5 Lessons to Help You Build a Personal Brand
I left my job in June of 2019, I’m coming up on my ‘One Year Anniversary‘ and it has me reflecting on the choices I’ve made and how I got here.
The successes, the failures, and everything in-between…
I started thinking of what separates those who’ve found success sharing their “Brand of Me” and those who have not.
Several common questions, barriers, and themes arise when you look at those who try to live this life and simply flame out.
I’d like to share a few “Lessons Learned” and a bit of my story so you can avoid the issues I ran into when I was starting out.
1. Building a Trusted Brand Takes Time.
Few realize I’ve been doing this since 2011.
I started “coaching” men by leading them in the military. I have a knack for reading what isn’t being said and saying things or taking actions to help those individuals. When I joined the Navy in 2006 I began the journey which ultimately led to me being an individual worth following.
In 2011 I found Reddit and started what I’d call my “writing career“.
I’d write about being a man, the military, life lessons, marriage, sex, being a father, etc. and it was here where I realized, people not only liked what I was writing, they related to it.
I’d write on Reddit from 2011 to 2015 when I decided I wanted to launch a blog of my own.
In 2015 TheFamilyAlpha.com was born.
I’ve written (continue to write) millions of words here and it wasn’t until 2017 where I made any money.
Seriously, I think I made $20 off a random PayPal donation in 2016.
It would be another year before I wrote a book (31 Days to Masculinity) which made some money, then ran some 31 DtM campaigns, CoFounded the Fraternity of Excellence with Craig James, and then steady money came from there and affiliations to where I could walk from the job in 2019.
Start of this to leaving the 9-5 was what, 8 years of writing?
At the time, I didn’t have a “Twitter Hack Guide” or a wise Ed Latimore to serve as my black mentor to accelerate my release from broke writer’s prison like something out of Shawshank Redemption.
All I had was me.
Your learning curve can now be vastly accelerated, especially on Twitter and Instagram but no matter what, it will take time and you have to accept that you aren’t going to build a loyal following overnight.
Just because you can go from 0-1,000 in a month, doesn’t mean you’ve built a foundation strong enough to hold the weight.
I’m looking long term here, not quick cash then gone. You can’t build a skyscraper on sand, strengthen your foundation as you grow.
You have to put in the reps each day, keep showing up, even when you think nobody is watching.
Loyalty takes time.
Success as a writer or content creator does as well.
2. You Need to Be Consistent With Who You Are.
I don’t mean this with regards to the timing and scheduled release of posts or videos;
does that matter?
Yes it does, but it’s not as important as many would have you believe.
What I’m talking is being consistent with who it is you’re presenting.
You can’t write a piece on MAGA one day, praising the President and his work only to bash him and write about how terrible of a human he is the next day, just to follow it up a week later with a Pro-Trump video.
If you’re trying to write what you think will hit hard or what you think your reader wants to read, you’re going to fail.
- Which one will pay?
- Which market do you cater to?
- Which one will get your larger exposure?
Absolutely none if you can’t find a tune and stick to it.
Who are you as a person?
That’s who you need to be, every day of the week.
Nobody is coming to me asking about how they should start a Cam Business, that’s for the Tate brothers; the fuck do I know about the webcam industry?
Guess what, the Tates have had great success on all platforms, do you think I try to replicate their message?
It would be very inconsistent of me and thus would turn people away.
One of the reasons I haven’t burned out is because I don’t have to worry about keeping all of my lies together. There are some people who are very different in person compared to the character they’ve created online, that’s got to be stressful, always afraid of being “found out“.
It’s not a worry so long as you are who you say you are and don’t enter the arena of embellishments and lies.
The “Brand of Me” needs to have a real person in it, that’s the entire selling point.
3. Your Hobby Has to Become Your Job.
I’m embarrassed to admit how long I went with typos, disorganized prose, ghetto logos, and an overall presentation which was amateurish.
I’d chock it up to saying I was an “average man” and didn’t worry about those things.
Here’s the deal, people are judging your image, your content, your layout, and everything else you put out into the world.
If you want to get paid like a job, treat it like a job.
This may mean picking up nicer equipment when you can, getting someone on FIVERR to create a logo for you, or simply organizing your thoughts and sharing them in a properly formatted manner.
Who will you take more seriously and thus be more likely to support financially:
This Guy: Want 2 make money on twetter today?
This Guy: How you can start making money on Twitter today.
Present yourself professionally.
(I know someone is going to find a damn typo in this blog post)
4. Remove Any Sense of Entitlement to The Time & Cash of Others.
Nobody owes you a damn thing.
They don’t owe you follows, they don’t owe you views, they don’t owe you likes, shares, retweets, or any action what-so-ever.
Just because you built it, that does not mean they’ll come.
Spend 100 hours building a course, product, or community campaign?
Nobody has to care.
That’s the nature of the business; it doesn’t mean people are out to get you or that they don’t like you, you can’t take it personally as you have no idea what the cause of a lack of action is.
Maybe you didn’t market properly, maybe funds are tight, maybe the idea you think is so grand, isn’t.
Whatever you do, don’t think you’re entitled to the money of others.
They earned that by dedicating hours of their life to their profession in exchange for that money, who are you to believe you deserve the time of others?
Be confident in your product, work to properly market and price it but don’t ever lose the humility which comes from a purchase, share, or promotion.
Every single time someone purchases a copy of my book, a product on Gumroad, or just makes a donation I’m damn proud.
Never lose that and never forget as fast as it comes, it can go so take the opportunity to thank those who do choose to help you chase your vision.
5. You Have to Get Over it Being “Said” or “Done” Before.
This is one of the easiest concepts to address, yet it seems to be one of the most pervasive obstacles keeping people from entering the arena.
“Nothing I’m saying is new“.
To that I say, “Nothing is new” it’s all be said or done before, likely before even the Holy Bible was written.
That doesn’t mean a damn thing because what people need to hear is that same message said only the way you can say it.
I write about Masculinity, Marriage, & Fatherhood if I ever stopped and thought, “it’s all been said before” I’d never have experienced any of the amazing moments I’ve had; I’d never have left my job to go full time working for me; I’d never have met the amazing people I’ve come across on this journey.
Stop keeping yourself from experiencing either success or failure in favor of the apathetic excuse of not having a unique edge to your message.
You are the unique edge and the only way to build a Brand of You is to get the hell out of your own way and get started.
These lessons are certainly not the end all be all of what thwarts success or sabotages attempts at branding your lifestyle, but they are definitely present in a majority of the failures I see or am presented with by men turning to me for coaching.
None of what I’ve done or am doing works without you, as your time is currency; thank you for finding my words worthy of your time.
I want you to WIN, so don’t just read this piece, apply the lessons.
Take Action and Take Care,
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