I asked some LinkedIn branding specialists 5 questions. Here is the response from Chantel Soumis, aka Brand Sorceress from Madison, Wisconsin.
Tell me about yourself
I’m your typical, marketing-obsessed Brand Sorceress from the Midwest. I’ve been obsessed with the magic in marketing for ages and bridging creativity with quantitative and qualitative metrics for success.
What do you do?
I started my brand practice in March of 2017 after a surprisingly large, unexpected surge of requests entered my LinkedIn InMail for marketing help. In order to keep things as strategic and streamlined as possible, I launched Stardust Creative, LLC. On March 29th (my birthday) as the ultimate birthday gift to myself!
Since March, I’ve been meeting incredible professionals and marketing representative from all over the globe, and when I reach capacity on projects, I can play Marketing Matchmaker where I help connect clients to new Marketing Experts that fit their personalities, expertise, and business needs!
How did you get started?
I fell in love with branding and marketing when I was growing up. I used to help my mom make homemade gifts and we’d sell them at craft sales. Marketing these gifts taught me consistency, value, and community building as I networked with other crafters in the community.
What are you doing right now for your personal branding?
Whenever I seek a service provider, I do a lot of background research to make sure they practice what they preach. For example, if I hire a dog walker, they better know how to control and train my pups upon greeting! I’m always baffled by how many “LinkedIn Experts” and “Personal Brand Coaches” that don’t have an effective strategy or brand on the market!
I’ve done a lot of self-discovery and I’ve been trained by some of the best, most notable marketers in the world to form a foundation of values and purpose for my brand. Here’s what I do to master my personal brand regularly as it’s an ongoing process that continues to evolve:
Authenticity – in everything I do, I do it with my heart, soul, and voice in mind. I don’t pretend to be someone I’m not which keeps me grounded and true. People love and respect that because barriers are automatically down from the get-go and we can connect and build that much more effectively!
Consistency – I view consistency as a form of reliability. I want to be able to count on those around me, and showing consistent involvement demonstrates that dependability. I push content consistently to highlight my relatable, dependable personal brand.
Value – this is the most important piece of my personal brand strategy. If nothing else, my main goal is to help the community learn about themselves and others, bridging gaps in differences and uniting a world for a better tomorrow. I make sure every piece of content I have offers some form of value… if it falls short, it gets tossed into a “forget me” pile that I hope to use someday as inspiration.
What’s your best tip for people who are interested in developing their personal brand?
Definitely contact a professional. It’s easy to work on those DIY workbooks but it won’t deliver the value, stability, and expertise that you need to create a strong personal brand. Would you hire a contractor to remodel your bathroom if their learning everything from YouTube videos? No. You’d want to hire someone with expertise and a history of success. Don’t sell yourself short and hire help – you won’t regret it!
Thanks for answering my questions, Chantel. Great answers!