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Three Steps to Building a Personal Brand

March 16, 20244 min read

When I transitioned from the Army back to the civilian world, I made a career mistake. I built a resume and signed with an executive recruiter to find a job, but I waited another three years before starting to build a personal brand.

I didn't even know it was a mistake until I needed to leave that first job and realized I was in the same predicament as I had three years earlier, and I didn't have any idea how to take the next step in my career.

A personal brand will open up opportunities that will otherwise pass you by.

Not having a personal brand is akin to not having emergency savings. When things go wrong (and they will), you need a lifeline, and a personal brand will provide that and more.

By positioning yourself to a target audience and providing them value over a long period of time, they will get to know you. You will build a network of professionals who you can tap into for expertise, introductions, and even opportunities. If you do it well, your network will be filled with lifelong friends who are at the top of their game.

And I am going to give you the step-by-step process to use to connect and build relationships.

First, decide who you want to serve.

In my book Primal Storytelling, I go deep into how to identify and start building your Tribe, but it all revolves around one question, who do you serve?

Who is it you want to help? Who are they as people? What do they do? Where do they live? What are their hopes, dreams, and problems?

The more you understand about them, the easier it will be to connect and become helpful, even indispensable to them

Second, Choose a Channel

It's important to choose a channel where your target audience spends a lot of time and that compliments your communication style.

For me, I am a writer. I have written every day for years and it comes naturally to me, but sitting in front of a camera to make a video feels like a trip to the dentist.

That's why my first channel was LinkedIn. I could connect with thousands of business owners and ambitious people who want to build and grow a business. That was the channel that was most natural for me, but there were other choices.

Also, LinkedIn is the one channel where text, video, newsletters, and visual-based posts can all effectively grow your audience. it's not like YouTube, which is video only, or Instagram, which is driven by reels and visuals. There is something for everyone, and it has an enormous audience.

My audience is also on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok. Any of those channels could have worked.

After you choose your channel, get to know it. Spend time going through all of the features and functions. Take a look at what some of the top creators in that space are doing.

Learn from them. What structures are working? What time of day and how often are they posting?

And stick with that first channel for an entire year before adding a second one. Why a year? Because, you have to be in it for the long haul. There is no easy path. It will take a lot of time to get the flywheel going and get traction.

By putting all of your focus on one single channel, you are much more likely to get the traction you need than if you divide your focus among channels that don't have a lot of commonalities.

I am just now in the process of adding Twitter as a channel. I waited longer than a year, but it took me a long time to find my stride on Linkedin.

Third, Publish.

This is where everyone falls off track. It is not enough to just share other people's stuff, although that can be helpful. You must become a creator.

You will need to consistently create for your audience. Sit down and brainstorm your target audience's problems. How can you help them through your content?

How can you deliver inspiration and hope?

Publish as much as you can consistently. It is much better to post three times a week than once a month. Get on a schedule and stick to it.

And don't let yourself compare where you are to the giants in your industry. There is always someone ahead of you, but just remember, every following starts with just one person.

Until next week!

PS. If you want a head start building a LinkedIn audience with a content system that works, check out my LinkedIn training, 1,000 Followers a Month

personal brandveteran transition
Back to Blog
blog image

Three Steps to Building a Personal Brand

March 16, 20244 min read

When I transitioned from the Army back to the civilian world, I made a career mistake. I built a resume and signed with an executive recruiter to find a job, but I waited another three years before starting to build a personal brand.

I didn't even know it was a mistake until I needed to leave that first job and realized I was in the same predicament as I had three years earlier, and I didn't have any idea how to take the next step in my career.

A personal brand will open up opportunities that will otherwise pass you by.

Not having a personal brand is akin to not having emergency savings. When things go wrong (and they will), you need a lifeline, and a personal brand will provide that and more.

By positioning yourself to a target audience and providing them value over a long period of time, they will get to know you. You will build a network of professionals who you can tap into for expertise, introductions, and even opportunities. If you do it well, your network will be filled with lifelong friends who are at the top of their game.

And I am going to give you the step-by-step process to use to connect and build relationships.

First, decide who you want to serve.

In my book Primal Storytelling, I go deep into how to identify and start building your Tribe, but it all revolves around one question, who do you serve?

Who is it you want to help? Who are they as people? What do they do? Where do they live? What are their hopes, dreams, and problems?

The more you understand about them, the easier it will be to connect and become helpful, even indispensable to them

Second, Choose a Channel

It's important to choose a channel where your target audience spends a lot of time and that compliments your communication style.

For me, I am a writer. I have written every day for years and it comes naturally to me, but sitting in front of a camera to make a video feels like a trip to the dentist.

That's why my first channel was LinkedIn. I could connect with thousands of business owners and ambitious people who want to build and grow a business. That was the channel that was most natural for me, but there were other choices.

Also, LinkedIn is the one channel where text, video, newsletters, and visual-based posts can all effectively grow your audience. it's not like YouTube, which is video only, or Instagram, which is driven by reels and visuals. There is something for everyone, and it has an enormous audience.

My audience is also on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok. Any of those channels could have worked.

After you choose your channel, get to know it. Spend time going through all of the features and functions. Take a look at what some of the top creators in that space are doing.

Learn from them. What structures are working? What time of day and how often are they posting?

And stick with that first channel for an entire year before adding a second one. Why a year? Because, you have to be in it for the long haul. There is no easy path. It will take a lot of time to get the flywheel going and get traction.

By putting all of your focus on one single channel, you are much more likely to get the traction you need than if you divide your focus among channels that don't have a lot of commonalities.

I am just now in the process of adding Twitter as a channel. I waited longer than a year, but it took me a long time to find my stride on Linkedin.

Third, Publish.

This is where everyone falls off track. It is not enough to just share other people's stuff, although that can be helpful. You must become a creator.

You will need to consistently create for your audience. Sit down and brainstorm your target audience's problems. How can you help them through your content?

How can you deliver inspiration and hope?

Publish as much as you can consistently. It is much better to post three times a week than once a month. Get on a schedule and stick to it.

And don't let yourself compare where you are to the giants in your industry. There is always someone ahead of you, but just remember, every following starts with just one person.

Until next week!

PS. If you want a head start building a LinkedIn audience with a content system that works, check out my LinkedIn training, 1,000 Followers a Month

personal brandveteran transition
Back to Blog