It Only Takes a Seed: 7 Fundamental Steps to Build Your Personal Brand

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It Only Takes a Seed: 7 Fundamental Steps to Build Your Personal Brand | Social Media TodayWelcome to the digital age of marketing where you are the brand. You can run and hide but you can’t escape the need to build your personal brand.

We all know people buy from people.  People also tweet with other people. They connect on LinkedIn with other people. They live video stream, Instagram and SnapChat with other people as well.

When a new potential client contacts us to do business, the first place go to learn about them is the internet. We will start with a Google, Facebook or Twitter search. We then immediately click through to LinkedIn.

In a matter of seconds we can find out who the person is and if they are who they said they are in the contact form. We can find out where they work now and where they have worked the past 10 – 20 years. We will within seconds know if they have a blog, if they have kids, where they went to school and the list goes on.

Yes, you may be sitting there reading this and think… “Pam,  you will never know that about me because I will never post all of that information.”

I want to ask you why? Why would you not want me to find out the best information about you? Why not ensure your digital persona is a true representation of who you really are?

It is becoming a requirement , not an option to develop your personal brand. If you want to be trusted and rise above the noise you must connect with people as a human being, not just a logo.

Building your personal brand doesn’t happen by jumping on Facebook or creating a fancy Twitter background or highly edited profile photo of yourself.

You don’t build your personal brand in minutes or hours. You build your personal brand over days, weeks, months and years. You must earn trust, establish credibility and authority.

You must know who you are. You must know who your audience is and how you can serve them.

Even if you are just getting started online, it is important you start somewhere. It only takes a seed. it’s how you nurture your personal brand that will bring success.

Take a listen to episode 147 of the Social Zoom Factor podcast for 7 fundamental steps to build your personal brand.

In this 23 minute podcast you will learn: 

  • 7 fundamental steps to build your personal brand
  • How to determine your personal branding goals
  • Why YOU are your brand!
  • How to develop your own personal branding strategy
  • Why you must be self aware of your strengths and weaknesses
  • Why personal branding is a requirement, not an option
  • Why you must stop excuses and start building your personal brand today
  • The difference between authenticity and transparency
  • Why you must know who you are and what you stand for
  • Why you must know your audience and what they need from you
  • How to be aware of your digital body language

Resources mentioned: 

How to Subscribe to Social Zoom Factor Podcast 

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The frustrating, no-win “Goldilocks Zone” of seed deals

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There is so much cruel irony to the startup game.

Unless you are one of the five to ten companies that just explodes with usage and hype, the easiest money you will ever raise is your seed round. And in recent years, all kinds of hacks, trends, and innovations —  accelerators, series seed rounds, convertible notes, seed funds, AngelList — have come into being to make that process of early cash in the door quicker, cheaper, and easier than ever before.

Woo hoo! Move even faster and break even more things, right?

Maybe not.

Even though the seed round is a time when many entrepreneurs can move the fastest, it doesn’t mean it’s a great idea. From Series A on, the startup world is so intensely competitive that the seed round– when you have nothing to show, no data, and nothing to lose– is when you could make some of the biggest mistakes that could tank your company in the long run. It’s also when you have the most optionality to avoid making those mistakes. Once you hit A, it all changes. In markets like Silicon Valley, if you are remotely connected with a remotely good idea, you’ll never have more options than you do at your seed round. (It’s the exact opposite in cities with more nascent ecosystems, where investors want to back companies with real revenues and not ideas.)

That’s fucked up, because some of the best companies are started by entrepreneurs who just don’t know any better, don’t have huge piles of cash from previous wins, and just want to get money in the door to start building.

The latest wisdom on the subject comes from CB Insights. They’ve looked at the data anew and essentially reversed a conclusion they came to in 2013 about whether or not entrepreneurs should raise seed money from VCs.

The debate has to do with the so-called “signalling risk” of raising seed money from prominent VCs. TL;DR version: Large VC firms may do lots of seed deals but each partner will only do one to two Series A deals a year. So basic math tells you it’s a game of survivor. Most of the seed deals will not get a Series A from that firm. The concern is if you don’t quite make the cut, is the signal so bad to other VCs that you are worse off than if you never raised that, say, $ 200k from a big name VC to begin with?

Some VCs have told me that they have absolutely passed on companies because of these signals. Others have told me it’s wildly overstated and that VCs cite a negative signal from another VC in order to let a startup down gently, essentially passing the buck on why they didn’t invest, instead of just saying no.

Back in 2013, CB Insights studied this and found that startups taking seed money from VC firms were more likely to raise a Series A. In other words, they called bullshit on the whole signalling thing. The problem with that theory is that there are so many anecdotal accounts from VCs saying the opposite. In fact, several big VC firms were backing away from seed altogether, acknowledging they may have done more harm than good.

So CB Insights looked at the data again– only in a different way…

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