In times when building a personal brand has become a new necessity, what could be some of the core steps millennial entrepreneurs should be taking to create a strong personal brand?
Your brand is everything you do, and everything you don’t do. It’s how you act, and how you react. It’s what you do in the office at 11:15 am on a Tuesday, and what you do at 2:15 am on a Sunday morning at the bar. There’s no difference anymore between a personal and professional brand. It’s the brand of you, and you need to be hyper-aware of that.
When you’re first starting out, one of the best things you can do to grow your brand in a positive way is simply to be there to do the job no one wants. It sounds boring and trivial, but it’s so not. The person I want to hire, the person I want to work with, the person I want to promote, is the person who has proven over and over again that they’re up for anything thrown at them, and if they don’t know how to do it, they’ll learn.
Be aware of who your friends are. They say you’re the product of the five people with whom you hang out the most. Are those people helping you or hurting you? Boats don’t sink from the water outside of them, they sink from the water that gets in. Know your tribe, and be very picky about who you choose to spend your time with. Finally, focus on self-care. Go to the gym. Eat a vegetable every once in a while. Drink water. You can’t do much to improve your brand if you’re not first taking care of yourself.
Tells us the secret to your success and being productive?
Early mornings are the key to success. No one is up to bother you, you can own the world. I’m usually up by 3:45 am or so, which gives close to three hours to exercise, relax with a cup of coffee, go over my day, and handle any problems that may have popped up the night before. No worrying about being late, no stress about forgetting anything, I’m secure in handling everything because I have that early time. Of course, to do that, I need to get to sleep early, as well. It comes down to priorities. You focus on what you want to get, and you make the time for that. We all have the same 24 hours.
Over the past 2 decades, you have led the marketing strategies for many renowned media giants including the AOL Newsroom. Tell us about that one single approach you must have applied everywhere.
For me, I was fortunate that I learned from my first boss, Ted Leonsis at AOL, that it’s about the customer. It’s about the member. It’s about the users. It’s NOT about you. Create content that excites the customer. Give the customer the things they want. LISTEN to the customer. They’ll tell you what they need. RESPOND when asked to. It’s amazing how many companies don’t do the most basic of listening and responding. That in itself will change the world.
Public Relations is one of the most competitive industries in the world. How important would be the art of narrative creation or storytelling for a brand/ individual’s image in 2020?
Storytellers have always ruled the world. That won’t change. Tell a good story, a story that captures the attention of your customers by being relevant to them, and you’ll have them forever. Become better communicators.
How can brands be more inclusive of diversity?
Brands need to understand that diversity is no longer just about skin color and sexual orientation. The key to the future is NEURODIVERSITY. Companies need to understand that people’s brains work in different ways, and if you want to hire the best people, you’ll need to be inclusive of those different brains. Be it those who like to work super early to avoid the distractions of other people or the ones who need specific deadlines to get things done, the concept of a one-size-fits-all approach has no place in business anymore.
As a 5x bestselling author, how would you advise millennials on building their personal brands stronger by having their books/ podcasts other than their Instagram/ TikTok accounts?
The key is to focus on where you enjoy sharing your content. If you don’t enjoy where you’re sharing, you simply won’t do it. So that’s key, focusing on where you want to be. Then ask yourself how you can repurpose your content. What can you use from your book or podcast that allows you to share it in multiple places suitable to those places? Can you post sound bites from your podcast onto your Instagram? What about video somewhere else? Find out where your audience is, the audience you want, and be there with them.
The New York Times quoted you ‘A rockstar who knows everything about social media’. You have given your incredible contribution in representing and building some world-renowned brands. What else can we see coming from you soon?
AI excites the heck out of me, as does the concept of taking the human out of things. Think driverless cars, robot surgeries, etc. The more computers can do the boring things, the more time we have to create new and amazing lives.
Researched By : Surabhi Verma
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