I had the great good fortune to work with journalist, Lenny Ann Low to build her a website that showcases her work, allows her to be easily contactable and to give an overview of her work as a writer and performer in a rich, visual, online medium.
Having a Personal Brand sets you apart from your peers and helps you ride the vicissitudes during times of change in your industry. It improves your discoverability online, on your platform, without social distractions. It shows you as confident, strong, bold, courageous and expert. It allows you to build an audience – of people with whom you can collaborate, who can engage your skills and services, people you want to connect with, and people who are open to what you have to share.
Lenny tells of her understanding of her own Personal Brand in this way:
Jumping into the great unknown as a freelancer, after years in a salaried position within a big company, is a startlingly good way to understand your personal brand.
The first step is realising you have one. This was a revelation to me. During a job interview at a company, a large, reputable one I admire, my questioners indicated their interest in attaching the successful applicant’s name to work they produced for public consumption. This would not be anonymous copy. If I was selected, my identity would help theirs and the products they sold.
I was deeply flattered at this idea. This brand wanted my brand. It was something of a validation, even if I didn’t get the job. I also realised, in a matter of minutes, that I felt deeply protective about such an amalgamation. It clarified my confidence in having a name, or identity, that represented a desired product. Wow! But, did I want my brand to represent this product? Well, no. Not because the company was lesser. I still wanted to work for them. I just wanted my brand to remain distinct.
It highlighted how much I wanted to steer my brand in directions I felt particularly excited about. To keep it under my control and design, for now. And that I had the clout to do so.
I already had a web site, designed and expertly realised with Jude Love at Love Communications, so I had been educated in the ways of evolving a personal brand.
Not everyone is a natural at understanding their personal “package”. It feels egotistical to sum yourself up like a fast car or a marvellous holiday experience, especially after working within, and for, a bigger brand or company for a long time.
Creating a web site gave me the confidence to conceive my “brand” and understand its potential, its values and future possibilities. It’s an empowering exercise. Without it I would have been far less aware of what I can, and hope to, achieve.
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