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Building a Personal Brand Takes Work (Notes from Someone That ISN’T a Professional Marketer)

Sometimes I get a little annoyed when I someone tells me, “You’re so lucky; everyone knows who you are.”

Lucky? Hah, not a chance, and the more accurate statement would be, “You’ve worked so hard, it’s great that what you’re doing is getting you lots of visibility.”

I own an Allstate agency and with more than 9,000 agencies and an extensive advertising campaign, I think it is fair to say that Allstate has great brand recognition.

But, Christina Shaw, not so much.

About 18 months ago, I decided I need to change that up, and build my personal brand and associated recognition in the marketplace.

Fact: it wasn’t luck, it wasn’t easy, it didn’t happen overnight, and it is still a work in progress.

Here are some of the things that I did to build my personal brand and gain increased visibility. Could these work for you?

1. As a local Allstate agency owner, I want to be certain that people in my community know who I am and what I stand for, over and apart from the Allstate brand. That means I look for opportunities to participate in local events and fundraisers, and sponsor those for which I am passionate. I involve my two young girls as much as possible, and we consistently “give back” as much as we can.

2. I have an Allstate site; however, I think it is important to have a personal site as well. My website provides a platform for me to write about a diversity of topics other than insurance, including family, travel, time management, and gratitude. And yes, I include some insurance-related topics, as well.

3. I’ve made it a point to be more “put there” and by that, I mean doing several things, including:

· Posting regularly on social media, including videos, photos, and content

· Writing a weekly blog and repurposing the content on social media

· Doing podcasts and speaking engagements

· Collaborating and offering programs to the real estate industry

· Networking and being a proactive “giver”

4. I’ve sourced resources that can assist me in many of these endeavors where I need their expertise since my main business isn’t marketing and branding, writing or graphic design. I’ve learned quite a bit about each of these things, but I know when I am over my head, and I am comfortable calling in experts that can provide what I need.

All these things have helped me to be visible and to showcase who I am, my skills and expertise, and what I stand for. As I said at the beginning of the post, these endeavors take time. You can’t build a brand overnight and you must be patient.

For that, I have all the time in the world.

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