Home Forums Starting your journey I’m nervous about my personal brand.

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    I’m hoping for some advice, tips or for someone else to share their experience/s.

    Any suggestions or thoughts are super appreciated. Thank you in advance.

    I help local businesses with their online marketing and I normally get business through referral.

    I want to establish myself as the ‘go to’ for my local area. And build my credibility in the internet marketing arena. And I guess also to improve my chances of being hired if someone looks me up online (long term outlook).

    The problem – I also work for a company as a marketing assistant (low down in the pecking order and my work is barely recognised).

    Is the next step a website (about me), upped twitter engagement and a personal blog?

    If so, I’m super nervous about using my own name. Sometimes I feel all “take on the world” or “I don’t care what they think” but some days, like today, I don’t feel worthy (especially given my position on the corporate ladder) to start establishing an online presence for my personal brand.

    Thoughts? Advice?


    MD Clean
    • Total posts: 308

    Ultimately, you probably have a complex set of issues to overcome before you can realise your dream.

    But don’t let that stop you.

    If, in your head, you can put aside for a moment, your day job, what would your business look like?

    Put pen to paper and flesh out your business ideas independently of your job and start to take some confidence from there. Do some, test marketing and perhaps, initially work under a nom de plume.

    Perhaps, it would even be fun to identify yourself as your alter-ego online.

    Remember, in your head, you can realise your full potential and you can start the process NOW!

    • Total posts: 4,485

    The first question to ask yourself, are there any clauses in your current employment arrangement which would stop you from trading in a similar industry.

    If the answer is yes, then you need to look deeper into that, there are various views around that these clauses don’t hold water, but if they exist you need to get a legal view on them.

    If the answer is No, then you need to think why your head is giving you these thoughts. Some observations from your post, you currently do it for other business’s, but more importantly in my mind you get business via referral’s. This to me indicates that you are capable, generally business’s don’t refer you on if they don’t think you are capable.

    Your position on the corporate ladder has absolutely no bearing on your ability to be able to do this, unfortunately if you work in a corporate environment that is a prevailing opinion, and it is often a management tool. But ignore your current position, and look at your capability.

    Having said that, do as Paul said, put pen to paper, write a business plan, BUT while doing that ignore your current position on the corporate ladder, but do it based on your abilities.
    Then Fly solo.

    • Total posts: 318

    I agree with Bert on contractual obligations.

    Is the next step a website (about me), upped twitter engagement and a personal blog?

    It shouldn’t be about you (if you mean this literally), but about the benefits to the prospect of taking up your services. Testimonials.


    If you want to succeed on Twitter, you’ll need a big following to start with, or a long lead in time before quitting the paid position. You’ll find yourself endlessly blogging or sharing other people’s blogs. You’ll need to tweet 4-6 new pieces of content daily (and repeat it as the feed moves quickly). Sharing can work well for people like you who have to keep up to date with a fast-paced industry and then you share as you find interesting material. By sharing, you build trust, and your following becomes social proof of being a thought leader, confident, knowledgeable, or valuable in some way. You’d need to stay heavily focused (save talking about dogs and funnies for Facebook!). It really is a long haul on Twitter and social generally, in fact, esp. if you don’t supplement with paid boosts.
    Many people go under synonyms and it’s quite normal, also company names. However, many people believe engagement and following is facilitated by being you – a real person they can relate to.

    You’re going to need a lot of proof that you’re the right person for the job and results speak louder than words. I’m not sure what your specialism is but as an example, I’d want to see at least a 15k Twitter following before consulting someone as an expert on Twitter marketing.

    Tom ISW
    • Total posts: 180
    Paul Peace, post: 222803, member: 54653 wrote:
    I agree with Bert on contractual obligations.
    You’re going to need a lot of proof that you’re the right person for the job and results speak louder than words. I’m not sure what your specialism is but as an example, I’d want to see at least a 15k Twitter following before consulting someone as an expert on Twitter marketing.

    I agree with what much of Paul is saying, but Twitter “gurus” are a dime a dozen. Twitter “marketing” was a vipers’ den 5 years ago and things have little changed. Social media consultants (especially the shameless type) are pilloried as a routine by the “twitterati” in Australia. It’s a bit of “tweeter beware,” out there at the moment. In what I’ve seen, at the least.

