On January 23rd, the Her Agenda INSIDERS hosted Jessica Zweig, CEO & Founder of SimplyBe., a premier personal branding company based in Chicago. Jessica is a branding expert, so we wanted to know first-hand what it takes to build a successful brand as well as any entrepreneurial tips she could offer!
On the first step in building a personal brand:
“First thing is first, you have to understand your MESSAGE. Branding is an exercise in clarity, so this is about getting razor sharp with your brand story. Less is more. Ask yourself – what would my slogan be? Nike is “Just do it.” What’s yours? This can be a statement, a phrase, a single word, a series of words or even a question. This is about getting people to remember you, and associate you with something specific, ALWAYS. This is how you scale your memorability, which empowers you to become the “go to” person in your space. This is always step #1”
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Jessica on finding your superpower:
“Identify three to five people who know you the best. Ideally this is a mix of professional and personal relationships. Think about your mentor, your boss, your best clients, your closest colleagues, your best friend and / or partner. Ask them all the same question. “What is my unique, intrinsic value?” I recommend sending this to them via email and have them write back their answers. Collect them all–this is your “data”–and print out your responses. Circle the key words, commonalities, common themes and cohesive ideas.”
Here’s a statement that resonated with many of our INSIDERS:
“It is in my expert opinion that your personal brand should not be different from your professional one. They should be one in the same. Why? For a few reasons. First of all, people do business with PEOPLE. I believe we are all starving for humanity, connection and authenticity – in life, but ESPECIALLY in work. Bringing your full, true self to your business is a secret sauce to attracting the people you want to work with. People want to do business with people they feel like they know, like and trust. So sharing your humanity is a strategy. There is a fine line in oversharing, or exposing parts of your personal life that are either sacred or inappropriate. I always say when it comes to posting things online, if it’s not something you would want your client or your boss to see, then it’s probably not appropriate for anyone to see…”
Jessica on entrepreneurship:
“I think the most important thing to remember is if being an entrepreneur was easy, everyone would do it. Meaning…it’s hard. Working for yourself requires ALL of you and it’s a huge commitment of not just time, but energy. I also recommend getting super clear on your WHY before you go into it because while you don’t have to answer to anybody when you work for yourself, you DO have to answer to EVERYBODY. This is a very real thing.”
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