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How I built my personal brand and how you can, too

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Personal Brand

 personal brand

Want to read a year-end retrospective on how awesome I am?

Didn’t think so.

I’m gonna write it anyway! (Haters, divert your eyes.)

2013 was my first full year as a blogger, and it was pretty cool. Lots of reasons: tons of press mentions , speaking engagements and my very own RADIO SHOW! My traffic just keeps climbing, last week my Google PageRank jumped to 6 (Hello geeky readers?! Can one of you please recognize this greatness, because I’m feeling lonely in my celebration with all my normal friends who could care less). Plus, now I’m starting to make money – big brands are coming to me for partnerships, giant publications are following me and asking me to write for them, and my current clients are boosting my profile.

Thanks for sustaining that.

But the best part of all of this is that I am having so, so much fun. I mean, I’ve been a professional writer for my whole career — a writer my whole life. But I’m stepping outside of my journalism work — where I eagerly devour and write other people’s stories. Now I write my own story. My opinions. My very own voice. By sharing my pain and shame and secret thoughts seems to give others permission to absolve their pain and shame and secrets, too.  This journey has been so cathartic. Beyond cathartic. It is affirming and joyous and helped me work through all kinds of personal baggage.

It’s also great for business.

In fact, several outlets have asked me to write about how I built my personal brand. Two were published this week:

Texas Business Women’s Lisa Goodgame interviewed me about building my brand and being vulnerable and authentic in your marketing. Check out the post here and listen to the podcast now:

I also wrote about the risks, mistakes and triumphs of my brand-building journey for my lovely client DailyWorth:

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Built My Brand

Coming up: I wrote about personal branding for the March, 2014 SUCCESS (where I’m contributing editor), as well as Suka Creative’s blog. Stay tuned!

A few takeaways on how to build your own personal brand:

  • You are your business’s personal brand, like it or not. Before the advent of modern advertising, a business owner’s reputation and customer service was what set him apart. Same today.
  • Be authentic. The only thing you have is what makes you special as a person. Everything else is a commodity. Let that shine.
  • Do something scary. You have to take risks. Say, do, offer things no one else will. You can’t grow without risk.
  • Partner with really successful people. Your network is everything — not just for landing clients. But for inspiration, finding best practices, sharing good vibes and surrounding yourself with support and, well, success.
  • Think big. Really big. Then think bigger. Because, really, what’s the point otherwise?

  1. Honoree Corder
    Honoree Corder12-12-2013

    LOVE this. <3

    • Emma
      Emma12-12-2013

      @Honoree — you’re in my “Partner with really successful people” tip. muah!

  2. Lisa Goodgame
    Lisa Goodgame12-12-2013

    Emma, it was so great to talk with you on the podcast. Fabulous post! And a million congratulations on your success!

  3. Russ Thornton
    Russ Thornton12-12-2013

    PR6?

    I’m enough of a geek to appreciate how big a deal that is. Congrats on your geek cred and all your other success.

    Hope your 2014 (and beyond) is even bigger and brighter.

    Very happy for you.

  4. Emma
    Emma12-12-2013

    Thanks all around, Russ! And for all your support over the past 1.5 years!

  5. Natalia
    Natalia12-28-2013

    I am enjoying discovering your blog…very inspiring! I am a single mother by choice (no divorce – independent project!) and I find a lot to relate to here. Thanks!

    • Emma
      Emma12-29-2013

      Hi Natalia – thanks for reading and commenting! Feel free to reach out any time!

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