Doesn’t matter where you stand right now. Just put it out there and you will learn how to perfect it as it grows! You are always in time to move forward or come back and fix it, after all it’s your personal branding, right?
I am a formally educated biologist who was always obsessed with a little of everything regarding creative subjects. A bit of photography and a whole lot of copywriting and social media. All roads lead to advertising and my skills in this domain contoured in time either by self-education or by taking countless classes on the subjects that I had an interest in.
Why do people experience impostor syndrom?
Knowing that in science, my first chosen domain, I reached as far as doing my PhD, I started fighting with an inner voice called imposter syndrome, which was telling me that I never aimed to reach that far education-wise in marketing. This hot mess of harmfulness made me struggle quite some time with my definition of competence while also making me believe that success was rarely satisfying because I always thought that I could have done better.
After a few years of learning a bit from everything regarding digital marketing, in 2016, I chose to perfect my skills in social media strategy. As I kept gathering more knowledge in this domain, I also wanted to share some tips and tricks with my friends, who owned small businesses. Every time I started talking about the importance of exposure and making as much noise as possible, I was greeted with a hard “no”. Back then, I didn’t yet understand why I couldn’t manage to drive my friends into personal branding.
I then realized that maybe I wasn’t the only one dealing with imposter syndrome-related problems. Public enemy number one in personal branding is fear, which actually ends up blocking our evolution. We fear putting ourselves out there. But what do we really fear? Well…being judged by others! I’m not saying this isn’t a valid fear, but guess what? This is something that can’t be avoided, and it will happen to us no matter what we do.
Truth is, there will never be a "perfect time" for personal branding.
And most probably your work will never be flawless.
The sooner you’re able to accept these things, the better off you’ll be. By becoming more accustomed to internal validation, you will acknowledge by yourself how competent and skilled you really are.
A few years ago, I held a public speech about the importance of personal branding on social media. Most of the participants were photographers and graphic designers who told me at the beginning of the meeting, that they feel that personal branding is needed only if the work is not good enough to speak by itself. But really, how can it do that if the world doesn’t know your work?
Expertness isn’t semantic-based. It’s action-based!
Create your audience, show up and make noise as much as possible. No one will be an evangelist of your work if you don’t put yourself out there first. Personal branding is all about putting yourself out there.
And also… stop comparing yourself to others, embrace your voice, own it and share it! The easiest way to develop the confidence to show yourself is to share your own unique experience. No one knows yourself better than well….you! So why not talk about what you know best?
Even if it sounds vain, it doesn’t make it less true – growing your digital media distribution helps you lead. Contrary to popular belief, personal branding is for everyone and marketing is our friend.
Investing time in personal branding is directly proportionate with investing in your career! When you achieve success with your brand, people recognize you as a specialist in your field. That’s how you build trust and bring value to your audience.
Discover what makes you fascinating and share it with the world!
Think about who you are. The core of your brand is the person you are! Nurture what you do, nurture your authenticity, and put it out there! Jump in feet first! Authenticity doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel. It means staying true to yourself! When you are authentic, you are yourself, you match what you preach, and you are genuine to your audience and that is the definition of personal branding.
OANA CORINA JELEA
The Big Cheese know-it-all
Find her on LinkedIn, Instagram and oanacorina.com