Christine Gritmon on infusing purpose to your personal brand
Christine Gritmon empowers professionals to step into their personal brands in a bigger, bolder way on social media.
She’s spoken on stages worldwide and is a frequent expert guest on podcasts, live streams, Twitter chats, and blog posts, as well as hosting her own weekly Twitter chat, #ChatAboutBrand, and interview show, Let’s Talk About Brand.
Christine Gritmon is the senior editor of the Social Media Pulse Community, a one-stop destination for social media professionals to receive training, tips, conversations, and connections.
The “purpose” as a personal brand
To me, the purpose of a personal brand is to be findable by the people who need what we bring to the table. If they can’t find us (or don’t know what we do or how), we can’t help them. We were given our gifts for a reason: to lift up others.
People often think of personal branding as something that only lifts ourselves in a self-aggrandising way. But if you’re doing it right, it’s a far more selfless act.
Is there a practical exercise we can explore to find our purpose?
Look at what has “clicked” for you in previous situations and what has changed. Look for common themes.
Dig deeper: don’t just look at the surface tasks. Look at the deeper functions beneath them.
You didn’t just “manage cross-functional projects,” you helped people communicate and organise details to help move everything forward. Or, for example, you didn’t simply “write for a newspaper”. You researched to accurately share people’s stories with an audience that needed to hear them.
If you’ve done both (as I have), you ultimately helped people feel heard in both positions. “Helping people feel heard” is a crucial element of my purpose.
Finding those types of connections between seemingly disparate experiences can help you tap into what needs to be present in your future ventures and what needs not to be.
What happens when our purpose changes over time?
Experiences do change us. If you’re going down deep enough, the essence of your purpose probably won’t change all that much, but the way it manifests may. Just be sure you tap into what truly lights you up inside. It’s possible that what you had previously identified about a situation wasn’t that core thing you thought it was.
Always allow yourself to evolve, learn more about who you are, and change over time. However, ensure that the core of what brings you to life is a critical guiding factor in everything you do.
What does it look like to “brand with our purpose?”
Find what lights you up inside, and make it clear that most people who know of you could accurately identify it. Make sure everything you do ties into that core purpose. That doesn’t mean everything has to be “on brand” in superficial ways all the time, 24/7. However, if something’s too “off,” it will ring false.
It’s not about boxing yourself in. It’s about making sure those parameters of who and what you are so clear that your possibilities become more expansive, not more limiting.
How can we overcome our fears of putting ourselves out there?
Think of the others who need your gift. Everybody has gifts.
We often don’t think highly of them because we’ve been taught to value struggle. We feel like if it isn’t hard, it isn’t valuable when sometimes we don’t have difficulty simply because we’re so good at it. Someone else isn’t; they’re good at their own set of gifts, and they struggle with ours.
We need to shine instead of hiding to help those people and possibly be supported by them in return.
How can we re-ignite it with intention authentically when showing up online?
Authenticity doesn’t have to mean “messy,” nor does it have to be monotonous. It simply means showing up as who we are, not who we think others want us to be. Authenticity means consistency in values and purpose but flexibility in presentation.
It implies honesty about the hard parts while giving people something to look up to. It means letting others see themselves in us and our stories and experiences instead of feeling like a corporate product someone else invented.
How can we ensure the purpose is reflected internally and not just in our communication?
Make sure everyone understands it and aligns with it, especially you. If someone in your organisation doesn’t resonate with your core purpose, that’s fine. It means your organisation isn’t the right place for them.
If you start down a path that doesn’t align with your purpose, it doesn’t make you a bad or false person. Maybe you should change course as soon as possible once you realise you’re on the wrong road.
How can our content best reflect our purpose?
I know “start with why” is such a cliche (thank you, Simon Sinek)—but do.
Why are you sharing this piece of content? Is it an outward manifestation of your purpose?
If not, why are you doing it; what is it doing for somebody else, and what is it doing for you? Are you just doing it to do something? Is there perhaps a better way to share your gifts?
Attention is valuable. Respect it by ensuring you’re giving people something they need and devoting your time and energy to things aligned with your purpose.
Where can we find the intersection of purpose and income?
Recognise that your gifts should not be valued by how much they cost you to share but by how valuable they are to the ones who need them.
What you do well may come as naturally to you as breathing. Other people may struggle with it. Their struggle, not yours, sets the external value of the work. How high does it help lift them, not how heavy a lift is for you?
How purpose will inform companies in the future
Both employees and consumers have shifted to needing to feel a particular resonance of values with the brands they choose to support, both internally and externally.
The days of “professionalism” meaning neutrality, are over.
Values-based organisations inspire loyalty, especially since we now see the brands we support and work for as becoming part of our brands. Be a brand people want to present as part of their own.
Christine Gritmon helps professionals rock out their personal brands in bigger, bolder ways so they can be found by the people who need them. To find out more about Christine, check out gritmon.com
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