As a seasoned digital marketer, Hugo Pérez has dedicated himself to developing brand stories that hit their mark on any channel to any audience. He focuses on finding the compelling thread in brand stories that make consumer connections come to life. His personal story weaves across agencies and firms of all types, fueled by wide-ranging global experiences.
Hugo specializes in thought leadership, creative ideation, brand innovation, and 360-communications strategies. As a digital native, his unique points of view and creative skills have allowed him to lead content strategies that have impacted all types of audiences for wide-ranging clients including Starbucks, Taco Bell, Turtle Wax, Cricket Wireless, Scotts Miracle-Gro, Allstate, MTV, Mars Inc., Frito-Lay, and AT&T.
Michael Lynch, an DMC faculty member, spoke with Hugo regarding his experience in personal branding and the rise of the digital era. Here's what he had to say as he was hosted on the Reed College of Media's weekly Podcast.
Michael Lynch: How exactly does one create a personal brand? Is it really necessary?
Hugo Pérez: Ever since the rise of the digital era, we've become more connected than ever before. And, particularly over the last ten years or so, we've gone from having to hand out business cards everywhere we go, to being in this always connected world where it's easy, with the swipe of a phone, to find out all the information about people around you. So, this idea of having to know what your personal brand is has really taken hold, and it's something that's become almost necessary for us to better define ourselves. At least, if we're trying to engage in the world around us in sharing opinions, in being hired and just being relevant in the marketplace.
I like to say, you don't have to define yourself, but for better or for worse, we now live in a world that can and will define you if you don't.
Michael Lynch: Is personal branding really about selling something, or being a salesman, or could an architect or an accountant have a personal brand?
Hugo Pérez: Personal branding is definitely becoming a monetized opportunity nowadays. In essence, defining your personal brand is more about having priority in who you are and the value that you provide. Hopefully, people get that this is more than just selling something or more than just social media status, it's more about defining who you want to be. Can an architect have a person brand? Most definitely, because, if I'm an architect that wants to be hired, I want people to hire me because they know the value I bring. By defining my personal brand, I'm able to have people see me that way. I would say there are things that we should be considering in ourselves in how we're being perceived in the world, so that we can be most effective in who we want to be. But, it's not always about selling a specific product or business, I like to think it's more about unlocking opportunity or potential. It's delivering your brand clearly and consistently so that you can create a memorable experience in the minds of people you interact with. It can open doors for yourself to new opportunities.
Michael Lynch: Who really is paying attention, and who is really making judgments on what your personal brand is?
Hugo Pérez: Everyone is paying attention. We just have to determine who and what matters to us. The rise of this digital age that we're in over the last 10 years and moving forward, means that what we put out there, our digital footprint will follow us. Professionally, your personal brand helps you to be distinguished in the workplace. There are many qualified candidates out there, and so one key way to impress recruiters is to be an authentic, engaged and unique personal brand out there. Let all the different things that you're doing out into the world and putting out into the digital space define who you want to be in the way that's authentic to you. One key way to earn a promotion, or to add responsibilities at your workplace, or to uncover a new opportunity, is by ensuring that your uniqueness comes across to those that you work with. And then, remember that it's all associated with your reputation. Your personal brand is in essence your calling card, what you're known for and how people experience you. It can mean being invited to participate in a cool opportunity or being kept off that list altogether.
Michael Lynch: Are there any ideas or any suggestions that you could have for somebody that's just entering the work world or entering adulthood, if you will, to really set forth a brand?
Hugo Pérez: I would tell you, consider these two questions. Ask yourself, what makes you distinctly you? Really spend some time really marinating on that question and really pointing out the essence of what makes you distinctly you. And then number two, what can you offer that provides value to those that encounter you? Once you know what makes you you, and then how to take that and add value to others, you have the starting point of a great personal brand that can be gears to unlock opportunities for yourself.
Michael Lynch: What about personal passions? What about the things I love to do outside of work? Can I really work that into creating my personal brand?
Hugo Pérez: Absolutely. While what you do, or what you talk about changes and evolves over time in the workplace, and the business world needs might change from time to time, who you are at your core should remain the same. The components of what makes you you, your values, your personality, your story, and your passions should remain pretty consistent. If it moves you and if it defines your why, then you should figure out how to fit it into your story. And the reason I'm confident these things stay the same is because otherwise, we will live in a world where every time you engage with someone, you're trying to figure out who they are and how do I relate to them. That's not really the case. By and large, we tend to be who we are all the time. So, let's just be reflective, introspective, figure out what moves us and put that as part of our story as we're showing our personal brand. And your personal passions, they need to be a part of that because they allow you to be authentic and transparent. They allow you to be conscious and passionate as you craft a career that you want.
Guest: Hugo Pérez - Chief Creative Strategist
Local Boy Creative @newzdude
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