How to Build Your Personal Brand with Carrie Lannon

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the Fashion Group International of Chicago’s presentation and hear Zapwater’s Chief Branding Officer (and total #girlboss), Carrie Lannon, speak about personal branding. She, along with panelists Ryan Beshel, Kirsten Miccoli and John Philp Thompson, gave some invaluable insights into what it is like to grow your personal brand and how to successfully maintain it.

There is so much more to personal branding than I thought! As Carrie began what she called her “speed dating” version of what is usually a 2-hour presentation, I was instantly hooked and eager to hear what she had to say. I’ve include some of the key points from the presentation below:

  1. Authenticity, alignment, and activation are key to an effective personal brand.
  2. If you’re lost when it comes to your personal brand statement, think of four attributes about yourself and how they relate to the role you play. We did this as a group exercise, and it was interesting to see how people perceived themselves!
  3. 90% of first impressions happen online – can you believe it? This was surprising to hear, but think about all the times you’ve googled someone before actually meeting them.
  4. When it comes to digital presence, you can inform, entertain, educate or engage.

At the end of the presentation, Carrie left us with a quote, “No one is you, and that is your superpower.” I thought this was such a remarkable way to wrap up everything that she had just spoken about and it was an even better transition into the panel. Ryan, a publicist, Kirsten, a photographer, and John, an influencer and photographer, all have unique and different personal brands. Though their stories varied, they all demonstrated that while they have very successful personal brands, it didn’t happen overnight, and it takes a lot of work.

I will leave you with this -- something that Carrie asked the audience.  “If someone saw a picture of you, does it represent your brand?”

Jordie Mallace, Spring/Summer 2017 Intern

Image via FGI Chicago Instagram.