To build a strong, cohesive personal brand that attracts partnerships and multiyear contracts, you need to have clear values and solid guidelines for yourself.
8 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
If you don’t know who Candace Cameron Bure is, perhaps you know her famous character, DJ Tanner, from the popular early 90s sitcom Full House, and now Fuller House. You may remember her as what most would consider the “token conservative” host on The View in 2014, a contestant on Dancing With the Stars that same year, and she has also starred in over 14 — 14! — Hallmark Channel movies and specials in the last decade. She is also a New York Times bestselling author of five titles, the most recent of which, Kind Is the New Classy, was just released.
Most of those accomplishments came after a decade on hiatus from the entertainment industry. Whether you agree with her values or not — Bure is open about her Christian faith and conservative ideals — you have to admire not only her comeback, but the brand she’s built since. Her sixth book is already in the works, she just launched a line of products with DaySpring Cards, and she has over 3 million followers who hang on her every Instagram Story.
So, how did she do it? If you’re an influencer, author, speaker or entertainer who wants to build a massive personal brand, read on for tips on how you can build yourself into a megabrand like Bure has done.
Be yourself … by figuring out who you are.
“No matter what you’re doing, no matter what business or industry you’re in, is to know who you are before you go out into it,” Bure shared, “because the world and the culture will try to tell you who it thinks you should be. and if you don’t know, that’s when you’re gonna get tripped up.”
She explained that growing up working with adults as a child, and then leaving that industry to focus on her faith and her family, allowed her to find herself relatively early on. She is secure in her foundational principles that “my ultimate success is in my relationship with God and to leave a legacy with my family.” Her priorities and boundaries guide her projects and brand partnership decisions. To build a strong, cohesive personal brand that attracts partnerships and multiyear contracts, you need to have clear values and solid guidelines for yourself.
Not sure where your uncrossable lines are? Unsure of your priorities? Get sure. To do that, you need to basically apply the classic “How Do You Like Your Eggs Exercise” from the movie Runaway Bride to every area of your life. Take some time off from the hustle, get quiet and really get to know yourself. Ask yourself some hard, deep questions. Where do I want to go? Who do I want to be? Who do I want to serve? When am I most confident? What do I love? What do I hate? Why? Why am I doing this at all — tackling this work or creating this art or building this business?
“I knew what I wanted to accomplish and I knew where my roots were and I knew what my purpose was and what was important to me and set up those boundaries, and prioritized so I would know that when push came to shove, or if I had a lot of decisions to face, I could go back to the basics.”
When Bure decided to become a co-host on The View, she drew her lines in the sand. From then on, there were roles, projects and brands she would never be able to work with. This suits her, of course, because she is sure in her convictions. This is why I listed point No. 1 as point No. 1.
More importantly, by boldly and publicly professing her less-than-popular faith, and unusual-for-Hollywood views, on that particular show, she attracted brands and partnerships to her as well. She positioned herself as a Christian favorite in Hollywood. She could have passed on the role, sparing herself the on-set ridicule but also the media exposure. She also could have pigeonholed herself into working only with projects or networks that shared her views, another more comfortable bet that — I’m guessing — could have hindered the revival of Fuller House on a coveted Netflix roster spot.
Once you’re sure in your convictions, go big or go home, so you attract (and repel) clients, followers and partnerships.
Patience is mentioned again and again when I interview millionaires and celebrities. Success is a marathon, and it can seem even longer if you are going against the flow of your industry. “I’ve said a lot more no’s in my career than I have said yeses. I think it’s important for people to know when you do have certain convictions and standards that you want to uphold, you certainly can, but you are gonna have to be patient and you have to have thick skin and not feel defeated,” Bure said.
Along with my guests’ patience usually comes an abundance mentality. Whether they believe in God or not, most tend to believe there is more than enough opportunity, wealth and success out there for all of us, which allows them to relax about rejection and failure.
Bure recalled, “I have certainly had opportunities that, after talking to my husband and my family, we’ve turned down because it just didn’t make sense. And it hurt. I was like, ‘Ugh. I wanted that. I really wanted it.’… I have to hope and trust that there’s something around the corner for me. You hang in there and just wait for the next opportunity.”
After Bure and Hallmark started achieving significant ratings, Bure negotiated for a bigger piece of the pie. Now she is the executive producer of many of her projects in addition to being the star. As your personal brand grows, make sure you are adjusting your contracts and rates accordingly.
“I get to make a lot more decisions and have a lot more creative say and control in everything that I do. I love being an actress, but there’s so much more of an entrepreneurial spirit in me, so I’ve wanted to grow my career in other arenas.”
Be yourself offline and online.
If you want to book more speaking gigs, brand partnerships, endorsements, etc, you can’t ignore The ‘Gram. Social media has to be a huge part of your brand, and you cannot do it well if you aren’t completely, consistently yourself.
Other than the occasional promotional images, Bure handles all of her social media herself.
“It’s actually been a surprise to me. I love engaging with the fans … I’ve had so much positive feedback from [Instagram Stories], and I don’t know why it’s resonating with people, but that’s just me being me. I’m not strategic about it. I don’t have a plan. I’m just living my life and including people in certain aspects of it.”
She hops on Instagram and posts genuine clips almost every day — from running to get last-minute school project supplies for her son, to snapshots of her dog, to Bible verses, to glimpses behind the scenes on set. If you watch her for a few days you realize that yes, she is indeed that cheerful, that positive, that serious about her faith and that excited about working out. (I can also confirm this after meeting her, in case you’re wondering — she is exactly as you’d expect!)
In order to show up, as your true self, online and “IRL” over and over again — get clear on point No. 1 and then make sure you’re in your sweet spot. Make sure you love the work itself and will love it for years. If you’re dreading posting that sponsored post or delaying signing a contract, it could be time to pivot.
“I really love what I do. I am genuinely passionate about it.”
Learn more success lessons from Candace Cameron Bure about work/life balance, motivation, persistence and more by watching the full interview on Humphreys’ YouTube channel.