on life, ambitions, and dreams


Building My Brand: Laura’s Next Chapter

What is one thing that, LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Twitter have in common? It’s that all four of those sites were designed to tell other people about you. does it in a brief biography and by connecting all of your other personas around the web in one place. LinkedIn is tells your professional story. Facebook has an ‘info’ tab as well as the story of your likes, friends, and activity. And Twitter does this in the 160-character bio and through every single thing that you tweet.

All four of those sites were designed to tell others who you are and determine which box to put you into.

Up until last week, most people knew me as a nonprofit marketing girl. And before that I was a book-publishing girl. But I was never okay with that title either and that’s because in all of these cases, both labels only described one facet of my life and answered one question that people would ask of me, and that is: “What do you do?”

We are more than what our job titles and our job descriptions define us to be. And titles are kind of outdated anyway. It’s not so much who we are, but what we do that matters. As a good friend once said, it’s not how you begin or end a story, but what happens along the way that matters.

Find the common thread in your brand

You are not your job title and you are not your career. But you are the person who does incredible work within the functions and responsibilities of your job.

Whenever I advise people who are unhappy with their job, but don’t know what they want to do next, I ask them to write a list of all the projects they worked on in the past and especially the ones that they felt the most empowered and successful doing. From there, we’ll be able to see the common thread that connects their past positions and recommend the step they should take in the future.

I have had a professional background that covers a lot of job industries and backgrounds, but there’s one thing that’s in common in every single position that I’ve held. In each position where I was the most successful, it was at a startup or a new company that allowed me to build things. It was usually a marketing communications role (either officially or not) that was never filled by anyone else before. I had big goals to fulfill and it was up to me to figure out how to get there.

In the simplest words – I build things for a living.

I helped build Wordstock, Jolkona, and this blog. This is what I love doing. And that is why when I was given the incredible opportunity to help build another company, it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Time to put on my Scrappy Face

Scrappy Face's Scrappy Dachshunds

Starting today, I am joining Scrappy Face, a small business consulting firm that is launching soon. My official title is social media strategy and community manager, but what’s more exciting is with this opportunity I will:

Build – their brand, their community, and their service offerings. I’ll be leading social media strategy for Scrappy Face and for their clients, product and service development, and another cool, super secret project.

Be a part of a company on a mission – Scrappy Face was born out of heart. It was created to help the dreamers and risk takers move from overwhelming stages of paralysis to action. Scrappy Face was designed, as the banner on their website says, to help “a person who is little but can really kick [butt].”

Continue to be an entrepreneur in training – three weeks ago I came out as an entrepreneur in training, and while I am not the founder or owner of Scrappy Face, my position on the ground floor of this firm will allow me to learn the skills I will need to launch my own business when the time is right.

Learn – from an amazing founder and CEO, clients, and community of thinkers, builders, and do-ers who are bootstrapping, self-funding, and side hustling to make their dreams happen.

Scrappy Face logoToday, I’m excited to put on my Scrappy Face and I hope you will too. Join us on Facebook and follow us Twitter, you don’t want to miss this.

For more about the journey that’s ahead, read this post from the founder and CEO of Scrappy Face, Kate Walling: Claiming Scrappy Face: The Story of Launching My Second Startup.

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  • To me, I joined twitter and linkedin and started blogging when I read Penelope Trunk’s posts on personal branding. However, now I sometimes wish I had not started all these online platforms. To me it just feels self indulgent, and I no longer see the point in personal branding. I write because I love it but I fear people get the impression that one is arrogant due to all these forms of personal branding. What do you think? Do you ever feel it is just too much to keep writing about ourselves?

    • Hey Akhila, So my lack of response wasn’t cause I was mad, just didn’t have time to write back until now. Your questions and comments about branding are good ones — since you brought up Ms. Trunk, I think that was the lady who started me on my personal branding kick. I love branding, especially personal branding because it’s the one brand I own, sort of.

