcome in the past
  5. Sharing ways to help your customers/audience save time or money! Take what you're seeing in your market and share some of the mistakes you know are being made out there
  6. Busting a myth or dispelling a rumor in your industry - show a different perspective, bring a sense of calm, and help people overcome changes in the market
  7. Sharing changes YOU are making to what you are doing and WHY. Essentially, sharing your own evolution and learning with your audience to build trust

All these will build your credibility as well as your relatability. It’s what will drive sales, brand awareness and more importantly, It’s what will grow your following.  

If you can effectively communicate that you are a subject matter expert, you will gain tremendous leverage over your competition because people love direction and crave connection.

You will be solving a problem or helping someone be a better version of themselves.

At the end of the day, people want to be heard, seen and understood. They want to know that they have value. My hope is that you become that guide for your tribe. 

So my questions for you today are these: 

  • How can you start providing value in what you’re an expert in today?
  • What niche can you become to Google of to your followers today?

_________________________________________________________

If you want to work with me one on one, click here.

If you want to learn from several of the brightest thought leaders in the world, click here.

Become an Effective Cross-Cultural Communicator & Connector

How To Develop Your Brand As A Thought Leader

Being a thought leader isn't something that happens magically and developing your brand as one takes some strategizing and intentionality. In today's episode, I discuss 7 ways that you can position yourself as an expert recognized in your niche online and offline. Hope you enjoy!

Click here or below to listen to the episode

Become an Effective Cross-Cultural Communicator & Connector

Why Your Personal Brand Matters In The 21st Century

The two most important 21st century skills one can develop are cultural competency and personal branding and that is because of the world we live in today. I have talked a lot about cultural competency in previous posts like the ones about MLK, Diversity & Inclusion, Mandela and on the As Told By Nomads Podcast.

So today, I want to focus more on the other important skill to have in the 21st century: personal branding. Why is your personal brand so important today? It is important because globalization and social media have made the world smaller by providing more options for visibility. With all these options for visibility, competition rises and so if you don't know how to stand out, you WILL get left behind. This goes for whether you want to advance in your career, be a better leader or start a movement.

Having a strong personal brand is your calling card to use your DIFFERENCE to make a DIFFERENCE.

So what are some things you can do in order to build a strong personal brand?

Be Aware

When I say be aware, I am referring to two types of awareness: situational awareness and self awareness. These two forms of awarenesses are two sides of the same coin. With situational awareness, you are taking in the external environment in your field and with self awareness, you understand the role that you can play in the environment and how to leverage your strengths to stand out.

I'd recommend starting with yourself first. Take inventory of what people say that you're good at. What are you known for? What are your nicknames? Why do people call you what they call you. Also, ask yourself the following questions: What makes me different? Unique? Special?

If you don't know the answer to this question, ask your friends, colleagues, and family members and observe the reoccurring themes and patterns.

Another thing you can do is to take personality tests like my business partner and I recently did here. It's a great way for you to figure out how to continue to leverage your strengths.

Raise your level of awareness and it will change your life.

Discover your why

Once you've gotten a good sense of who you are, go into your purpose. What is it that you can do with your strengths to solve today's problems. It will take time and repetition to find your place and identify your uniqueness. It might even be painful and frustrating but it is well worth the effort because it will lead you to your why and how. Your why will become the foundation of everything you do and it will be personal guide to HOW you can make a difference.

Most people fall into a couple of traps that leads to a lot of frustration and a lack of fulfillment:

They don’t get started because they don’t feel clear about their niche, programs, and services.

OR

They take fast action without putting any thought whatsoever into creating or maintaining a consistent brand image.

So make sure you have a deeper mission for why you do what you do. Do you believe that it matters? If you have a deep connection for your mission, you'll find that it drives your work. Otherwise, you're building your house on sand.

When I got started, I asked myself these questions. If you're stuck, try these:

  • What are your strongest attributes? List three to five.
  • What am I passionate about?
  • What motivates me?
  • What are my personal values?
  • How would I like to see the world?  
  • What contribution would I like to make?

Develop a plan

I talked about the "why" leading to "how". Now, I want to dive into the how quickly. Without a plan, your brand is like a house build on sand. You need a good game plan and you need to firm up your foundation so you become attractive for others to hire you. Be firm with your vision but flexible with your strategy getting there. Understand that your vision will drive you but you will probably hit a few bumps along the way. Those bumps will provide teaching lessons for your next steps.

What is your plan of action to get your message across?

Cultivate a Community and Share Your Work

As you start to create content, make sure you invite people from your intended target audience to interact with your work. You could create Facebook groups, a YouTube channel, a newsletter, offer free ebooks or guides. Ultimately, you want to provide value and share it to the world. If it is great, then your community will share your work. See personal branding as an education opportunity not a means to show off. Invite your audience to participate. Engagement is the key to inclusion so make your audience feel included.

 

YOU should be your most important investment so why not devote the time to become the best version of yourself. Developing your personal brand is no longer an extracurricular activity or a means to a side gig. It's a necessary skill to have and develop. It's your key to influence, opportunities, promotions, growth so why not start now?

Hope you found some value in today's post and be sure to join our Facebook group here. If you want to work on your personal brand, click here.

Till next time, use your DIFFERENCE to make A DIFFERENCE.

Become an Effective Cross-Cultural Communicator & Connector