Let me be upfront an honest with you about my personal brand. 2019 was hard work like every other year but they were all positive challenges. To set the scene let me take you back 4-5 years..
Why I started my personal brand as ResearchGeek?
4-5 years ago I was looking at my CV and I also looked at someone else’s who wanted to go into the same type of industry (market research). I will never forget what my CV looked like 4-5 years ago. It looked completely the same as my friends. We used the same terminology from quantitative and qualitative research, data analysis, presentation skills, Microsoft office; the list could go on. However, both CV’s looked identical. I knew it was going to be competitive when finding a job or a role for me so I had to bring something different to the table, something which put me on the map, something which people could help me in my career. Something which I could be proud of, something which could help to promote myself.
The start of ResearchGeek
This started my personal brand; I set up ResearchGeek. I didn’t rush into it either, I looked at the market to see what everyone else was doing, to make sure I found a niche for myself. I invested as well. I contacted a freelancer called Leese Johnstone to create a logo for my personal brand from the off. The logo Leese created for me has stuck with me from the start of my journey. I didn’t waste any time looking at free websites where I could create a logo, I invested my own money into my personal brand because I knew I would be able to gain from it. I set up my own website using Divi Builder and started on social media, mostly on Twitter to gain an engaged audience. I didn’t and still don’t use any advertising.
My perspective of personal branding then changed…
It started as something to help get interviews, to be competitive in the market space, it wasn’t about anything else. Then I received an email from a brand and their Director of Marketing…
“ Jake, love your concept of the researchgeek and it looks like your getting a lot of exposure, how can we work together?”
Wait, a brand who are in the F100 want to work with me?
This moment changed my perspective of a personal brand and what my name actually meant in the industry to date.
So I offered them a free package with all plates spinning, I literally offered them all the bells and whistles to see how it went. Low and behold, I am still working with them 4 years on.
4 years later…
4 years to that date and my life has somewhat changed from a no-body to a 3-time award-winning market research blogger, working with a variety of organisations including those in the F100 and Fortune 500. As well as having my own columns in various publications including Forbes and Advertising Week.
Did my personal brand actually change my life for the better?
You might think that I am living the life with having a personal brand which is doing so well, yes I truly am really humble with what I have achieved so far but I also know there is so much more to do. Having said that, to get to this stage has taken a lot of long nights and to be honest with you, I am literally shattered from working so hard to get to this point. To get to that next level, it will take more work which I am actually looking forward to the challenge. I am not a marketing agency, I am just myself who represents myself!
Moving into 2020!
I have set myself a number of challenges for 2020 and I want organisations to join that mission too. So many agencies and brands think of marketing as a cost and not an ROI which is why many brands come to me for inspiration.
I know this might be late in the day but I hope everyone has a successful 2020 in whatever industry you are working in and when you get chance, take a moment to reflect on the success stories you have witnessed and been part of.