Whether you’re starting a business or starting the next chapter in your career, branding should be considered. This is especially vital in the age of the internet, social media, and the 24/7 news cycle. Of course, you will find it difficult to achieve real success (or build a business) without understanding what drives and compels you on the most microscopic level. Case in point: Jason Hennessey, CEO of Hennessey Digital.
People know what to expect from Jason Hennessey. How? He lives his personal brand and has been for years. In fact, as an entrepreneur, he has used his personal brand as a stepping stone for his company’s branding. It gave him a North Star to follow during the agency’s founding years. And even now, the Hennessey Digital team remains guided by principles based on their personal brand.
Personal branding advice from Jason Hennessey
What’s the best way to forge a solid personal brand that sets you apart from the rest of the package? Below is some advice from Jason to help you refine your brand.
1. Say it.
You need a branding statement before you can do anything else with your personal brand. This is where the rubber meets the road. Take a pen (or open a document) and write down everything you believe in. Be honest. Don’t write what you think everyone else wants from your personal brand. Just your soul.
If you have ideas on paper (or in digital format), summarize everything in a branding statement, paragraph, or Maybe your own user manual”. Then take the bold step and ask someone you trust to read what you have written. Find out if your first draft sounds like you – or if it just sounds like the person you think you should be. If necessary, go back to the drawing board. It is important that you receive your personal branding statement before proceeding.
2. Live it.
Once you have your statement nailed down, you can use it as a guiding star. For example, one of Jason’s childhood dreams was to own a Lamborghini. Jason Hennessey says, “The desire to buy a high-end sports car became part of my brand. I knew that if I wanted a Lamborghini, I had to work harder, smarter and more creatively than anyone else. ”
Is it any wonder his personal brand is about being the most motivated person in a room? If he doesn’t face new challenges, he won’t live up to his brand.
Of course, there is one caveat here: look before you jump. Before taking any major action, measure those steps against your personal branding statement. This will help you avoid anything that you might regret later on. If what you’re doing right now doesn’t fit your personal brand, proceed with caution. You could be making a big mistake.
3. Share it.
Knowing your personal brand is vital. But it doesn’t get as influential as it could until you start sharing it with others. You can share your personal branding in a number of different ways, such as: on your social media pages or in thought leadership articles. You might even want to write a book about it or start a podcast devoted to some aspect of your brand. Don’t forget that speaking at conferences and other events gives you the perfect platform to talk about your brand.
The more you share, the more people will hear about your brand and maybe be intrigued. They could influence others to build their own brands or buy into yours. Or you could end up Expand your network Include more people who value your brand – and want to make your mission blossom.
4. Measure it.
Jason is a data person, he likes to see numbers because they don’t lie. But can you objectively measure something that is as “soft” as a personal brand? Absolutely. All you need to do is set some brand-related goals. Be specific so that you use them to create key performance indicators (KPIs). In this way, you can use the KPIs to assess whether you are achieving the goal in order to achieve your goals. With certain mileage markers, you will stay on the right track and strengthen the strength of your personal brand.
What is a branded KPI that you can easily measure? Let’s say your personal brand included buying locally sourced seasonal food as often as possible. A KPI could be that 50% of your food comes from nearby farms or agribusiness suppliers over a 12 month period. Every month you can rate what percentage of your food and drink comes from your community. After 12 months you could see how effective you were. You can also update and update your KPIs based on new information.
5. Develop it further.
Are you the same person as you were a year ago? Five years ago? Ten years ago? Nobody is. They will change over time, which means your brand can mature too. This doesn’t mean that you have to reinvent a branding statement every few months. On the flip side, you’ll want to dust it off every now and then to make sure you’re still on target.
Over the decades, Jason has definitely added more elements to his personal brand. Today he is a husband and a parent, which are two important roles. “As a result, I’ve added familial aspects to my personal brand message that weren’t there when I first started my career as a serial entrepreneur,” notes Jason Hennessey.
Once you’ve defined and accepted your brand, there are many ways you can use it to grow personally and professionally. Just make sure you take the process seriously from the start for the greatest of rewards.