The average transient attention span is eight seconds. This is the short-term response to a stimulus that temporarily attracts or distracts attention. When people read about you or your business, you have just eight seconds to imprint your name and brand.
In a world where attention is scarce, the individual who wants’s their opinion to be heard has to rise above every other person, application, media channel and god knows what else to have a share of the consumer’s time.
If you don’t want to be shouting into the wind every time you have something to say you need to create a personal brand. If you’re reading this wondering what is a personal brand? Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands and you’re about to receive a great example of one.
The personal brand I speak of is owned by Verity Johnson and she is my definition of a BossBabe.
- A stand-up comedian
- A television presenter
- Public speaker
- Writer for national and international publications
- Self-proclaimed, recovering cereal addict and avid mandarin eater
Fortunately for us, she is also talkative, clever, dedicated, and willing to share what it means to create an incredible personal brand to grab the attention of the public.
Verity was first published when she was 16 years old in the New Zealand Herald a publication with over 200,000 daily readers. She then received her own column at the age of 18 at the same paper.
She continued writing and then studied in Australia for three years. She gathered her first opportunity to do stand up and proceeded to kill it. She featured in both the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Melbourne Law Review which earned her a spot writing for College Humour.
While studying full-time, Verity was also holding down her opinion column at the New Zealand Herald. Her column earned her, her first appearance on a popular New Zealand talk show and an eventual full-time role on national television.
Today, Verity writes for a number of national publications, is a featured guest on primetime television and frequents live radio too. Just like any highlight reel though we don’t see the grit, focus, persistence, and determination that goes on behind the scenes to got Verity to where she is today.
When I started writing I pitched anyone and everyone and rejection were commonplace and Verity suffered the same fate but persistence pays off.
Her is what Verity said on getting published and starting your own personal brand.
“You need, to begin with, a blog. If you don’t have anything for an editor to read they won’t give you a column because they don’t know your work. Once you’ve got the content you need to pitch ruthlessly.
I would send something in once a week if I didn’t hear anything I would write again in a week confirming that they had received my last email.
Don’t give up, but don’t be a dick. If they say no to your work or don’t reply, leave it a for a month and then come back to them with another idea. Don’t lose faith after trying once, you’ll need to try a lot.
Never feel threatened by failure – you win a race in a rowing when you’re only looking at your boat and it’s your race so be prepared to focus on your goal. Don’t let failure or rejection steer you elsewhere.”
I completely agree with this sentiment, there are more failures in the world due to a collapse of will than there will ever be from objectively external events such as a lack of reply from an editor.
When you’re trying to capture attention and create a personal brand it’s easy to get distracted by failure and rejection but too many of us give up after the first hurdle. We’re going to be the people who are finishing the race.
Verity said this is how she deals with setbacks, criticism, angst and the pressure from our peers and strangers alike.
“When you’re exposing yourself to other people’s opinion you’re subject to their criticism but as long as you’re putting out things that you’re 100% proud of you can be comfortable.”
Like all things outside of our control, we don’t need to worry about it. We only need to control the work we put in and if the work we do is at the best of our ability then we cannot offer anymore.
Creating a personal brand is arduous but like anything that’s worth doing, it will be hard. Remember that you’re in this for the long haul and if you want your personal brand to command the attention it deserves you need to persist and persevere.