I want to share insights about personal branding from an entrepreneur’s perspective. My name is Kiki, and I am the founder of New Media Ghost. This is my personal branding journey.
I established New Media Ghost in 2017. My focus was on what I knew best – personal branding. There was no problem to solve in my mind, it was just to help those who didn’t know much about personal branding. I didn’t even know what it was called until someone asked me to help them!
I worked closely under CEOs, acting as their marketing lead in my previous roles. In those early days, before social media’s current dominance, LinkedIn catered mainly to elite job seekers. I added my bosses profile onto LinkedIn to get them seen and to help sell their businesses, which they did successfully. I’m not saying it was because they were online, but I’m sure building their online brand had an impact to searchers.
Soon, my expertise on LinkedIn became well-known. My friend Naeem even dubbed me the “LinkedIn guru.” The demand grew, and I began offering courses. These courses taught the basics, helping sales professionals refine their online presence and engagement. As I continued to learn more about LinkedIn and its uses, I guided others with their online personalities effectively.
Never a fan of Facebook, I continued to learn more about people’s view and values and what they wanted to be known or seen as. And so New Media Ghost was born.
I took a hands-on approach, helping individuals in showcasing their true selves online. Their story, their look, and their voice. Soon enough they were receiving messages from like-minded people to connect. Unlike today, where new connections often lead to immediate sales pitches, it was a time for genuine connections and mutual learning. I wonder how many here will remember LinkedIn in its infancy.
Personal Brand For Executives
Before I knew it, I was shaping the personal brands of executives. I didn’t just handle messaging for my clients; I revamped their profiles, making them influential voices in their fields. My skills expanded beyond messaging. I began drafting content and optimising search results to elevate both individual and business online presences. I realised a personal brand isn’t just about individual identity. It seamlessly blends into one’s business, as I’ve seen with my clients.
With this in mind I started to become the ‘ghost writer’ on behalf of executives and business leaders. My first one being in California for a Family Office, and so the business just grew from referrals.
So why didn’t I just keep going you may ask?
I was limited on the number of business leaders I could help because there was just me. Running several social media accounts, growing profiles online, being a voice on behalf of them and they all had their own tone of voice, character, and authentic self, which I had the pleasure of working on behalf of. I quickly learned that
1. It was exhausting moving from one personality to another and moving platforms. LinkedIn to Twitter to Facebook just to get out their message. I couldn’t continue this alone.
2. I had a personality questionnaire, which was confidential and something I couldn’t share with others. This also meant that I couldn’t ask for someone else to assist.
3. Business growth was an issue as I was limited in how many people I could help.
Here comes the ‘New Media’ – in full force. Whilst I transitioned from a fully fledged personal brand marketer, offering assistance to the leaders of businesses, I lost myself. Remember, back then it wasn’t even a thing. So I focused more on the other aspects of my marketing skill set, such as creating online content for businesses and getting them up on search engines, which I still like doing very much.
Losing Your Status
However, my ‘LinkedIn guru’ title had been stripped as more new kids came on the block offering personal brand marketing. A lesson learned is if you’re good at something keep doing it better and keep at it. I still have the opportunity to work with clients on their personal brand thankfully. It’s just about sharing my knowledge with others to build their own brand. So, if you’re trying to grow your personal brand, give me a shout. I no longer have a hefty questionnaire like I did back then, however I will definitely take the time to know you.
As you now know from my story this is when New Media Ghost was born. There’s another whole story about New Media Ghost and the brand name. But we will come to that in another post if you’re interested. And if you want to give it a go yourself, stick around. There are a number of posts on this site with tips and tricks for building your personal brand.
Lessons I Learned
Every day brings new lessons, and I genuinely cherish the learning experience. Throughout my personal brand journey, three pivotal insights have stood out:
- I should have continued with helping others with their personal brand journey and not pivoted away so much.
- It’s okay to come across as an extrovert but silently inside I am in introvert. It might come as a surprise to those who think they know me well!
- To address the above insights, I’ve recognised the importance of maintaining consistency in my personal brand.
The bottom line is, building your personal brand is about being your authentic self. We should be transparent and true to ourselves, showcasing our real journey, struggles, and successes.
My Personal Brand
I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’m learning after all these years that I need to focus on getting in front of prospects and stakeholders. I’ve neglected my personal brand, struggling to gain visibility. Today I think I should’ve moved further forward in what I love doing – this business. But like some of the clients I have got to work with and still do, my fears are as real as theirs. I just want to get my head down do my work and help them accelerate. If you’re an entrepreneur or anyone that this resonates with, give it a go. We need to get uncomfortable a bit to get ourselves out there.
Building relationships through personal interactions, rather than mere business transactions, is powerful and rewarding. It addresses individual desires and needs. Remarkably, 98% of my growth has come from word of mouth and referrals. The remaining 2%? An introduction to businesses seeking my expertise. After a brief conversation and showcasing my skills, we started working together.
I feel grateful for the clients I have, the people I’ve met, learned from and keep learning from. Today, is the first time I have written something personal about myself. When I read this post back there were typo’s, but I have stopped worrying, fixed them and moved along. So thank you, thank you if you’ve made it this far reading. But, most importantly I hope this has been useful for you and for me. I hope to get better with my personal brand instead of shying away.
Feel free to reach out if you want to have a chat about your personal brand. Thank you for being here and do connect with me on LinkedIn.