Why Building A Brand Is Vital To Millennials

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“Building your brand”. It is a phrase we millennials hear often. Why is it important? Do we have to work in sales or business to have a brand? What if we’re not even that ambitious?

It’s ok, I’m not suggesting you must go and create a product otherwise you won’t survive in this big bad career-driven economy. Building your brand is so much more than a product or a service. It should be a natural extension of who you are. Whether you realize it or not, your own tastes and choices form part of your individual “branding”.

As millennials we want to stand out. For those of us who are ambitious and career-driven, it is the only way forward. We unfortunately have no choice thanks to the changing economy. We are the generation that had to get smart quick to survive and create a future for ourselves.

I believe every generation has had to go through a time of “digging deep” and trying to change our own situations for the better, despite dismal circumstances. Our grandparents who lived through wars and a depression learned how to conserve and make-do with what they had, instead of wanting more.

I thought I would share a little about my personal journey and why building a brand has proved to be a life-changing thing for me. Before starting this website and everything attached to it, I was just another TV host. One of those girls who was great on camera, could memorize and write scripts, and could work on a kids show, a sports show, a lifestyle show, a music show etc.

It didn’t exactly make me stand out. I was one of a huge pool of girls who was ready to take on the job but there was nothing special about me, in the eyes of a casting director anyway. I was interchangeable with so many others. So what changed? I found my passion.

Finding your passion and finding what you are good at can be two separate things. In my case it sorta was. I realized my passion was to empower and inspire millennial women through positive media content, and I wanted to produce and share content in one online hub. That’s how GTHQ came about, and in its most original form it was a tumblr blog sharing similar content.

While I still host here and there and plan to do more of that, my brand is what really defined my career and allowed me to have greater focus. I was now a “specialty” host and my focus/expertize was women’s issues, in a positive way that related to my generation.

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I didn’t care as much about my personal notoriety, instead, wanted to be facilitator of the type of content I was producing. I learned very quickly the power of hashtags, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, SEO, blogging, building a community of like-minded women, and networking.

For the first time in my life, instead of having a headshot and a resume as my calling card, I actually created business cards. I designed a logo and bought 1000 cards from Build A Sign who were really easy to use. Their website is very user-friendly, and they can provide professional services in an efficient time. I was really impressed by what they had to offer, and definitely recommend using a site like this as a great starting point for your own personal brand.

They do more than just business cards, by the way, so if your brand involves flyers, signs, merchandise, banners, bumper stickers and more, then look no further. Having my own business cards meant I was “in business”! It was my own official stamp of approval and allowed me to come across as someone who was serious about what I was doing.

I have had some incredible opportunities that would not have happened had I not created my own opportunities through this brand. I think of it as a launch vehicle, or a social identifier amongst the many confusing messages and entities that exist out in the world today.

I have met and become friends with so many amazing women because I put myself out there in a specialized manner. I honestly believe creating a brand helps you focus on your future better. It gave me so much clarity and gave me back the power in my career that I had, for far too long, placed in the hands of casting directors, networks, agents, managers, producers etc.

Building your brand can lead to exciting opportunities that you never thought were possible. Just think of some of the most recognizable brands today: Apple, google, twitter, facebook, canon, pantene, coca-cola, American Apparel, etc. A lot of these brands stood out from the rest and never would’ve been as successful as they are today had they not chosen to stand apart from the rest. Opposition and negativity is part and parcel of creating a successful brand.

If people aren’t criticizing you then you aren’t doing something different. The whole point of building a brand or a platform for yourself is so that you can create your own jobs and opportunities. When people want to work with you or hire you, there will be no competition because you are the only one doing it your way. Think about that as you decide how you want to create a brand which will shape your career, your focus and your future.

Like the saying goes, “If you build it, they will come.”

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8 Comments

  1. Love it! Thanks Asha, You are right, in this modern environment where we are saturated with information and many people offering similar products we have to have a strong presence based on values to stand out! Your mission and work is inspirational to all of us and I’m excited to see this initiative grow to support and empower women and girls to love who they are first.

  2. Asha love this piece! I think it is so true no matter what you are doing it is important to build your personal brand. It not only allows others to better understand who you are, what you stand for and what drives you, but also to give you that laser focus you mentioned, and with it the power to charge ahead making decisions that are aligned with your goals.

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