    • Total posts: 34

    hey markyj,

    i will leave off the contractual side of things. i will focus on the worries that you have as i feel that i have been in the same/similar situation.

    i work for an organisation that is in the IT sector. i am a techy at heart (and my studies are technical too) but my current role is not technical at all so i decided it was time to do my own thing on the side.

    i had a lot of reservations about using my name, phone/mobile number etc. so i lingered on it for a while. in the mean time i did a few ‘private’ jobs through recommendations from friends and family. i had already decided on a business name, which is really close to my actual name and after some time and continually thinking about it, i decided it was time to move on with it. so i registered the business name and set up a website. i don’t have my full personal information listed on the website. i focus on the work i have done, continue to do, and the services i can offer to any new/potential customers.

    i chatted to a few ‘trusted’ people at work about it. turns out, a lot of my workmates also had other business interests and this was seen as normal.

    one thing i decided really early on was that i would not mix my employment with my side business. i keep the 2 totally separate. i get into situations where customers will ask for a service that my current employer provides however only to corporates (read expensive). when advised of costs etc. most will ask for an alternative recommendation. i choose not to be that recommendation if i or my team are talking to them.

    to summarise, have a chat to a few people you trust about your predicament and do what will make you happy.

    • Total posts: 20

    I feel the OP is worried whether he is good enough to be putting himself out into the world? He said he is low ranking employee and has little public recognition of his work.

    I’m a pretty low key person and really don’t like attention. However, with a business, attention is what brings in the customers. It’s uncomfortable for me to say to the world “look at me!” but I just have to dive in. It is getting more comfortable now.

    I’m no big shot in the dental community but I believe I am skilled enough to have a successful business. If you feel you’re good enough, reputation will come. No harm in putting yourself out there with blogs or whatever you have in mind. Just don’t blog about your passport number.

    Kelly Exeter FS Editor
    • Total posts: 241

    Hey Markyj – your area of expertise … do you know more about it than Average Joe? Are you able to use that knowledge to help Average Joe do something they can’t do by themselves? Then that’s all you need to know about that.

    I especially love that you’ve stated you want to establish yourself as the ‘go to’ person in your local area. Your local area would probably LOVE that someone with your knowledge is choosing to use that knowledge to help them specifically.

    In short – stop over-thinking and get busy doing x

    Shes Got You Sorted
    • Total posts: 21

    Hi Markyj

    I know exactly what you mean about not feeling worthy enough to start establishing an online presence for your personal brand. I spent many (MANY) years feeling not good enough to do a lot of things, but certainly not good enough to even say I was a coach, let alone market myself as one. There were so many questions going through my head “what if someone asks me what qualifications I have to do this job?” or “if I meet competitor x, they might ask me who I think I am to be in business” or even “everyone’s going to find out I’m not as good as I say I am”. After much work on myself, I am happily standing in my purpose and coaching mind health. You say that much of your work has come from referrals – people don’t make recommendations unless they are delighted with the work, or they may suffer repercussions if the person is unhappy.

    Assuming that there will be no conflict of interest with your existing company, you can spend a lifetime thinking about doing what makes your heart sing, or you can just do it. At the end of the day, the only way you can establish yourself as the local “go to” person, is to get out there and BE the “go to” person, otherwise there will be no-one out there to “go to”. Yes, there may be others doing the same, but nobody will do it just like you. You ARE your own personal brand.

    Check out http://www.thegirlsmeanbusiness.com. Claire Mitchell was a marketing expert and when she was out of a job, she started her own Facebook page offering marketing advice. This has now turned into a huge business for her and one thing she always says is to give more than you feel you should. Write blogs, give advice, ask questions on your Facebook page or ask your audience to ask you marketing questions which you then answer. Write a newsletter and start building your list. Instead of focusing on what people might think of you, instead focus on how your skills and knowledge can be helping people. That’s what builds relationships, trust and referrals.

    Wishing you the very best of luck in your new venture.
    Warm wishes
    Sharon. x

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