Why Personal Branding Was A Game Changer For My Business

It was the year 2000 and I was doing what most people in the world are doing. I was working for a big corporation commuting an average of 2 hours every morning and every evening to punch a clock and earn a living. I had a good paying job, worked with good people. I was happy. At the time the life I was living was enough.  

16 years ago party plan companies were all the rage. I mean who didn't love to get together with friends, snack on some yummy finger foods, drink wine and shop for things that you don't really need but love to buy. It was a jewelry party and the consultant made it fun showing us how we could bedazzle our wardrobes with different jewelry looks. 

At the end of the presentation, the consultant started helping us wrap up our orders when something caught my attention. She starting talking about how we could earn extra money sharing jewelry with our own friends and family. My interest was immediately peaked "start my own jewelry business?! Make extra money?!" Maybe it was some long lost entrepreneur spirit buried deep within me or maybe it was the Moscato but I was intrigued!

After a couple of weeks of pondering it over and sweet talking my hubby {honestly I think he got on board just to shut me up about it} I invested $700, A LOT of money for me at that time, to start my own jewelry business and my entrepreneurial journey began but I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into it. What it would take to manage a business and become successful. Sharing my love of jewelry and making some extra mad money for my high end taste in clothes and shoes at that time sounded super easy.

What I quickly learned was that getting friends and family to book parties, buy products and share my enthusiasm for earning extra fun money was not as easy as it was made out to be. The ones who did graciously book parties could not be expected to keep booking parties so I ran through my warm market pretty quickly. I spent the next 8 years trying to figure out how to reach new people while burning some bridges along the way with my spammy sales pitches and amateur marketing tactics. 

A major shift happened in my business when I started following marketers outside of my company. I realized that I had a huge learning curve where the world of marketing and consumer buying habits were concerned. I realized that I had bought into a lot of hype that spreads around the network marketing/direct sales industry. While I firmly believed that it could allow people just like me to retire early, work from home, pay off their mortgages, have a "laptop lifestyle" and be home with their kids {my huge "WHY"} what was slapping me right in the face was the "if it were that easy everyone would be doing it" cold hard reality. 

I began to understand when even my closest friends would not return my phone calls that people were not interested in what I was selling. They didn't care that I wanted to quit my job. They were concerned about their lives and their problems. I began to see how important it was for me to connect with my audience and work to help them, not the other way around. That my business was not about me and as long as I led from that space, I would continue to struggle.  

That led me to a whole new way of doing business. Personal branding and attraction marketing. I researched. I read. I practiced. I opened myself up to new ways of doing things. I implemented. I stopped leading with what I did. I stopped treating every warm body that I met like a prospective customer or business partner. I got back to the basics of building relationships without agenda. I began sharing my other interests and passions. I stopped messaging people that I had never had a conversation with to share my business and instead took genuine interest in them. 

And something magical started to happen. People started asking me more about what I was doing. I started generating more interest in my products and business opportunity. The more I connected with people on a personal level the more interest was sparked in my "WHAT". A whole new world and way of doing business was opened up to me. 

After struggling for eight years to make my business work I could feel everything turning around. I started to understand that I could listen to a company training call and make a decision that if what was being suggested as a way to build my business did not resonate with my core beliefs that I could choose to do things differently. After all it was MY business. I did not have to message 200 people with my link and desperate plea to help me earn my next rank advancement but I could message 200 people to build a relationship and have a genuine heart felt conversation. 

The biggest lesson that I learned: People will not be rushed into making a decision, into buying or making an investment to start a business. There is no instant gratification, "easy money" or "overnight success" in building a business. It takes time, consistency and hard ass old fashioned roll of your sleeves get your hands dirty work.  

So what is a personal brand exactly? The short version is its a combination of a person's experience with you at every touchpoint. Every impression, conversation, social media post, story, phone call, text message contributes to your personal brand and reputation.

You have an existing personal brand. We all do. What does your personal brand currently say about you? People do business with people they like, now and trust. Are you attracting people to YOU, to want to be in your space? Do they find value in knowing you? Are you leveraging your personal brand properly to build trust and funnel a targeted audience into working with you? 

When I learned how to put these pieces together I went from falling flat on my face year after year to earning 6 figures within a 15 month period in my last network marketing company and becoming a full time work from home mom. It completely changed the way I do business leading from the heart instead of the head. I left the direct sales industry in 2014 and never looked back but one thing has never changed, the power my personal brand and marketing myself in a very creative authentic way and the foundation of the strategies I now teach others as a branding and social media strategist. 

Want personal branding to be a #GameChanger in your business? The first step is to have a better understanding of personal branding and how it affects your online marketing game. Download my FREE 32 Page 10 Day Brand Plan How-To Guide. My gift to you. 

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"The brand building process is a marathon that takes time with patience, persistence, consistency and authenticity to deliver on your unique promise of value". Bernard Kelvin Clive

April Williams is a Creative Momista and Soulpreneur of 2 boys + whimsical wavemaker + creative expressive + Texas country girl + branding junkie who loves green mint tea + horses + fuzzy socks + surrounding herself with high achieving amazing women + peppermint anything + the color red + cozy coffee shops. She is a branding strategist for creative women entrepreneurs and founder of Creative Brandista™ . 

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