On developing your personal brand…

I’ll be honest, friends, the concept of personal branding used to genuinely frighten me. I related branding to ‘the aim to sell something to an audience’, so personal branding sounded like selling myself to the world. I, of the natural introvert clan, do not seek to sell myself to others. That sounded exhausting and false. And so, I was shut down to the concept for quite a while.

But a ‘Branding for Creatives’ workshop I found in Oakland finally allowed me to find comfort with the concept. They presented ‘personal branding’ as a way to give others a shorthand for how to think of you. It’s about letting people see you, and your art, and know that they can find and affinity with both.

One way to start understanding your personal brand is to ask what people closest to you think of when they think of you. This could be a sobering practice, but if you really see yourself through other’s eyes, you can begin to understand and manage aspects of your personal brand. Wonder Woman’s personal brand is truth, justice, strength, and honor.

What is authentically you? Your personal brand should be things that are a natural extension of the authentic you. I found that I felt most passionate about things like black girl magic, adventure, afrofuturism, and emotional transformation. Those are the themes I have made my personal brand and I love writing and creating around those themes. What do you want your personal brand to evoke?

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Yodassa Williams is a powerful conjurer of black girl magic (70% Jedi, 30% Sith). A Jamaican American writer, speaker, and award winning performing storyteller, alumna of the VONA/Voices Travel Writing program and creator of the podcast ‘The Black Girl Magic Files’, Yodassa (Yoda) launched ‘Writers Emerging' in 2019, a wilderness writing retreat for women of color and non-binary people of color. In 2020, Yodassa's debut YA Fantasy, The Goddess Twins, will be published by Spark Press. She grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and currently resides in the Bay Area.

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