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Trisha Gallagher, VP of Marketing, Marketri

Trisha Gallagher is VP of Marketing at Marketri

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'?

To your question, I wouldn't say that 'putting myself out there' has been or is easy. The process of publicly articulating my thoughts and ideas, and indeed developing my personal brand, has consistently been a challenging one. Despite my growth and experience over time, it still requires a conscious effort and an extreme level of courage to expose my perspectives and leave them open to scrutiny and feedback. The fear of judgment or misunderstanding can often be daunting. However, I've learned that it's this very vulnerability and authenticity that helps in building a meaningful and robust personal brand. While the process might not always be easy, it's undoubtedly worthwhile for the connections and engagements it fosters.

When it comes to building an authentic personal brand, what advice would you give professionals starting out?

Don't wait for the 'perfect' moment or the 'perfect' content to get going, because the truth is, perfection is elusive. Start with where you are, and refine as you go along. The journey of building a personal brand is one of continuous growth and iteration. Secondly, draw on your own experiences and knowledge. People connect with authenticity, and nothing is more authentic than speaking from personal experience and insight. Whether it's lessons from a project at work, insights from a book you've read, or a life experience that changed your perspective - if it's meaningful to you, there's a good chance it'll resonate with others too. Remember, your unique experiences and perspectives are what make your personal brand unique. In essence, building a personal brand is about starting where you are, being true to yourself, and sharing your journey. It's a process of continuous learning, reflection, and connection. So, don't wait for the 'right' moment - the best time to start is now.

Do you think personal branding and reputation go hand in hand, and what can people do to maintain a positive reputation while brand-building?

A personal brand is something you create, and reputation is something you earn through consistent actions that align with your brand. Building a positive reputation while developing your personal brand hinges on three key factors: Authenticity: Be true to yourself. People appreciate and trust authenticity. Your brand should be a genuine reflection of your beliefs, values, and experiences. Consistency: Consistency builds trust. It means ensuring that your actions align with the values and promises you express through your brand. This applies to both the content you produce and your professional conduct. Value: Provide value to others. Whether it's insights from your professional journey, actionable advice, or engaging thoughts, your brand should offer something of worth to your audience. This not only enhances your reputation but also helps you to build stronger connections. Remember, your reputation is the legacy of your personal brand. It's what people will remember long after they've interacted with you.

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 paying close attention to the successful personal branding strategies of various professionals on LinkedIn and there's a success story that really stands out to me. One individual who immediately comes to mind is a marketing executive whom I've followed for some time. When they first started, their online presence was relatively minimal - a basic LinkedIn profile with the standard job description and a handful of connections. However, over time, they began to share authentic content related to their industry, their experiences, and their insights, and gradually, their personal brand began to take shape. They were not afraid to share their successes, their failures, and the lessons they had learned along the way, providing valuable insights for others in the field. Their posts were engaging and informative, demonstrating their expertise while also showcasing their unique perspective and personality. Their content was consistent, and it was evident they took the time to engage with their network, responding to comments, and fostering discussions. This proactive approach to personal branding led to a significant increase in their network, with growing engagement on their posts. They were invited to speak at industry events, they connected with influential figures in their field, and they saw their career progress significantly. Their personal brand effectively opened doors for them, contributing to their business growth and career advancement. This story is a testament to the power of personal branding when it's done authentically and consistently. It's about more than just self-promotion; it's about creating value for your network, positioning yourself as a thought leader, and building relationships that can significantly impact your career.

Which platforms do you find most effective for establishing thought leadership and growing professional presence?

It's essential to remember the social aspect of social media, regardless of the platform you choose. Engaging with others' posts, responding to comments on your content, and initiating and participating in discussions are all vital elements of building a robust personal brand and professional presence. Simply broadcasting your thoughts without interacting with others can lead to a one-dimensional presence that misses out on the richness of social interaction. LinkedIn has been the most effective platform for me when it comes to establishing thought leadership and growing my professional presence. The platform's design, with its focus on professional networking, makes it an ideal space to share industry insights, engage in meaningful discussions, and connect with like-minded professionals. At the end of the day, it's about finding the right balance that suits your personal brand, your audience, and your goals. Remember, the purpose of these platforms is to share, interact, and build connections - that's where their real power lies.

How do you ensure your personal brand stays true to who you are and your evolving goals?

I once read an insightful piece of advice that said, 'write for your future audience, not only the audience you have now.' This statement resonated with me deeply, as it articulates an important aspect of personal branding. It's essential to respect and value the audience you have today, of course, but at the same time, your content and messages should also align with the goals you're aiming for in the future. In practice, this means periodically reassessing my content, messages, and interactions to ensure they continue to reflect not just who I am today, but also who I aim to be. As I evolve professionally and personally, so should my personal brand. Additionally, I make a conscious effort to maintain authenticity in my interactions. It can be easy to drift into a version of yourself that you think others want to see, especially in professional settings. But in my experience, people connect most deeply with honesty and authenticity. Whether I'm sharing successes, challenges, or lessons learned, I strive to present a true reflection of my experiences and insights. Lastly, I pay attention to feedback. Listening to what others are saying - both directly and indirectly - provides valuable insights into how my personal brand is perceived and helps me adjust and refine it as I continue to evolve.

