PR is PR right? Nope. Even the pros need help making the transition from working publicity for a company and building their own personal brand. Amanda Miller Littlejohn has created a introductory lesson — The Branding Box — that offers a step-by-step plan for developing a personal branding image.
Littlejohn began her career working with businesses, organizations and nonprofits and was often asked to share her thoughts on social media best practices. Soon, she was doing webinars and participating in other similar speaking opportunities. She was also meeting with people individually to talk over some of these topics one-on-one over coffee.
“I started doing these 90-minute sessions for a couple hundred dollars, by phone,” Littlejohn told us during a phone interview. She would offer her students, many of them with little-to-no experience in PR, worksheets for further practice.
“After I did dozens of these, I started hearing myself saying the same thing,” she continued. “I felt like, ‘Why don’t I put this in a package?'” The Branding Box includes an audio CD along with reading materials and other items. In its first year, she’s managed to make “a strong five figures” on the product.
The package also provides a “foundation” for people who want to continue working with her. Littlejohn’s typical client is someone who has a job in PR but wants to get that big promotion, launch a speaking career, become a career coach, or any number of other avenues that a PR career affords.
While, of course, Littlejohn would encourage you to go ahead and purchase a box of your own, she offered a little taste of how one should approach personal brand creation.
“Understand what you’re passionate about.” When you think in those terms, it’s less about being the “best person for the job” and more about “How can I help?”
Be confident about your expertise. “We’re suffering an epidemic of modesty,” says Littlejohn. “I find clients I work with have a problem boldly proclaiming what they’re good at.” This, she says, is the first thing the box covers.
Step out of the shadows. PR is a practice that’s meant to be done from the background; practitioners aren’t meant to drive attention to themselves or their efforts. But if you’re building your personal brand, it has to be different. So get used to being the center of attention.
Below is a further introduction to The Branding Box.