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Next Generation Event: #1 Personal Brand - Earned Not Given

8th June 2021
12:00am - 12:00am
Person brand image edit

Click here to watch the event on demand.

Marketing Humber's Young Talent Network and Hull & Humber’s Top30 Under30’s inaugural ‘Next Generation Event’ – Personal Brand: Earned not Given – took place on Tuesday 8th June as part of Humber Business Week 2021. Natalie Downie, Forward & Thinking’s Managing Director, led the session, offering her expertise relating to earning, cementing, and sustaining an authentic personal brand – encouraging attendees to think about the question: ‘How do YOU want to be known by others?’.

Natalie provided an interesting look back at her own story, exploring how, in the early stages of her career, she felt doubtful of her voice and value. Natalie explained how, in order to lose the doubt, she had to build (and work hard at building!) her personal brand, something that could only come from herself.

The session was kicked off with an insightful quote from Tom Peters: “To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called you". It is in your interest to be your true, authentic self and really show off what you can bring to the table; if you don’t market yourself, someone else will do it for you. Why would you want someone else narrating your story? Especially when you’re still in the process of writing it.

Natalie dug deep into the real value of having an assured personal brand, noting that it doesn’t just help to develop your own confidence, but develops the confidence of those around you.

She said: “A strong personal brand is your secret weapon.”

When you create a strong brand, you become desirable in the eyes of employers. It’s something you can showcase in applications, your online presence, and in interviews. It’s about standing out from the crowd simply by being you.

The session covered key steps in building a personal brand, starting at the very roots: defining yourself and what you’re about. You must look at your experience and not only work at improving your weaknesses but showcasing your expertise. Underpinning it all, is authenticity; knowing, deep down, what matters to you. While it is important knowing this yourself, it is also important to learn how to tell your story in a compelling way and to the right people, in order to stay relevant and engaging.

There was the opportunity to network with other attendees and learn more about their stories and reflections from the session, and Natalie rounded up with some of her own personal goals for strengthening her brand. It is important to remember that building your personal brand is not something you do and forget about, but instead continue to invest time in to ensure it evolves with you on your journey.

About Natalie Downie

Natalie Downie is F&T’s Managing Director. Nat joined F&T in 2014 on a two-week work experience placement. Four years in, she was promoted to MD and received the prestigious Top30Under30 Award for the Hull & Humber region in the same year. She loves pushing the business to the next level and taking care of her employees and clients. When Natalie’s head is not in F&T business, she’s either on a spinning bike or out for a country walk with her partner and influencer dog Bruce where all walks end with a wine.

About the Young Talent Network

The Humber needs fresh talent and new energy to secure the region’s legacy. To address this need, and the recruitment and retention challenges faced by Bondholder businesses, Marketing Humber created the Young Talent Network (YTN).

The YTN provides a platform for ambitious and passionate people early in their career the opportunity to build networks, make connections, enhance impact and demonstrate a collective voice.

The purpose of the events programme is to develop and strengthen the next generation of leaders, which is vital to securing our region’s future. The annual events focus around the following areas: personal & professional development, exclusive experiences, networking and social opportunities.

About Hull & Humber Top30 Under30

The Hull & Humber Top 30 Under 30s was established by Simon Jones to highlight & recognise the best talent within the region. Every year, organisations can nominate talented people in their business, who are then shortlisted and selected by a panel of judges.

Now in its fourth year, the winners are signed up to a full 12-month experience. The scheme gives the winners the recognition for their contribution so far, the opportunity to network and be a part of a support network of likeminded people, and they are enrolled onto the prestigious LEAP Programme, giving 30 hours of premium training that gives them the vital skills to become successful future leaders.

The scheme aims to deliver on 4 key objectives:

Highlight the contribution of young people within the workplace and help raise their profile internally and externally.

Positively promote the region as a place of opportunity and prosperity for young people to help retain talent that we have, and attract new talent into the region.

Deliver an industry leading leadership programme that will support this talent into becoming effective leaders within their organisations.

Promote these journeys, stories and role models to support careers advice.

The scheme has been described as career and life changing by our previous winners, who have directly associated the impact made to further progress.

About Humber Business Week

Humber Business Week (Biz Week) showcases the wealth of talent, entrepreneurship, vision and future potential of our region through a diverse programme of events which both inspire and educate. It is a chance for all to share knowledge and gain a better understanding and insight into key regional business developments…and a great way to improve your own network of contacts. The week is led by a dedicated Steering Group who give their time and expertise to help bring the schedule.


To get involved with the Young Talent Network or find out more contact

Keep connected with us on social media: @ytnhumber

Details of forthcoming events can be found on our website