The Secrets of Personal Branding with Chelsea Krost
My guest today is the Millennial influencer and branding expert Chelsea Krost. She’s a force to be reckoned with and I’m so excited for you to get this download! Chelsea started her first radio show when she was just 15 years old. Today Chelsea runs a media empire and her influence shapes marketing strategies of not only small businesses but Fortune 500 corporations.
Chelsea shares her story, inspiration, and personal branding tactics that she used to carve a unique market space for her message. We discuss the importance of authenticity, why you have to say NO to haters, how to identify your unique selling proposition, and most importantly – how to work smarter, not harder.
How Chelsea Got Started Back in 2006
In 2005, Chelsea was just 15. At the time, MySpace was the main social media channel and Facebook was available only to college students. As a high schooler, Chelsea was craving social engagement beyond her local community. She was craving connection, and although she didn’t know it at the time, she was craving social media.
At the same time, she was involved in television production and she got a crazy idea. She wanted to put together a radio talk show where a diverse panel of teenagers could come together every week to discuss some hot discussion topics. She pitched it to her local radio channel in Florida and three months later, the show went live.
Chelsea credits her success to the fact that at 15, she had no fear of failure and a huge calling to communicate with her peers. There was no self-sabotage and no media noise at the time. It was also a pivotal moment in society when the Millennials really started speaking up.
One Person Making a Huge Difference
By the time she graduated high school, Chelsea had a lot of interviews under her belt. Her favorite was with a girl who was a Rwandan refugee. She had a harrowing personal story, but today, she’s a nurse with a loving family in Canada.
Chelsea was incredibly inspired by her story, and she also learned something that ended up changing her entire career. She realized how we were to have access to feminine hygiene. Not school, not shelter, not education, not food – feminine hygiene products. This Rwandan girl shared openly on the radio that they didn’t have access to enough feminine hygiene products in Africa. Women and girls were missing out on school, work, on social life.
Having heard that, Chelsea felt a strong calling to help. She and her mother started picking up the phone and calling every airline, every sanitary hygiene company. They got Kotex and Delta to be sponsors of this mission and they brought thousands of sanitary hygiene products to African orphanages, women’s orphanages, and children’s refugee camps. CBS and Fox gave Chelsea a camera to document her journey and they put together a four-part docu-series.
As a result, Kotex hired her to be their millennial salesperson. In the process, Chelsea learned that you don’t need to have a plan. Her passion led to her path which led to profit. She seized every opportunity and was constantly innovating. When Kotex tapped her for this position, that was the beginning of influencer marketing.
She ended up working there for five years, involved at all stages of branding, strategy, and marketing. Chelsea grew her media network and was involved in many groundbreaking marketing projects that brought forth the influencer and personal marketing we know today. And it all started with that one interview and her desire to do something about it.
Doing Your Thing Despite What Everyone Says
Chelsea’s story is a great testament to what happens when women follow their hearts. But often, we don’t do it because we’re afraid of what everyone else will say.
As a teenager, Chelsea had to fight that fight too. She was caught up in a bad cycle of bullying. Her friends weren’t exactly supportive and some even stopped talking to her. She had to decide then and there would this peer sabotage stop her from spreading her ideas or she would persevere.
Luckily, Chelsea didn’t diminish her own light, and she owes it all to her mother. She found her crying one night. She just asked Chelsea: “Are you going to let them win or are you going to try and see what happens?”
That was the biggest “aha” moment for Chelsea. She decided she would never let anyone stand in the way of her passion.
Identify the Need and Find Your Unique Solution
Chelsea’s story is a story of evolution. And one of the most important parts of it is definitely the timing.
She realized that teenagers, her peers, they didn’t have a platform, yet they had a lot of new and different things to say. There was a void to be filled. There was no content that was feeding that need, so Chelsea created a solution in her radio show.
Chelsea believes that if you can really evaluate the need in the market and try to create a solution with your unique twist, that’s the recipe for success.
It doesn’t matter if Sally and Sam or Sarah and Sandra are doing it too. It matters how you’re going to do it. No one can bring the uniqueness, passion, and enthusiasm that you can.
And sure, today there’s a lot more competition. But that also creates an opportunity to learn what works and what doesn’t. You can really continue to lean in and listen, identify the needs, and provide the solution. Regardless of where you are in your journey, there’s always more to learn.
Give Attention to Your Dreams Every Single Day
Chelsea’s been in the business since she was 15. How does she manage burnout? For her, the key lies in the personal connection. If you’re doing something that feels good and makes you happy, chances are, you’re in a good spot.
Chelsea would rather do what she loves every day and earn a little bit less every year. You need to figure out your balance too. What makes you energized? Find a hybrid between passion and profit and go for your dreams, every day.
Keep in mind that success doesn’t happen overnight. Your dreams will take a lot of tending to, a lot of persistence. These days, we’re conditioned to think that unless our idea succeeds immediately, it’s a bad idea.
The truth is, only one in a million businesses make it on day 1. For the rest of us, we need to give attention to our dreams every day. Plant your seeds and make sure that you can sustainably grow and water them. If you can fuel yourself to do that every day (this is where passion comes in), you’re more likely to stay in the game.
Chelsea has so many fun and worthwhile programs out there! You can find everything on her website, but I want you to really check out her Rainbow Reality Method, her How to Work Smarter Not Harder LinkedIn course, and her amazing podcast!
We’d also love to know your takeaways, please screenshot the episode and tag us on Instagram! My handle is @ginadevee and you can find Chelsea at @chelseakrost.
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