Never underestimate the power of words. Words can build or break apart our relationships; they can lead businesses to success or failure. It all depends on how you use them.
In this episode of Rep Your Brand, Tara Horstmeyer (Ghostwriter at Happy Words) shares her professional journey and what sparked her to become a writer. She also talks about the importance of community and how, no matter what industry you are in, building high-quality relationships is a proven formula for success.
Tara and host Nick Bennett also touch upon the importance of building a personal brand and discuss why a personal brand is the new company brand. However, Tara states that not everyone wants to dedicate their time to building a personal brand. But if you do, there are plenty of opportunities to learn how.
Tara is active on LinkedIn and sees it as the best platform for meeting amazing people, collecting knowledge, and building a community. She is a writer but also an editor. And one of the reasons she became an editor is because she has a deep desire to help others shine.
“Don’t try to start building something until you’re a part of something.”
Don’t Try to Start Building Something Until You’re a Part of Something
”Community is the way to grow, not just in social media presence or your brand building presence, but in your life presence of like, ‘Hey, who are the people to my left and to my right? How can I help them as a form of giving back, but then also being on the receiving end?’ I think you’re going to grow as a human when you’re growing in a community.”
The LinkedIn Journey Is One of My Favorites
”I started taking notes. I logged into LinkedIn. I worked on my profile, but I didn’t post anything. I just started following people. I connected with great people, and they encouraged me. I started building one-on-one relationships, commenting on their stuff, finding my voice, and getting my feet wet.
So I tried right before COVID hit. I think I put two posts up or something. But then, it was in June of last year, and I was supporting a lot of the content that Grady was putting out at that point. So I feel like I was doing a lot of LinkedIn without doing a lot of LinkedIn. But then I finally was like, ‘You know what, I’m ready to come out as me on the platform and present ideas from my point of view.”’
Building a Personal Brand Is a Matter of Choice
”I’m like the poster child of what a company brand can do both for your company, but also you personally. It was all about learning because the seat that I was in, being an SDR manager, number one — I wanted to open doors for my team. It’s like, ‘Hey, they’re here prospecting.’ And even if not all my SDRs are going to build a personal brand, they can at least have a familiarity that can open the door. It’s not going to lead to a book meeting, but at least if I can make that a little bit easier for them, I want to do that.
But there are tons of people who don’t want to (build a personal brand), and that’s fine too. It’s not like, ‘Oh gosh, you’re less than a human.’ But if you want to, there’s plenty of opportunities to learn how to do that and be supported.”
The Joy of Helping Others Shine
”It’s a full circle for me coming back to being an editor and helping and using my skills to help other people shine. Instead of saying, ‘Hey, my name needs to be in lights.’ I get the most joy by helping other people get their name in lights, by taking their genius and helping them craft words or ideas based on what they would already say, think and do.
And then communicate that in a way that feels genuine to them or take what they already have, clean it up, polish it up a little bit and then help them run with it. So that’s where I’ve landed.”
People Like to Work With People They Like
”You can be the most skilled, kick-butt, awesome rock star. But if you are a jerk, you’re not going to stick around long. You will stick if you’re the CEO, but they’re going to start jumping ship. So you have got to protect your integrity and your character, but the best way you can do that is just truly for, and through your human communication with other people.”