I have been asked by a lot of people on how I became “The Man With Contacts” and to be honest even I don’t remember. It’s something that people around me started calling me and the name stuck. It was after a few years I understood how important personal brand building is and I started to focus more on the tag that people around me had bestowed upon me.
This guide will help you understand how I built my personal brand and what you would have to do to create your own.
I started being The Man with Contacts after 2013. The period from 2012–2013 were my formative years where I focussed on networking and gaining experience. I won’t lie, it took me a lot of time to build myself into a brand. The effects and tribunals of 2012–2013 started to pay off in 2016 onwards when a lot of opportunities came my way just because I was well connected to a lot of people and everyone wanted to use my network for their business.
You need to network hard and network all the time. Take networking as a full-time job, choose a vertical you want to be known in and find the influencers in that vertical and connect with them.
Start small. Connect with people who are just starting off in that particular vertical and help them out.
“We only have what we give.”
― Isabel Allende
The more you help people, the better your own credibility will become. You will also learn on the way.
I did exactly that. I did internships to network better and faster. I didn’t ask to get paid, I was getting paid in long-term with the network I would make.
Which is what happened eventually, I worked hard and networked harder. I built relations with my clients and within my team, most of them have reached high places in big startups or companies, some of them have started up on their own. Big plus? They still remember me.
2. Be active on Social Media
The most active wins!
So you have started to network and you are building your circuit well. How to do you keep your audience engaged and give them value?
Well, share! Sharing is caring and the best way to share is through social media.
Understand how each social media works:
LinkedIn: Share your learnings and experiences here
Facebook: Share what you have done with your network. Ask for help or offer help here.
Twitter: Give out your opinions here.
I’m leaving out Instagram here for now.
Now that you understand where to share what, get started! Share and connect with like-minded people. This would help you establish yourself in your circles and people would get to know that you are from a particular niche or vertical.
Content is king!
Content is king! It holds true while making a personal brand as well.
Look at Gary Vaynerchuk, he built his whole personal brand on the content that he was generating.
One you have networked well, you have gained experience, now it’s time to share what you have learned. How do you do that? Well, divide your experience into bite-sized content that can be consumed one at a time. Share it on your social media handles and over time you’ll see your following increasing. Be truthful, don’t copy content. Copied content doesn’t go well with people. Your content should be yours.
So you have done so much? Rinse and Repeat and see your following grow. What’s next?