The inaugural How I Built My Brand event series in partnership with Breather, kicked off in the heart of Manhattan to a packed room of female entrepreneurs. CNBC Make it reporter, Courtney Connley shared insights on building a personal brand based on her unique perspective as a professional storyteller.
Courtney has worked for several media outlets including NBC Washington, Cosmopolitan, Global Grind and Black Enterprise. In addition to writing stories covering careers, finance, entrepreneurship, she has interviewed some of today’s most prominent entertainers, politicians and business leaders, including Colin Powell, T.D. Jakes, Kerry Washington, Kelly Rowland and more.
Tips on Building a Personal Brand
Just Do It
Don’t focus on perfectionism, it prevents you from moving forward. You don’t need a fancy website or 10,000 followers to get started. Get your product or service out there, then perfect it from there. Your brand will develop over time, so long as you keep taking action.
Without mentors I would not be where I am today. Being connected to the right people is key. You can be the most talented person in your industry, but if no-one knows who you are or what you do, you won’t get far. I have proactively taken the time to connect with people I admire, who can guide and help shape my career.
Trust the Process
When I felt I wasn’t getting the internships I wanted, I’d get upset. But in the end it always works out. I wasn’t ready for a lot of the opportunities I was chasing 5 years ago. Social media makes it hard to trust your timing because we often get caught up comparing ourselves to people – it’s important to be self aware.
Share Your Story
As an entrepreneur, you must be able to articulate why you do what you do. People are afraid to talk about their mistakes but that’s what make each of us unique. What did you learn? What advice got you from A to B? There maybe someone who can benefit from the challenges you’ve overcome so don’t hide them.
Do Your Research
If there’s a media outlet you want to be featured in, figure out why before pitching the reporter. It’s not enough to just ‘like’ the magazine. Whose articles are you interested in and for what reason? Know why you’re pitching.
CNBC Make It’s Mission
At CNBC Make It, we aim to educate younger people on how to earn, spend and save their money through covering business, entrepreneurship and leadership. We do feature traditional figures like Bill Gates and Mark Cuban, but we also love to highlight untold stories to add a fresh perspective.