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From Zero to Hero: 7 Tips on How to Build a Personal Brand from Scratch

In May 2022 I decided to quit my job as a Dental Technician after many years. Beforehand I had taken some courses in marketing online and tested the terrain. I started taking courses online at universities in marketing almost a year before I quit my job and became a full-time student. This helped me to be sure about my new path. I also researched the job market.

I needed new challenges and a place where I could grow and thrive. I took a major life decision to change my path in life and start over in my work career. In august 2022 I became a full-time marketing and economics-student. It was scary to leave safe ground and a steady income. I loved my new life and learning new things.

Since I lacked experience in marketing and wanted to enter the job market as quickly as possible, I needed to take action to achieve my goals and stand out in the crowd. I did this by taking courses and certifications and started to building my personal brand. In January, I started creating and sharing posts on LinkedIn.

In the 4 weeks I have worked on building my personal brand and network, I have already achieved significant results:

  • 110 new connections on LinkedIn.

  • People have reached out, shown interest, and become better acquainted.

  • 4 interviews and other job opportunities.

  • Gotten more confident in content creation.

  • Over 1470 impressions, 17 reactions, 4 reposts and a comment from the person I wanted to reach on one of my LinkedIn posts.

  • From maybe 3 profile views a month to about 200.

This is what I did:

1. Test the terrain

Take the time to assess the situation and evaluate the potential risks and benefits before committing to a course of action. By testing the terrain, you can gain a better understanding of the factors at play and make a more informed decision.

2. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there

Fears such as the fear of success and fear of failure, are unproductive and worthless thoughts. Self-sabotage and negative thoughts can be insidious and pervasive, especially when we're pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone. Despite the universal nature of this phenomenon, it can derail our efforts to share our thought leadership and increase our visibility.

Dr. Mark Goulston, a psychiatrist and author of "Get Out of Your Own Way says," that humans create as many methods to undermine their lives as they do to enhance them."

In today's digital age, having a professional website and social media profiles is essential. Develop a professional online presence.

3. Document, don`t create

Gary Vaynerchuk, a well-known entrepreneur, and social media personality, often talks about the importance of documenting instead of creating.

When he says "document, don't create," he means that instead of spending a lot of time trying to come up with original ideas or content, people should focus on sharing their experiences, thoughts, and insights as they go about their daily lives or work.

In other words, Vaynerchuk encourages people to document what they are doing and learning, rather than feeling the pressure to constantly create new and polished content. This approach allows for a more authentic and natural expression of oneself and can also help build a following and personal brand over time.

Overall, Vaynerchuk believes that people should focus on being genuine and transparent with their audience, rather than trying to manufacture content or ideas.

One of the posts I created was me downloading BeReal and learning how the app works.

4. Network

Networking is an important aspect of personal branding because it can help you establish a strong reputation and build credibility within your industry or community. By connecting with others who share your interests and passions, you can learn from their experiences and gain new perspectives that can help you refine your personal brand.

One of the most significant benefits of networking is that it can open up new opportunities. Building a strong network can help you discover job openings, speaking engagements, collaborations, and other opportunities. Your network can provide you with valuable information and insights that can help you grow and develop professionally. Networking can also increase your visibility within your industry or community. As you attend events, meet new people, and engage with others on social media, you become more recognizable, and your personal brand becomes more established.

Finally, networking can be a valuable source of learning and growth. When you connect with others who share your interests and passions, you can learn from their experiences and gain new perspectives that can help you refine your personal brand. You can also share your own insights and ideas, which can help you establish yourself as a valued member of your community.

5. Create and share valuable content

Creating and sharing valuable content that aligns with your brand message can help you establish yourself as an authority in your field. Consider starting a blog, creating videos, or sharing tips and insights on social media

"I feel like a copycat - why should anyone care about my version of something already done?"

Your unique approach to whatever you do is what brings it to life and makes it original. As Mark Twain said:

"There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages."

A post I made about how ChatGPT can be used to rephrase text to fit a different target group.

6. Find your own voice and be authentic and don`t be afraid to fail

Having a strong understanding of your personal values and professional aspirations is crucial for building a successful personal brand and ensuring that your brand accurately reflects who you are and where you're headed. Authenticity can help you build trust and credibility with your audience.

Approach new challenges and endeavors with a growth mindset, recognizing that failure is not a permanent state, but an opportunity to learn and improve.

7. Strive to leave a positive impact

Creating a positive impact can have a ripple effect, inspiring and influencing others to do the same. By setting an example and taking action towards positive change, we can encourage others to do the same. Keeping a positive attitude and helping others will only help healthily grow your brand in the long run.

“My quick tip on personal branding is to remember you are your brand, no matter what your current job is, what project you happen to be working on at any one time or whatever the priority happens to be today... always keep in mind the impact you leave on others and remember all we have is our own reputation and that's our brand, so be awesome to each other! - Michelle Phan (American beauty YouTuber, entrepreneur, and cofounder of subscription cosmetics box Ipsy. Source

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