What are some practical strategies or tactics professionals can use to expand their network and build meaningful connections?

Be Part of the Conversation: Join in on the chatter online, especially on platforms like LinkedIn. Engage with others' posts, leave your thoughts, and share your expertise. You'd be surprised how a little interaction can go a long way in creating connections. Find Your Tribe: Join professional groups or communities that speak your language – could be online forums, LinkedIn groups, or local offline clubs. These spaces are perfect for sharing ideas, learning, and meeting people who 'get' you. Be Social, Offline Too: Sure, we've gotten used to webinars and virtual meet-ups, but nothing beats face-to-face interaction when possible. Attend industry events, shake hands, share a coffee. It's about making memories, not just exchanging business cards. Tell Your Stories: Start creating and sharing your own content. It could be an insightful LinkedIn post, a fun blog, or a case study. When you share your stories, you invite people into your world, and that's how connections grow. Offer a Helping Hand: Always aim to give more than you take. Share useful content, connect people who'd benefit from knowing each other, lend your expertise where needed. When you're a helper, people will want to connect with you. Reach Out, with a Personal Touch: When you're trying to connect with someone new, make it personal. Ditch the copy-paste approach, show them you've taken the time to understand who they are and why you want to connect. Stay in Touch: Remember, relationships take nurturing. Keep up with your contacts, engage with their posts, drop them a line every now and then. It keeps your relationships warm and meaningful. But remember, all good things take time, and your network is one of them. Just be yourself, be consistent, show genuine interest in others, and you'll see your network grow!

Along your personal branding journey, have you encountered any common obstacles that readers of this interview should be aware of?

I've encountered several obstacles on my personal branding journey. One significant challenge was managing consistency. Consistency is paramount in personal branding, but it's not always easy to achieve, especially when juggling multiple responsibilities. Striking a balance between work, life, and consistently creating content was, and still is, a process of continuous learning. I've found it essential to set a pace that is manageable for me and to stick with it, even when it feels like progress is slow. Another hurdle I often faced was overcoming imposter syndrome. It's quite common to doubt your own expertise, especially when sharing thoughts and insights publicly. I had to continually remind myself that my unique insights have value, and while I may not be an expert in every field, I certainly have expertise and experiences that can benefit others. Learning to trust in my own knowledge and abilities was a significant step in my personal branding journey. Finally, practicing patience was and still is, an ongoing lesson. Building an audience, much like any worthwhile endeavour, doesn't happen overnight. It can be disheartening when the growth seems slow or when your content doesn't immediately get the traction you hoped for. But in those moments, I remind myself that this is a marathon, not a sprint. With persistence and patience, growth will come.

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?

If I had a time machine and could see the future impact of my personal brand, my hope would be that I've made a meaningful difference, particularly for working mothers. In a world where we're juggling numerous responsibilities, often with high expectations and limited time, my aspiration is to create a space that offers guidance, camaraderie, and understanding. By sharing my experiences and insights, I aim to create a ripple effect that empowers other working moms to navigate their unique challenges with confidence. My goal is to foster an inclusive, supportive community that celebrates the achievements of working mothers, elevates their voices, and acknowledges the unique challenges they face. Beyond this, I hope that my personal brand becomes synonymous with practical, authentic advice for both the professional world and the journey of motherhood. In this future, I would like to have contributed significantly to changing the narrative around working mothers, helping to break down stereotypes and fostering a culture that supports and celebrates their diverse experiences.

Close your eyes and imagine you're a bestselling author. What captivating book would you write to share your personal brand journey and insights?

If I were to become a bestselling author, the book I would write would be titled "From Boardroom to Playroom: Navigating the Journey of a Working Mom". This book would offer a candid look into my personal brand journey, paralleling my experiences in motherhood and marketing. Every chapter would delve into a different aspect of my journey, from my early years finding my footing in marketing to the balancing act that came with being a working mother. I would share anecdotes, lessons learned, triumphs, setbacks, and the wisdom I've gained along the way. The book wouldn't sugarcoat the realities - it would portray the hardships, the pressures, and the difficulties I've encountered. But more importantly, it would highlight the resilience, adaptability, and tenacity that these experiences have fostered. Through this book, I'd hope to provide a roadmap for other working moms in the making, sharing insights and strategies that can help them build their own personal brands while navigating their unique paths. It would be a guide for anyone looking to embrace the challenge of balancing a thriving career with the joyous chaos of motherhood.

Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge with us here! Where should people follow you to find out more about your work?


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