Daria Kushnir on Building a Personal Brand: Unleashing the Power of Authenticity
Daria Kushnir, co-founder of Kushnir Consulting took some time out to speak with Rob Barratt from the Industry Leaders about the power and importance of building a personal brand.
Firstly, many people fear the words 'personal brand' as it means going public with your thoughts. I want to know if you have always found it easy to 'put yourself out there'?
It wasn't easy to put myself out there. Going public is stressful, though I just felt that I could no longer stay silent. I felt that my fear wouldn't stop me from sharing my experience and knowledge.
When it comes to building an authentic personal brand, what advice would you give professionals starting out?
You need to do your research on what is important to you. I created a 21 question To build an authentic personal brand, an expert should prioritize showcasing their personality above all. We are all authentic when we avoid imitating others. Therefore, an authentic personal brand encompasses the diverse facets of an individual, extending beyond just the professional aspect.
Do you think personal branding and reputation go hand in hand, and what can people do to maintain a positive reputation while brand-building?
I believe that personal branding and reputation go hand in hand. An expert should definitely care about their image and reputation. They should be consistent with their messages and actions across all channels of communication. They should think twice before commenting or writing on socially sensitive topics, as being ethical is very important when building a personal brand. It is also important to be honest about both personal failures and successes, and to share true stories.
Can you share a success story of how you or someone you follow used their personal brand to build business or career?
I've been following the career growth of one of the top marketers in Ukraine and admiring her achievements. Her name is Tatiana Lukyniuk, and she serves as the B2C director at KyivStar, a leading Ukrainian telecom company. She began building her brand over 10 years ago, maintaining a strong presence on social media and actively participating in educational events. In addition to serving as a tutor at premier marketing schools, she has published a book and consistently contributed articles to leading Ukrainian media platforms. Tetiana has cultivated an image as a successful, strong, and wise leader, and is well-recognized within the business community in Ukraine.
Which platforms do you find most effective for establishing thought leadership and growing professional presence?
When choosing a platform for establishing a personal brand, it's important to take into account factors such as niche, target audience, geography, and personality. There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer, as platforms can have different usage rates and impacts in various countries. Before initiating any work on building a personal brand, deep research should be conducted to select communication channels that are relevant to both the audience and the expert. Of course I can give general advise: LinkedIn (leading professional platform) Medium (good place to start an expert's blog) Twitter (still relevant for North America and some other English speaking countries) YouTube (video - is a leading format lately, it's a good platform to start professional vlog) TikTok - grows fast and experts are taking advantage of it as well. Podcast Platforms (like Spotify, Apple Podcasts) Facebook (still alive and relevant for some industries)
How do you ensure your personal brand stays true to who you are and your evolving goals?
To ensure your personal brand stays true to who you are and accommodates your evolving goals, frequently revisit and reassess your brand's core values, making necessary adjustments as you grow and learn. Stay authentic in your communications, and openly share your journey, including the learning and adaptation processes, to build a brand that is a true reflection of yourself. Always prioritize personal growth and adaptability to remain aligned with your evolving personal brand.
What are some practical strategies or tactics professionals can use to expand their network and build meaningful connections?
To effectively expand your network and forge meaningful connections, leverage your expertise by sharing insightful content on platforms like LinkedIn, where you can engage with industry peers. Attend industry events regularly to stay updated and connect with like-minded professionals. Utilize personalized outreach when contacting potential connections to foster a genuine relationship right from the start. Remember, nurturing existing relationships through regular follow-ups is as crucial as building new ones; a simple check-in or sharing an article of interest can go a long way. Consistency and a genuine approach are your best allies in building a robust network.
You can also broaden your network efficiently, actively participating in business clubs and communities where you can foster relationships with individuals and share knowledge.
Along your personal branding journey, have you encountered any common obstacles that readers of this interview should be aware of?
I was fairly certain that I didn't possess any special knowledge that wasn't already known by everyone else. This belief made it difficult for me to speak out publicly and share my thoughts and experiences. The fear of not being insightful enough, or offering something of value, often held me back.
But as time went on, I realized that everyone has a unique perspective shaped by their individual journeys, and even seemingly commonplace knowledge can offer a fresh perspective to someone else. I understood that sharing my viewpoint could potentially resonate with others, fostering richer, deeper connections and dialogues.
Now, I am learning to overcome my hesitations, understanding that my voice has a place and value in the wider conversation. Each step I take in sharing my perspective openly is a move towards personal growth and a vibrant exchange of ideas, where even simple thoughts can spark innovation and understanding.
Imagine you have a time machine that can transport you to the future. What impact do you envision your personal brand having on the world?
Stop wars, inequality and hunger.
Close your eyes and imagine you're a bestselling author. What captivating book would you write to share your personal brand journey and insights?
The way i am