No matter the industry you specialize in, your long-term goal is to make it to the top. Nobody wants to be a small-timer forever. Go-getters are all putting in the work because they want to be industry experts, thought leaders, and the big fish with a seat at the table.
However, as much as you might all want this, not everyone gets to live out this dream. You must be wondering, ‘If that’s the case, how do I make it into the group that gets to have a seat at the table? How do I go from a newbie to someone people seek out, look up to and trust?’
Expert content creator and CEO, Vanessa Lau says, “This is a question that flooded my DMs when people saw me having dinner with the Hormozis, Sam Ovens, Chris Do, Neil Patel, and so many other leaders we all know and recognize.”
Rule number 1 – Build your personal brand
The truth is, there is no magic to making it to the top. If you want to call it magic, I guess it would be building your personal brand. People always assume that a brand is a product or a company. They aren’t far off, but the secret to many of these companies making billions overnight is the personal brand behind them.
Look at all these celebrities whose products and shows sell out minutes into their launches. It is because they built an unshakable personal brand.
One of the most impressive examples is Kylie Jenner, who became a billionaire at 21. She had not been in the makeup business for decades when she launched her lipstick kit, but because of her and her family’s brand, her website crashed when it was launched because of the overwhelming number of orders.
Lau is very vocal about how far her personal brand as a result-oriented professional content creator has taken her. She says, “I give my all and beyond in what I do. Even if it’s a 10-minute presentation, a casual podcast, or preparing for a client call. Sometimes, it comes with some negatives, but most times, over-delivering has never failed me in getting the results that I want.”
Where do you build your personal brand?
If you are keeping up with the times, this one is glaringly obvious- social media. Social media is probably the most influential tool right now. What’s more, after the global pandemic hit in December 2019, the influence of social media on people’s decision-making skyrocketed.
People are always on their phones looking for the next thing, person, show or platform to obsess over. You already have your audience; now, all you must do is prepare your content and make sure it’s relevant, timeless, and authentic.
You might think that no one is watching, or interested in what you are saying, but you are wrong. Everyone, regardless of their platform feels imposter syndrome, even Lau admits as much. In one of her talks she says, “Whenever I go to events, even though I feel there’s no way the other person would know who I am, most times they will say:” Oh! I know of you. I’ve seen some of your videos.”
Figure out what people want
To build your personal brand, you must know what people want. How do you know what people want? Lau talks about this exact hack and how it got her brand recognized by top CEOs and business gurus like Neil Patel.
By putting yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself, when I was starting out, what are ten things I wish someone had told me? Next, what are the ten mistakes I made that taught me something that contributed to my success? This seems obvious, but trust me, many people tend to forget that the people they aspire to wine and dine with also started at the bottom.
Don’t think it works? Lau says otherwise, “How-To” content can be replicated, but your unique perspective to your journey cannot be. Even if you feel you “aren’t there yet, share the lessons you’ve learned from your mistakes.”
Forget the Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg stories you read about in those notorious get-rich-quick books. Even if you had three trust funds when you were starting out, you were still a fish out of water at some point. So, you still could have done it with some extra guidance.
Lau adds that, “To show that you know what you are talking about, you must get real, vulnerable, and honest because people love someone they can relate to.” Now that you know what to give your audience, strategically plan your content so that it stretches out. You don’t want to give everything away immediately.
Securing yourself a seat at the table is no mean feat but it comes down to two simple things: investing in yourself and understanding what others want. If you make a consistent effort at both, it’s only a matter of time before your dreams come true.