Digital Brand - You

be the change

When I have spoken to numerous groups across the United States, I have found that most people can easily identify brands they like and explain why they like them and how they are memorable. However, when I asked the same groups if they had taken the time to think about themselves as a brand, the rooms were quiet. In the age of likes, shares, and retweets, we have a unique opportunity to brand ourselves, showcasing who we are to the world. Branding and rebranding yourself requires careful reflection. When people start to really think about it, they often respond with words like “honesty,” “integrity” and “hard-working.” These words all sound impressive, but when we consider Pete Cashmore’s quote, that "ATTENTION is the new currency,” they fall short. Having honesty, integrity and a strong work ethic are the minimum expectations for clients. We must be more, we must be authentic, and we must be different.

First, we must understand what our personal brands are. Then, we must support that brand with a coinciding profile containing reinforcing content. Each of us is unique and special and has a greater life purpose. Ask yourself, “What are my personal passions?” They may be family, social causes or your faith—and of course, your profession. My personal family brand is defined by my being a husband and father of 5 beautiful children which includes me being an advocate for individuals with Down syndrome (my son Beckett who is 4 also happens to have DS). Civically, I am a lover of my city Akron, the Rubber Capital of the World and home of LeBron James, and a servant of my community where I serve the community in our local Rotary Club. Professionally, I am a social media marketing specialist who opened the first niche social media marketing company in Northeast Ohio.All of these elements make me who I am and are part of my authentic self that I share through my social media. Everything that you will see about me, regardless of the platform, will point you in this direction, thus supporting my personal brand. Your own personal brand should be so crystal clear that when people talk about you when you are not around, they will be describing you in the same manner you would describe yourself. This description should be memorable so someone remembers you after meeting you for just a few minutes.

The last step to having an effective personal brand is to amplify it through your social media channels. In an economy where “attention is the new currency,” it is more critical than ever to clearly understand who you are and how you are seen online. If you have never considered yourself a brand, take on the challenge to look at marketing yourself a little bit differently. If your current personal brand is not working for you, don't be afraid to change it. If your brand is spot on, congratulations! You are one step ahead!