The Power of a Personal Brand with Jim Carter III

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As an entrepreneur, you’re always hustling — closing deals, drafting emails, and leading your team. But are you building your personal brand?

We know what you’re thinking: I’m too busy to think about another project for myself

But hear us out!

Building a personal brand opens opportunities to step beyond investing in other people’s ideas and truly focus on how you can make an impact on the world. You may not have the clearest vision of what your brand could be, and that’s okay!

At Carter & Custer, we want to help you unlock your potential and be a force for change in the world. That’s why we’re talking about personal brands today! Recently, our fearless leader and CEO, Jim Carter III, had the incredible opportunity to be interviewed by his good friend Mike Ayala on his podcast Investing for Freedom. They discussed the importance of purpose, stepping outside of your comfort zone, and why you need a personal brand.

Before we unpack Jim’s strategies for building a personal brand, let’s touch on how he and Mike became friends. They met via Chris Harder’s Elite Entrepreneur Mastermind a few years back and hit it off right away. From there, they continued to grow closer as friends and developed a support system for each other as they expanded their brands. 

If you’ve never had a chance, now’s a great time to get to know Jim a little better! 

Who Is Jim Carter III?

One way Jim defines himself is as a “serial entrepreneur,” but at Carter & Custer, we see him as so much more than that. He’s an SEO wizard and tech guru with a passion for helping others fearlessly build their brands to make a massive impact.

Jim’s a unique guy, so it’s no surprise that the way he defines being a CEO is a bit different than that charismatic, executive CEO persona:

“I don’t have to be the really fancy CEO that jumps around and dances. I don’t have to be well known. I don’t have to have a million followers. What I do need to do, though, is actually speak up and make sure that everybody understands that [making an impact] is my position.”

– Jim Carter III

If there’s one word we could use to describe Jim, it’s “purpose.”  Over the last few years, he’s worked hard to develop his personal brand centered around that word — purpose. His purpose is to help others achieve their own purposes through excellent growth marketing. 

Jim is also an enthusiastic humanitarian and works hard to build up nonprofits that light him up. One nonprofit he’s particularly passionate about is Pencils of Promise, an organization dedicated to achieving quality education for children all over the world. Jim joyfully supports their great cause and loves putting his outstanding technical knowledge to use running back-end support for PoP.

As an Enneagram 5, Jim walks a unique line. He’s a visionary — he has grand dreams for himself, his family, and his career — but he also has the practical knowledge and attention to detail necessary to do the work and reach his goals.

If all that weren’t enough, Jim is also a loving husband and proud #girldad to two daughters, and he couldn’t be prouder of his family. Through and through, Jim is passionate about building something great and making an impact on the world around him. 

Even in the chaos of founding a company, Jim knew that creating a personal brand was non-negotiable. Let’s discuss  Jim’s top 3 suggestions for developing an effective personal brand so you can do the same. 

1. Lean into Uncomfortable Situations

A lot of the time, it’s our natural reaction to avoid taking a leap of faith, but 10 out of 10 times, we should take it.

There could be hundreds of reasons we choose not to lean over the edge and take that jump. It could be a fear of taking a risk, fear of failure, or just a desire to remain behind the scenes and go unnoticed. Whatever your reason may be, leaning away from making that jump keeps you from making an impact and recognizing your purpose.

But if you really want to make waves and cause a change in the world, you need to lean forward into life. There’s an old Latin proverb that states, “Fortune favors the bold.” This idea particularly rings true when developing a personal brand.

“I have leaned back for a good majority of my life. … I didn’t decide to take that leap or that jump. For about 20 years, I was a software engineer, and I was just kind of hidden behind the keyboard and the computer. And I’m finally actually leaning in and doing more things like joining on podcasts, [and] joining Masterminds. Ever since I decided to do that, it has just substantially brought more wealth and just more wonderful humans into my world.”

– Jim Carter III

Whether it’s stepping out of your comfort zone and attending a Mastermind or finally taking steps toward developing an online presence, making an impact means leaning into things you would typically shy away from. 

Two things can happen from leaning in and taking a risk on your personal brand. It either pays off, and you build something that helps you achieve your purpose. Or it fails the first time around, and you learn how to adjust for your next time around.

In the long run, leaning in is totally worth it. Is there some risk involved? Yeah. But the rewards of either making your impact or learning more about who you are as a person are an amazing payout!

2. Use Your Superpowers

You may not have the ability to fly, x-ray vision, or superhuman strength. But you — yes, you — have a superpower.

We all have something that’s unique to us as individuals. It could be a particular skill you’ve been honing for years, an aptitude for collaborating with others, or it could be something you haven’t discovered about yourself yet. Whatever that thing may be, it is your superpower, and you need to use it.

“Everybody’s cut differently. Right? I’m a lot more of a humble individual, … and I found that my superpower is actually just staying the way I am. We all have our own superpowers, but if we don’t actually show them. If we don’t use them for good, then is it really a superpower?” 

– Jim Carter III

What is your talent or skill set that sets you apart from everyone else? Is it something you are currently using to create an impact? You could have years of experience working in graphic design, extensive knowledge of the real estate industry, or a talent for coaching others to achieve their goals. If you know what makes you unique, don’t be afraid to use it! 

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when developing your brand is ignoring your personal self. Sometimes we let ourselves look out at entrepreneurs with multi-million dollar brands and think, I want to build something like that, but there’s no way I could accomplish it.

Guess what? You can! You just need to find your purpose — use your superpower. The only difference between you and the people who have already created a massive impact with their brand is that they discovered their superpower and are using it. 

3. Be Consistent

If there’s one piece of advice about building your personal brand that we can give you, it’s this: Consistency is key.

You’ve already leaned into uncomfortable situations and found your superpower. The next step is to be consistent. To have a successful personal brand, you need to expand your influence. And one of the best ways to do that is by growing your web presence.

You don’t need to make a huge splash from the beginning to be influential — you need consistency.

“It doesn’t have to be perfect. … The fact is, you’re showing up, and you’re continually trying something. … As an SEO expert, somebody who’s been in this for well over a decade, so many people have asked me, ‘How often do I need to blog? How often does it take for Google to pick that stuff up?’ And the answer is as simple … you could do one a week, … one a month, a couple a week. … But whatever you do, be consistent.”

– Jim Carter III

Think of building a web presence for your personal brand as running a marathon. You’re not going to reach your destination by trying to sprint, running out of steam, and sprinting again. But if you take consistent steps, you will run for miles.

Consistency truly is key to building a brand, and it applies across all of your online channels. If you have multiple vehicles to distribute your online content, make sure you stay consistent with them all. A great way to remain consistent across various channels is to repurpose quality content.

For example, let’s say you love creating podcasts to distribute your knowledge to your demographic. If you can take those videos and transform them into high-quality social media posts and long-form content, you will stand out among the rest!

What really matters in all of this is that you show up in a way that you love!

Find something that resonates with you, choose how frequently you want to create that content for your followers, and stick with it! You’ll be shocked by how much your brand can grow by just staying consistent.

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