Sahara Rose De Vore, Founder and CEO of The Travel Coach Network
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'?
I am a pretty introverted person so I haven't always wanted to put myself out there. I like to keep my personal life private and I've never been a fan of sharing my daily activities or thoughts with the internet. With that said, as a business and a brand owner, especially in the travel industry, it's important to put yourself out there. That gets easier over time. You start to gain a system of showing up that works for you and that you actually enjoy.
When it comes to building an authentic personal brand, what advice would you give professionals starting out?
Start with sharing your own story. No one has or can share your story better than you can. Your ideal audience will resonate best with your personal story, experiences, and ideas.
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 do believe that personal branding and reputation do go hand in hand, solely because it your brand is what you are known for or the impact that you make. To maintain a positive reputation while building your brand, you want to first establish your core values. What are your values? What matters most to you? How do you want to make your customers and audience feel? Your core values should be reflected in the content that you post, your customer service, and how you show up.
Can you share a success story of how you or someone you follow used their personal brand to build business or career?
I began my backpacking the world journey at the age of 22. I was feeling anxious, depressed, and unsure of my life path once I graduated from university that I knew that I needed to make a change in my life. I set off to see the world and to learn more about myself and what I wanted out of life. I wound up traveling on and off for the next decade to over 84 countries solo. Travel became who I was. My wanderlust became my personal brand. I was exploring, learning, discovering, connecting, and finding my path in life and around the world. In 2018, I decided to turn my personal brand of a traveler into a business by becoming a Wellness Travel Coach and then founding The Travel Coach Network in 2019.
Which platforms do you find most effective for establishing thought leadership and growing professional presence?
I am a big fan of media and publicity. Getting your ideas and name out there through publications, podcasts, blogs, and television is an excellent and effective way to be seen as a thought-leader.
How do you ensure your personal brand stays true to who you are and your evolving goals?
You must continue to evaluate if you are staying true to your core values. It's easy to stray off of your path because of what others are saying or doing but tuning into what you value most is essential for staying true to who you are and for evolving your goals.
What are some practical strategies or tactics professionals can use to expand their network and build meaningful connections?
The best way to get involved and to show up. This could look like getting involved in organizations, programs, associations, or communities and then being active. It is up to you to ask for help, to reach out, and to seek connection, guidance, support, and mentorship.
Along your personal branding journey, have you encountered any common obstacles that readers of this interview should be aware of?
It's easy to get distracted by the noise that exists online. There is so much content that we are exposed to every day. We tend to compare ourselves to others' success and other's journeys. This can result in us morphing what we do or say into that of others. It's important to stay focused on your overall goals, learn to block out the noise, and remain true to who you are.
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?
The mission that I have for my personal brand is to be known for being a huge game-changer in the travel industry. I will be known for true innovation, creativity, determination, and authenticity in how and why people travel.
Close your eyes and imagine you're a bestselling author. What captivating book would you write to share your personal brand journey and insights?
I have already written a book called "Hey You, Just Go!" which is the ultimate budget and mindset travel book where I share everything that I did and used to be able to travel the world to 84 countries without ever going broke. The book that I will write soon is on how I went from a solo female backpacker to pioneering the Travel Coaching industry and building a global business that is trailblazing paths for travel coaches around the world.