      This afternoon after publishing this blog post it was like a firedrill — publish blog, tweet, post to Facebook, post to blog’s FB page, go to LinkedIn, update position, job description, status, etc. By the end of it I was tired, and I hadn’t even touched yet! But it was an interesting exercise in how many social outlets there are and how much of an exercise it is to keep up with them (I haven’t even looked at the about page on this blog).

      To me, the point of personal branding is to help control how we want others to see us. As I mentioned in this post, I’m unhappy with the little box that people want to put me in, though it’s their right to define me how they see fit. The point is to let others know what’s important to me, what I’m up to, and what I’m trying to do as I work towards becoming the next Nobel Laureate or MLK. For those people, they were all one or two things — writers, ministers, or other people on a mission. That’s what personal branding is, it’s being true to who you are and shouting it from every single online platform you can (exhaustively).

      Not sure if that helps, but I’d love to talk more about this 🙂

      • Yeah- I stopped posting all my blogs to different outlets because it felt too self promotional (to me, personally). I realized i’d rather write and let people find it if they like it. I don’t know… maybe I’m being too self conscious about this.

        I totally understand the concept and point of personal branding, but maybe I’m struggling with personal feelings of self worth — shouldn’t we become known through our accomplishments, rather than tooting our own horn? At least, that’s how I always wanted to be known.. =/

  • Yay. This is awesome! 😀

  • Sweet. Kate is awesome. Can wait to see what you guys end up doing with Scrappy Face!

  • To me, the point of claimed branding is to advice ascendancy how we
    appetite others to see us. As I mentioned in this post, I’m black with
    the little box that bodies appetite to put me in, admitting it’s their
    appropriate to ascertain me how they see fit.

  • w00t w00t! Congratulations Laura on taking this big step and writing the next chapter of your life…errr…your blog? Lifeblog? LOL 😉 I wish you much success in this new adventure Laura!

  • Hurray for you! Congrats on your new job, Laura. May the fulfillment you expect be there in abundance, and may the learnings you seek be there as well. You strike me as a fearless soul, practically daring life to challenge you. You’ll be great facing yet another new mountain to climb. Let me know how I might be able to help you!

    • Oh wow, thank you so much, Pat. That means a lot to me.

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  • Congrats! I love the name and wish you fun in the journey!

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  • Congrats! You go girl 🙂 Thanks for sharing the link. I still tame Wild Buffalo.

    I’m responding to Akhila – cause I don’t think her comment is harsh. It’s a valid question.

    As far as personal branding goes – your personal brand is everything. People get too caught up in the tools being used to extend a brand.

    Getting recognized for what you do IS personal branding. Sure, a blog is great. But if it’s not your platform then use something else. Use what you want and do what you want. And when you do good, your personal brand will spread. 

    I’m of the opinion that not everyone’s platform is a Facebook page, or a twitter profile. Whatever you’re doing needs to be congruent with the brand you’re trying to portray. 

    You write because you love it? Then just write. Do it because you love it and don’t worry about what anyone else things. Are you writing to say “buy my crap and hire me” or are you writing because you love it?

    That’s the diff.

    And P.S. I’m out of breath from my first Crossfit Workout in 6 months and not thinking as clear as I’d look too. But I think your response is great and a valid question.

    • Thank you for the congrats, Noah 🙂

      You make a valid point about your personal brand being everything that you are and all that you encompass. Kate Walling – the founder/CEO of Scrappy Face and my current boss – wrote this blog post about the power of branding when her grandmother passed away:

      In summary, be who you want to be remembered every single day, online or offline. I think about my grandpa who was a small business owner. He ran his businesses true to who he is as a person. I think we get too caught up in personal branding as a buzz word and think that if we are a certain way online, we may or may not need to be that person offline, when really we should.

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  • Carole Sider

    Dear Laura, I didn’t know your story. So glad I found this. Congratulations! But, please don’t go anywhere anytime soon, okay?! 🙂 

    • Thank you, Carole, it’s been an awesome journey 🙂

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