Building a brand isn’t something new, but the amount of millennials choosing to build and go after their personal dreams and goals is. In college I always knew I wanted something of my own, but had no idea what that would look like. None of my immediate friends were “building brands” or using social media to “brand themselves” so I had to look to those on social media to get my inspiration and push to begin and there was plenty to see.
I’ve learned a lot in this process and really like what this process has done for my confidence, my creativity and my faith in becoming who I truly desire to be. Today I’m sharing 8 things I’ve learned from building a brand.
It’s Possible With a Full time Job
You can build your own brand, business, product or project all while having a full time job. Will it be easy, no, but is it possible yes. Work can take a lot out of you depending on the type of job you have. Discipline and commitment are going to push you through while you still have to clock in.
Having something creative on the side is what keeps me pushing. Everyone’s job situation is different, don’t call off of work for events or come in late if you know your job isn’t with it. Work with what you can, do what you can, use your free time wisely and you will make small strides that will lead to big things. If you believe in what you’re building and what your brand stands for, your job will not stand in the way at all.
Allow Yourself to Be a Beginner
No one started out where they are now. I know it’s hard to believe because it can look so good through the lens of social media, but people have worked to get to where they are today. I remember when I had 100 followers on Instagram and was only getting like 11 likes; that time was critical for me because I had to learn that just because I’m me, doesn’t mean that I’m going to all of a sudden get all of this attention. I had to let myself be a beginner.
At a time where follower count and engagement is all we focus on, some of us forget that we are still in the beginning phase of this brand building journey and you need to not only learn to be okay with it, but give yourself a chance to be present in this phase. You want 1K followers, okay well try learning how to be okay with the 200-900 you have now. You want 5K followers? Learn to be okay with the 2.5k you have now.
Let yourself go through the motions because there are revelations that come with them. Heck, I’m still in the beginner phase and though I have learned a lot (mostly prior to starting) and decided to finally implement what I’ve learned, it doesn’t mean that I have all of the answers or have it all figured out. I’m just choosing to share what I’ve learned as I go along.
Your True Self Will be Revealed
If you think building a brand is just posting pictures and looking cool on social media, you will learn very quickly that it isn’t. Building a brand has taught me whatever I thought I wanted to “portray” or look like I was doing was so far from what I actually wanted that to look like.
I used to have an event planning brand, I thought I wanted that, I thought I was going to be in it for the long haul. I was SO certain about that brand until I was in it and nothing felt right. Nothing felt connected, the passion and drive wasn’t there, but I was making it work because that was what I told the world I wanted.
I learned very quickly that my true self and who I wanted to become FOR ME was not being met by planning events.
The Healing Process is Inevitable
Building a brand involves discovering your true self and your passions. Discovering your true self involves a lot of healing. There is no way around it; let yourself heal anyway. We don’t become the person we desire to become by holding on to the baggage that brought us to where we are today.
Let yourself feel and deal with all of the bullshit that is holding you back. The journey to yourself isn’t always a pretty one, but it can be something really beautiful if you let yourself grow through it.
You Control Your Narrative
My least favorite thing about the work world is that your “narrative” is based on your resume. Obviously you have interviews and things of that nature for people to find out who you are, but I don’t like the idea of someone else determining my pay, worth, story etc.
Building a brand allows you to take complete control over that. Yes I have a full time job, BUT I have a lifestyle blog, I attend events, I create content and speak on panels. I love having the freedom and ability to decide what my story is and what my life will look like.
Ultimately God will decide how it all plays out and has really done an amazing job so far, but I must say, having the freedom to be and choose who I want to be is quite liberating.
You Get to Use Your Brand How You See Fit
Building a brand doesn’t mean you need to be an influencer or content creator. Building your brand could be the thing you need to do in order to set yourself up for your actual business or project that you are working on.
Your brand is and can always be used for something; if you’re not sure how you will use it or what it will look like, my suggestion is build it anyway! No one gets to tell you how you can use your brand, not even me, I just think that you should build one.
More People Are Watching Than You Think
It can be so easy to get caught up in the numbers and while the numbers may not reflect the actual amount of people who notice or see what you’re up to, just know your brand can make a difference in someone else’s life. Just because PEOPLE aren’t clapping for you in your face doesn’t mean they’re not watching or being prompted to move. People that I hadn’t talked to in months, have reached out to me telling me how they have seen me grow and love what I’m doing, I had no idea they were even paying attention.
Brands and PR companies are watching too. I don’t stress myself about brand deals and partnerships and I’ve honestly said “NO” a lot this year already, but the amount of times I have a chance to say yes or no reminds me that even when I think it may not be going well or it’s slow, someone, somewhere is watching. To be able to use my brand to make a difference in my sleep and while I go to work is pretty dope.
Always Keep Going
No matter what it looks like, feels like, no matter what anyone has to say about it, you have to keep going. There will be seasons where you are unsure, uncertain, tired, stressed out, overwhelmed, all of those things.
You’ll feel like nothing is working, all of your efforts are going to waste and you’ll probably consider quitting. This is where your mindset and your why come into play.
You have to want your brand and whatever you’re building in your space during the times that you feel all of those things. You have to be fully committed to what you’re doing or it you won’t follow through. If you need a month off, fine, take it, just don’t stop. You have to do this, it’s for you, it will benefit you, you must always keep going.
Are you looking to build, improve or refocus your brand? Connect with me about my 1-1 opportunities.