Growth and happiness lie in the fear of the unknown. It's scary—frankly terrifying at times—putting ourselves out there and trying something new. Whether it's moving away from your hometown for college, starting a new job, or considering a new hair style, it's difficult to push ourselves out of our comfort zones and try something new. We're often scared of the risk it takes or the judgment we might face for it. For me, launching my personal brand is the most recent thing I was scared to do.
Part of me was hyper focused on crossing all of my T's and dotting all of my I's. I thought every single box had to be checked before launching my personal brand so that it was "perfect" from the very beginning. I believed I needed to say the right words, use the perfect platform, and showcase myself or my work flawlessly. For months, I spent more time worrying about how neat and perfect everything needed to be before I started that I never got around to actually starting. I thought I needed to have an entire brand kit and marketing strategy put together before I started posting; I thought I needed to know exactly what my personal brand is before posting rather than exploring as I go.
For months, I debated launching @BayLeighCreates on Instagram because I wanted my Instagram grid to be jaw-droppingly pretty. I thought I needed to have my ducks (aka content pillars) all in a row before I could start. For months, I debated posting regularly on LinkedIn because I didn't think I was professional enough or an expert on anything. Why would someone want to hear my marketing insight or ideas? I didn't think my input or interests were valuable. Why would anyone want to read my post that isn't related to my career? Because of that, I worried about what everyone else would think and spent months overanalyzing what I should do to build my personal brand.
In the past, I’ve gotten a sudden boost of confidence and published a post on my LinkedIn, but within a few minutes I’d get a rush of anxiety and delete it because I’m afraid of judgment. Instead of having fun, sharing my interests, and connecting with others, I’ve spent months overthinking what I’m “supposed to do” on LinkedIn. I recognize that building a personal brand is important no matter what you’re future goals are or what stage you’re at professionally right now. For that reason, I’m ready to shake off the doubt! So, here’s to building my confidence and growing my personal brand!
What I've realized over the last couple of months is that I learn the most when I'm actively working on the project. I have the most creativity when I thrust myself into my work. At the beginning, my Instagram grid may not have been that aesthetically pleasing. My content on @BayLeighCreates may have been scattered at first, but over time, I found a "rhythm" for a posting schedule. As I continued to post every week, I discovered more about my interests and goals with the account as well as how they connect with content pillars.
What it took for me to learn this is taking initiative to simply start posting. Despite what I thought, I didn't need to have every little element planned out. I didn't have to be as talented as other Instagrammers and marketers who've been posting for a lot longer. My personal brand didn't have to be as polished as others. I just needed to push myself to try. Once I took the leap, I recognized how much we truly learn by actually doing it rather than spending all of my time planning. When I made my Instagram and started posting more on LinkedIn without as much insecurity, I learned what direction I wanted to take and how I wanted to build my personal brand.
For me, I realized the most fun comes from simply being creative and trying new social media resources. I've enjoyed learning how to use Instagram in a marketing sense. I've enjoyed posting about my ideas and interests on LinkedIn because I've focused simply on having fun rather than what others might think. Moving forward, I plan to focus on simply having fun. I intend to be more active on social media as digital marketer and content strategist so I can learn. Building my personal brand on social media is the best way for me to grow as a marketing specialist, and I look forward to connecting with other passionate creatives.
If you’re in the same boat as me, what’s been you’re favorite part about building your personal brand whether it's on LinkedIn, Instagram, or another social media platform?