I was saved by my personal brand

I was saved by my personal brand

personal brand

Like many people, when the coronavirus crisis hit, my business tanked. And then on top of everything, my wife became infected, then I got the disease.

So there was a period of about seven weeks when my household was in a quarantined, non-functional haze. Everything seemed bleak at that point.

As I started to wake from this pandemic fog, I went through a period of disorientation. What was my place in this new world? I am a speaker without a stage, a consultant who is irrelevant to clients in a deep crisis, a college educator without students, an author with an unbelievable 90 percent drop in book sales when the virus hit in March.

Today, a few months into this chaos, my business is coming back in a remarkable way. I’ve had two of the strongest financial months of my career. And I had a powerful realization.

I’ve been saved from this shipwreck by my personal brand.

The personal brand work paid off

Here is something I’ve been preaching for years: If you are KNOWN in your industry, you have a permanent, sustainable competitive advantage.

And that’s exactly what happened for me. Even in a crisis, new doors kept opening because I had put in the work on my personal brand for so many years. The advice I give to others worked on myself! I am needed, even now, because I’m known.

I have been consistent, tenacious, and generous with my content and online presence and people remembered that. I’m still being sought out as a speaker, consultant, and personal business coach when others are falling into a deep business trough they may never get out of.

I’m not out of the woods. Truthfully, no one is.

But I do feel good about the fact that every time I created a piece of content over the years, I was making a deposit into an insurance policy for my career. Now it’s paying off. I’m making the “withdrawal” on the authority, reputation, and presence I worked so hard to establish.

I’m known. I have an advantage. That doesn’t mean success is assured, but ANY advantage means a lot right now.

For you

In this period of unspeakable suffering and cataclysmic business change, I’ve been saying as often as I can that it’s not too late for you to work on your personal brand, too.

In fact, it’s more important than ever.

  • If you have a small business, then you must realize that your personal brand IS the brand.
  • If you’re an entrepreneur, a strong personal brand might give you the visibility and attention you need to get the funding and first customers you need.
  • If you work for a company, a personal brand can create new opportunities, especially if your job gets eliminated and you have to compete for a position in a climate of high unemployment.
  • If you work for a non-profit, you are probably getting hit hard right now. You have a better chance for a returned phone call with donors if you’re KNOWN.

Getting started on a personal brand

Creating a personal brand in this environment might seem overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, when I did the research for my book KNOWN, I found that every person who has become the “go-to” leader in their field did the same four things. No exceptions.

  1. You have to be clear about what you want to be known for. This is harder than it sounds. You have to be able to complete this sentence: “Only I …”
  2. You’ll need to figure out some space you can occupy that is under-served. Zig when others are zagging.
  3. Content is the fuel for your personal brand. You only have four choices of how to do this. So pick one and rock on!
  4. A social media audience alone will not help you make your dreams come true. You need to build an actionable audience that believes in you.

So I cleared the path for you.

You don’t need to take an expensive course or waste time on blogs and videos and podcasts that go nowhere.

Here’s all you need to do. Invest in this book:

I’m not a “salesy” person.  But if I look back at my career, KNOWN is probably my greatest contribution to the business world. Every week, somebody tells me this book changed their life. The book is on a lot of lists. It won some awards. People like Dr. Adam Martin said it is the best book they’ve ever read.

The bottom line is, it works.

Many people have asked me to create a course about this process of becoming KNOWN. Here’s something even better.

You can buy this book for under $20. Follow the book — step-by-step. Do the exercises in the accompanying personal branding workbook. You’ll get on the right path.

And if you’re still stuck, just schedule time to call me and I’ll help you figure it out.

We’ve got this!

Just begin.

I want to disclose something to you.

There have been some weeks in my life when I’ve wondered why I should keep creating content. It takes A LOT of time.

But when I look back at my career, I realize that every business benefit eventually sprang from the audience that loves the content I create. And now in this crisis, I’m so, so, so grateful I kept at it.

Starting is difficult. It can even be nerve-wracking.

In six months it will be easier, more rewarding, and even more fun. But you have to BEGIN and you have to give yourself 18 months before even thinking about a pivot.

This is so important. If this is the right time for you, I hope you’ll start making those deposits in your own personal brand account this week.

Keynote speaker Mark SchaeferMark Schaefer is the executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions and COO for B Squared Media. He is the author of several best-selling digital marketing books and is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world. Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

 

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