For a long time, I’ve struggled a lot with the concept of personal branding. Most days, I have to deal with imposter syndrome and I’m pretty much an anti-social who hates sharing on the internet.
At the moment, personal branding is the name of the game. Especially if you want to scale your business and land your dream job. While the traditional way of growing a faceless brand or landing a solid job without a strong LinkedIn presence is still very much valid, it is more difficult. As time goes on, it will only become more difficult.
For the past few months, I’ve come to the realization that I have to build a personal brand, particularly on LinkedIn. It was so hard that I gave myself all sorts of excuses. This kicked off an internal battle of sorts;
What do I know?
I don’t know enough.
I’m not good enough.
Will anybody listen to me?
How will I put myself out there?
Who’s watching me?
These and more are some of the internal battles I’ve had to deal with recently. But it got to a point that I had to question myself so I asked;
What exactly are you afraid of?
Without too much thought, I logged into my LinkedIn account and tried to confront what exactly was holding me back. Then I realized that it was my connections.
At about six weeks ago, I had about 4000+ connections because my goal at some point was quantity as opposed to quality. I figured I could just stack up my connections and use them when an opportunity or situation arose. But here I was at this stage of my life, regretting that single decision I made a few years ago.
My feed suddenly felt cluttered and disingenuous like someone said, a professional Instagram. I did not like what I was seeing as I realized at some point that this explained my hesitation to build a personal brand. I felt surrounded and in a sense, ‘claustrophobic’ by 4000 people. But I needed to get over this fast so I went into action.
The first thing I needed to do was a thorough spring cleaning. I figured if I had fewer people on my feed, maybe the situation would be a bit bearable and I would have more confidence to build a personal brand.
Initially, I felt bad about removing people from my connections but then as time went on I realized that these people weren’t even solid quality connections, to begin with. A lot of them were literally a bunch of random people I forgot I added into my network. So, I started removing them as they came on my feed one by one.
Suddenly, the quality of content on my feed began to improve. Before now, my feed wasn’t all that inspiring. Again, it was full of sorts of random content. So, I removed old connections, I began to add new ones who create and post quality niche content regardless of their job description regularly. Turns out, a lot of them are marketers who also want to build their personal brand. Hence, they’re all putting their best foot forward.
This has been an ongoing process for the past six weeks and I’m so glad about the process I’ve made so far. Who knew cleaning out my feed would give me the confidence and motivation to post content and engage with people? I’m even thinking of shooting videos and starting a podcast too. That’s how much progress I’ve made so far.
Are there days when imposter syndrome creeps in on me and I delay a post for days until I’m in the right frame of mind? Absolutely! But I’m determined to rise about it all by creating a content strategy and being consistent.
You might be wondering,
As a content and social media strategist, shouldn’t you know how ALL the platforms work?
Yes, I do, to an extent. But the thing is, if you don’t major in certain platforms and use them daily, you might not really understand them as well. I do not claim to be a Jack of All Trades neither do I want to be one. I don’t even know how TikTok works. I’d rather be a specialist than a generalist. So, I major in the three major platforms for B2C/D2C brands: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
I’m looking forward to building a solid personal brand and documenting the journey as well. In the meantime, catch up on my healthy lifestyle journey.