Why Your Personal Brand Matters | #lessonsfromPrincetonReunions

rana campbell personal brand

June 2, 2014 • Behind the Brand, Branding, Life Tips

I didn’t realize that so many people were seeing what I was doing until…..

This past weekend, I attended my first Princeton Reunions as an alum.

princeton reunions 2014

The View from the 2014 P-Rade

Although I was sick (coming off a high fever, dealing with allergies, a sore throat, and more nonsensical ailments….), I managed to have a great time and see LOADS of my classmates that I haven’t see in over a year.

There’s one thing that kept happening every time I saw someone I knew.

Here’s how an encounter with someone would look like:

Me: HEYYY, ______!

Person: HEY, RANA!!

(hugs, screams, etc.)

Person: I’ve been seeing you and all your posting! Keep it up!

(Another variation) Huff Postin’ it, I see! 

(Another iteration) Omg, I read all of your blog posts! LOVE THEM!

(Another version) Keep writing. How do you do it? I wish I had the time to do stuff like that!

(Another version) So are you doing this branding stuff full-time?

(Another) I LOVE YOUR WEBSITE.

(+1) I see you, girl! Congrats!

…….and the versions continue.

Most of the people I spoke with commented on something to do with what I’ve been positing on my Facebook concerning my blogging, branding , and website happenings.

Guess how that made me feel?

Fantastic!

Although I know I can be pretty annoying when it comes to the posting, I now know (for a fact) that people are seeing what I’m doing, and most importantly, remembering. I even have people who “read everything I post.”

That means….I have fans!  WOO-HOO!

Who doesn’t like having fans?

But even more important than that, people are beginning to associate me (Rana Campbell) with a distinct personal brand without me having to do any prompting whatsoever.

Do you remember a few months ago when I posted How to Figure Out Your Personal Brand?

In it, I said the following:

To know if you’ve discovered your brand, you need to make this equation equal: Your self-impression = How people perceive you

Part of the whole branding process involves having checks and evaluations. One year ago, when I was getting ready to graduate from Princeton, NO ONE was coming up to me saying any of this stuff. I thought of myself as someone who was interested in writing, branding, and all that good stuff, but surely the outside world wasn’t perceiving me as mover and shaker in the worlds that I wanted to be part of.

Do you see how much can change for you in a year if you commit to a cause? If you put in the work? If you relentlessly put yourself out there and let people know what it is that you’re doing and what you want to do?

Your personal brand matters because it’s a direct reflection of how others perceive you. 

If you didn’t know, perception runs the world.

rana campbell personal brand

Here’s what YOU can take away from this:

1. Keep being persistent with your updates. Who cares if people find you annoying?  As long as your aren’t overly overwhelming, keep on posting things that you are doing on your social media. MAKE A SPLASH. Let people know what you are doing (or what you want to be doing.)  Be positive and people will respond positively. Whatever you do, don’t resort to whining. That’s your ticket to getting an “unfollow” or “un-friending.” And if people have anything negative to say about it, especially as a young person who is just in the beginning of your career and when this stuff is especially important, ignore what they have to say if it isn’t constructive.

2. Everything Takes Time. No one is an overnight success. The biggest empires weren’t built overnight. In just one year, I have learned so much about personal branding and this whole blogging world. I can only learn more. I’m reveling in how much I am uncovering each day. Patience, my dear readers. Imagine if you got extremely successful at this very moment. Would you even know how to handle it? When the fruit ripens, it’s much sweeter.

3.  A “big name” under your belt is  worth something. Now that I’ve been published on Huffington Post, I think that my street cred has gone up just a little. People see that I’m not just Rana blogging from my living room, but that I am actively pursuing media outlets with power and prestige to spread my message. This matters. Keep on building connections with other outlets (or brands) that can help you spread your message to more readers. Make sure the brands you are connecting with align with your brand.

4. Self promotion is not NARCISSISM (if you do it right).  Some people don’t like talking about themselves because they don’t want to be seen as “narcissistic” or “selfish”. YOU have to be your best SALESPERSON/SPOKESPERSON, especially when you’re just starting out.  So get over that “I don’t want to brag” phase and start bragging about your accomplishments (in a good way!). Let the world see all the good you are doing.

5. Never be too mighty to say THANK YOU. Thank you to everyone who has supported me over the past year. I truly appreciate it and I am looking forward to this new year of growth. Thanks to all my friends (and supporters) who spread such positivity to me this past weekend at Princeton Reunions. You warmed my heart and kept my heart pumping!

6. Take time to GIVE BACK. Within the last few weeks, I have been approached by several individuals to help out on some projects. One graduate student wanted to interview me for her senior thesis on branding. A women’s entrepreneurship podcast reached out to me to feature me.  An organization that runs a weekly Teen Talk is having me speak on their show to help encourage  youth.  Did I have to say yes to any of these people? Nope. But I chose to because it was the right thing to do and because I WANTED TO. So many people have helped me along my path to success. I want to make it part of my mission to give back whenever I can.

So there, your personal brand matters because it’s how people perceive you. It shapes how people talk about you, how opportunities comes your way, and so much more. Take the time to invest in building it. Trust me, a strong personal brand is the foundation to a strong and successful YOU!

Got any questions? Send me an email at rana@ranacampbell.com. I love hearing from (and responding to) my readers!

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Rana Campbell is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Ranacampbell.com, a site dedicated to personal branding and helping people learn how to SHINE in their personal and professional lives.

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  • Wanda Grace

    Rana, this was really good….! Congrats on everything.