What we can learn from Martha Stewart- How to Create a Successful Personal Brand

For those who don’t know I am so inspired by Martha Stewart (probably more of her brand than actually the person). I just am amazed with how she created her own brand during a time without social media and also started out working on Wall Street! I still love her magazine with all of the practical tips for cooking, gardening, and cleaning. I like that her brand isn’t too healthy and more so focuses on being happy with your hobbies and hand-made goods. I conducted a deep-dive for how she was so successful and became even more amazed by her business. This is what we can learn form her to create your own personal brand:

1.    You don’t have to know what you want out of life from the beginning- just try something and learn from it

Martha Stewart (MS) modeled in college, majored in history, began working on Wall Street, and didn’t publish her first magazine until she was 49 years old! She was a mother to a grown-daughter and already been divorced. She didn’t have a grand plan for the rest of her life. After leaving her job on Wall Street she looked at what she knew and was good at in life- cooking and entertaining. So she started a catering business (without any prior training) and it was very successful. From there she met someone who encouraged her to write a book. After that she started her magazine and retail line at Kmart. She didn’t stay in finance just because that what she was trained in. She didn’t only stay in the catering business just because it was successful. But she did try and learn from the experiences and asked- where to next?

2.    Pursue what you know and love

This was pretty much previously explained, but to reiterate MS knew cooking and entertaining. She grew up helping her family garden and cook. During grammar school she helped organize children’s’ birthday parties. When she was married, she bought an old house to fix up- honing her home-making skills. While deciding what she really wanted to do in life she drew on past experiences to figure out what she could really achieve in life.

3.    Stick to your brand

MS didn’t try to respond to the trends. She didn’t abandon her habit of teaching about gardening to talk more about social media, or jump on the low-carb trend and do away with dessert or bread recipes. She stays tried and true to her brand. You should figure out what topics are vital to your brand and stick to those. You will create an audience that relies on you for information about those topics and doesn’t necessarily care about the other topics.

4.    Teach people

The MS brand isn’t necessarily about her. Instead it’s about what she knows and how she can teach it to you. She doesn’t talk about what she wears or eats or plants in her garden. She gives advice about these topics for the public, which makes her brand extremely useful. If you do this, it takes a lot of pressure off of you to be the perfect example for everything. Just use yourself as a guide for your knowledge- not as the gold standard for everything you talk about. Use your passion for your topics to spark what you teach your audience.

5.    Constantly learn new things

MS was never complacent, she always looked for how to re-innovate her brand in new ways from retail to magazines to book deals. She also kept learning about new topics to inform her viewers.