'The Business of You' - Personal Branding 101 With Chris Ducker
Updated: Aug 25, 2020
On May 7th, I joined a virtual event hosted by Powderkeg and Matt Hunckler titled,
'How A Personal Brand Can Help You Make a Bigger
Impact with Chris Ducker'.
For the skim readers, scroll to the end of the article for a recap.
Some Background On Chris:
As the founder of Youpreneur, Chris Ducker is an industry leader in the study of personal branding. Chris helps entrepreneurs become the go-to leaders in their industries; building profitable, sustainable businesses around them and those they want to serve.
He’s a highly sought after international keynote speaker, a trusted business mentor, blogger, and podcaster, and bestselling author. His best selling book, ‘Virtual Freedom’ (which has 1,000+ 5-star reviews on Amazon). More recently he wrote ‘Rise of the Youpreneur: The Definitive Guide to Becoming the Go-To Leader in Your Industry and Building a Future-Proof Business.’
What is Personal Branding?
In an interview on Forbes, Chris gives his answer to this question.
“Personal branding is building your business around who you are, what you’re all about, and the people you want to serve. It’s a way to leverage your unique personality and skills to connect with the customers who need you the most.”
Here Are My Takeaways from Powderkeg's Interview with Chris:
Self-Awareness is an essential place to start when wanting to create your personal brand. After-all, it's the Business of You.
Chris suggests 'The Self-Awareness Test' to figure out what you want to be known for and how you can help others.
What do you want to be known for?
Where can you provide value to others?
What particular set of questions can you answer around a specific niche?
Double down on your strengths. Figure them out first.
Chris quoted Ice Cube by saying "Check yourself before you wreck yourself”.
If you're self-aware, you can objectively evaluate yourself, manage your emotions, align your behavior with your values, and understand correctly how others perceive you. You can focus your energy on your strengths and scale your impact on others.
Matt asked Chris, "If I have never done this - how can I do this? Is it like sitting in a corner, yoga style, and wait for the lighting to strike?"
Chris's reply, "Make a list of things that you feel you’re good at. That’s what you need to build your personal brand around."
It's important to have confidence with personal branding.
You have value to bring to others.
Personal branding is simply about doubling down on what you know and signaling to others how you can help them.
Chris mentions another self-awareness test.
Reach out to half a dozen colleagues, clients, and partners and ask:
“When you think of me, what comes straight to mind?”
Collect this feedback because you will see how other people see you.
'The Business of You'
It's not about being the best in your industry. It's not about being the next Elon Musk.
It's about differentiating yourself by embracing the unique characteristics about you.
You want people to associate you with subject matter expertise.
"Chris Ducker the personal branding guy"
"Gary Vaynerchuck the social media guy"
"David Perell the writing guy"
Plant your own flag in the ground and own it.
If you like fashion, then wear bow-ties consistently.
If you like the color blue, have blue in your social media profiles.
If you like the color yellow, then wear yellow glasses consistently.
Be unapologetically you. Whatever makes you uniquely you, use that to stand out in the crowd.
During the Q/A section of this interview, Doug Applegate jumped in to ask a great question:
“Where is the line between showing uniqueness vs a gimmick?”
Chris shared a great perspective. He shares how lot of things that we as humans do can be considered a gimmick. We often throw the word around.
Ariana Grande and her high pony-tail.
Richard Branson and his iconic beard.
Michael Jackson and his white glove.
Casey Neistat and his iconic glasses.
Tyler Blevins ‘Ninja’ and his blue hair.
Seth Godin and his yellow glasses.
If you’re coming from the right place and your intentions are genuine, people will see these visuals as unique characteristics. It’s about coming from a place of serving others rather than just using social media to sell.
If you’re serious about helping people, gimmicks are not something to worry about.
A Personal Brand is a fancy word for 'Reputation'
During the live interview, I left a comment about personal branding,
"Personal Branding is just a fancy word for reputation. Everyone has one, but not everyone takes ownership and doubles down on their brand."
Some people disagree with this statement, which I respect.
The context to the statement:
Whether you think you are building your personal brand or not, you are constantly building your personal brand.
Nowadays, people are going to social media as a first resource to get a good understanding of who people are, and what they're about. If you're conscious of this...you can leverage your personal brand to enhance your career and impact more people.
According to a survey by CareerBuilder, a full 70 percent of employers "use social media to screen candidates before hiring."
In this clip from the interview, Chris shares his perspective on my comment.
My opinion: Personal branding is a balance between caring what other people think about your reputation but also being unapologetically you.
If you genuinely set out to help others, you won't be appear 'gimmicky'.
Personal branding is building your business around who you are, what you’re all about, and the people you want to serve.
Personal Branding is just a fancy word for 'reputation'.
Be unapologetically you.
Double down on your strengths. Figure them out first through the self-awareness test.
What do I want to be known for?
Where can I provide value to others?
What particular set of questions can I answer around a specific niche?
Thank you to Matt Hunckler and the whole Powderkeg team for the hard work in hosting this podcast. I'm grateful for the value I receive through their interesting guests.
Tune into future Powderkeg episodes here: https://powderkeg.com/category/podcast/
Here's how you can connect with Chris:
Chris Ducker | Check out Youpreneur and all of Chris's work at ChrisDucker.com, and follow him on social media @ChrisDucker.
Want to dive deeper on getting started with your personal brand?
Whether you're a 9-5 employee, a digital creator, or a tried and true entrepreneur, a personal brand is the key to unlock the doors to bigger and better opportunities in life.
But, getting your personal brand off the ground can be challenging.
Google can be overwhelming, your "social media gurus" don't give you the full picture unless you buy their course, and there are just too many platforms to choose from.
Whether you think you are or not, you have a personal brand.
Nowadays, people are going to social media as a first resource to get a good understanding of how people are, and what they're about.
If you're conscious of this...you can leverage your personal brand to enhance your career and impact more people.
Want to watch a webinar where a friend and I dive deep into fundamental strategy for personal brands? We geared it for students, employees, and professionals.
Watch it for free here.
Want to take the next step in turning your personal brand into an opportunity engine for your career or your business? Apply for a Personal Branding Power Hour.
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