May 08, 2019

Developing Your Brand

Branding is the process of developing a “mark” that is created around your name or your career. You use this to express and communicate your skills, personality, and values. Learn from EPIC Advisory Member Daryl Layson on how he developed his own personal brand.

Where did you grow up?  Go to college?

I was born and raised in the Old West End neighborhood of Toledo, Ohio. I went to Central Catholic High School (2012 graduate) and then on the University of Toledo where I obtained my BBA in Marketing in 2016.

Where do you work?  What is your role?

Exactly a month after graduating college, I began working at Dana Incorporated in Maumee, OH. I am currently a Marketing Communications Specialist, mainly supporting all internal marketing and communication projects/initiatives. Additionally, I co-lead Dana’s University Relations program – we’re gearing up for almost 80 interns this summer! I am also the co-lead for Dana’s United Way Campaign.

What is your favorite thing/part of Toledo?

My favorite thing about Toledo is that everything and everyone is accessible. If you want to have coffee with a friend – there’s many great options to choose from. If you want to go running or enjoy nature – there’s seemingly never-ending options. If you want to meet and chat with someone in the community – more often than not, you can do so. I love that no matter who you are or where you are, it’s fairly easy to access people and places. I think many people in larger cities don’t have this luxury.

You have a distinct personal brand and social media image- how did you develop this?

We all have a personal brand, whether we like it or not, but I think the question is how do we take control and mold & shape our brand into how we want to be perceived. I think I’ve been able to cultivate my personal brand by three main factors: 1. Passion/Knowing my Why, 2. Execution, 3. Consistency

  1. First step for me was knowing my “why”. Knowing my “why” helps with self-examination and acts as a guiding compass in my strive to continually seek alignment in how I want to be perceived and how I am actually perceived by others. Pairing my “why” with my passions for career & self-development, networking, and fashion keeps me on track and acts as a guide in my actions and decision-making.
  2. The other important piece to cultivating a personal brand is through execution. I learned that the only way to cultivate your brand into how you want to be perceived is by being strategic and very intentional in your actions – what you do, what you say, and how you present yourself. With no execution – or no intention – your brand solely becomes subjected to the perceptions of others.
  3. In order to establish a distinct brand in the minds of others, I understood the key to this is simply consistency. By being intentional in what I say, do, and how I present myself – on a regular basis – I eventually have been able to align how I want to be perceived with how I am generally perceived by others.

How are you able to combine your professional and personal brands?

I’ve been able to really integrate my personal and professional brand by content writing and sharing my expertise. I’ve written almost 20 articles on LinkedIn and they’re all geared around my passions of career & self-development, networking, and fashion with a combination of references from my personal experiences being in corporate America. I’ve also been able to share fashion/lifestyle advice in relation to career advancement, self-development, etc.. on my blog, My Instagram, @dapperdaryl, is mainly used for fashion/style inspiration to mostly millennials.

We live in a digital age, how can people connect with you?

Email, LinkedIn, Blog, or Instagram!





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