Words and deeds will help achieve goals and inspire others
Bersonal brands are built on passion. The more you can leverage your social networks and in-person communities to build knowledge, appreciation, and trust.
It’s evident in people like ebony johnson who juggles several personal and professional balls at the same time.
She is the Homelessness Prevention Commissioner and one of the main volunteers of StreetWise Partners, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The organization provides low-income adults with high-impact one-on-one mentoring and access to vital career-seeking networks.
Johnson also takes professional development classes while pursuing graduate school. She is an Advanced Masters in Business Administration student at F. David Fowler Career Center.
“I love it,” Johnson said. “Learning is a lifelong journey.”
She’s also on the start of another long journey as a newlywed, which adds a nice touch to her personal brand. Johnson talked about it with an executive business consultant Nathalie Gregg during a #LeadLoudly chat.
“When you love what you do, it’s easy to share your passion with the world,” Johnson said.
It’s one thing to be motivated, but it has to be supported with consistency.
“You become passionate by making the decision to continually share and show up,” Gregg said.
A subject that arouses the greatest passion is one that can be talked about for decades without stopping.
“I can talk career for hours,” Johnson said. “Do you need a job? Let me guide you to your next job. Moving from the military to the civilian world? Got you. Graduated from college? I’ll help you figure out ‘what’s next.’
Sharing your expertise is one of the best ways to champion your personal brand.
“People need you“, Johnson said. “You never know when your expertise is exactly what someone else needs. Always stand up for yourself and proudly express how you can help make someone else’s life a little easier.
When you know your values, communicate them constantly.
“Your values are what drive your brand,” Johnson said. “Never compromise on your values.”
Knowing when and where to use visuals will reinforce your personal brand message.
“I use GIFs, images, videos and quotes to capture my audience’s attention,” Johnson said. “A GIF is on the mark: ‘Are you frustrated. Need help determining your “what next?” Contact me to get you back on track. Together, we’ll chart your new career path.
“I did a branding shoot for my company, Career Connector,” she said. “The visuals included a career book, laptop, phone and business attire with a touch of pink. It’s all about branding. I wanted actual photos that I could use for my website or as images for publications on social networks.
Gregg added that visuals help people identify the brand.
“Others want to see your face,” she said. “It helps build social trust.”
Mentors also help champion personal brands.
“Mentors are gatekeepers who can help you through those closed doors,” Johnson said. “Consider having multiple mentors. Have scheduled meetings and set goals with milestones. A mentor can keep you on track to achieve your wildest dreams.
Gregg calls the super fan mentors. She credits the author and social media and digital marketing consultant Glen Gilmore for motivating her to take to Twitter.
While passion is a great motivator, it takes collaboration to complete a personal brand.
“The collaboration allows everyone involved to be brand champions for each other,” Gregg said. “It expands everyone’s network exponentially.”
This is especially true for Johnson’s work as a career coach.
“I gladly accept partnerships with resume writers,” she said. “Most of my clients are looking for new jobs. They need the whole village to help them get through those doors. Collaboration is the key to success.
About the Author
Jim Katzaman is a principal at Largo Financial Services and has worked in public affairs for the Air Force and the federal government. You can reach him at TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.