Building Brand YOU + A Summer Reading List To Help

“Blue Magic, that’s a brand name, like pepsi. That’s a brand name, I stand behind it, I guarantee it. They know that even if they don’t know me any more than they know the chairman of General Mills”

Frank Lucas was a man about his brand. He may have been hustling drugs, but his business acumen was second to none. For many of us recent college grads, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out in a crowd, when everyone is looking for the same thing. Jobs seem to be few and far between for those of us interested in building a career in entertainment. For that reason… more and more people are creating their own opportunities to shine.

Need examples? Let’s start with super blogger Necole Bitchie. She’s built her brand from the bottom up, and is now one of the most respected sources for urban news/gossip. In addition to her award winning blog (which currently rakes in over 750K views per month) she’s developed a secondary lifestyle site/magazine, a personal blog, a clothing line, and parlayed all of this into television appearances, including being the first blogger ever to be featured on 106 & Park.

I’m sure you can come up with a few other people who have created amazing personal brands, like Oprah, Tony Hawk, Michael Jordan, and… Kim Kardashian. Whether we like them or not, their names have become synonymous with certain words, and in each of their fields, they are specialists. We all have the power to do the same, and you don’t have to have 7 million twitter followers to do it.

Building a viable brand is the key to setting yourself apart from the crowd. How do we do this? Find a way to highlight your strengths. I’ve been working through the list of 14 questions below as I begin to reassess my brand as a blogger/correspondent, and it’s helped me greatly. Check it out:

What is my passion?

What is my purpose?

Am I unique?

What am I already known for?

Am I influential?

Can I gain influence?

How am I perceived?

Can I alter the perception of me?

What makes me authentic?

What is my vision for me?

What is my mission?

What does my brand say about me?

What do I want my brand to say about me?

What am I doing to strengthen my brand?

Finally…you should check out my Summer Reading list. I’m reading through these marketing and branding books, and you should join me:

  1. The Brand Called You – Peter Montoya
  2. Chasing Cool: Standing Out In Today’s Cluttered Marketplace – Noah Kerner & Gene Pressman
  3. The Millionaire Next Door – Thomas J. Stanley & William Danko
  4. Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands – Kevin Roberts
  5. The Mocha Manual: Turning Your Passion Into Profit – Kimberly Seals – Allers
I’m excited to hear your stories. Please let me know why you think branding is important…or some of your favorite brands. 
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