If you’re serious about entrepreneurship, then you know Hajj Flemings—or perhaps more to the point, you need to. Over the past decade, Flemings, as CEO and founder of Brand Camp University, has established himself as one of the most passionate and authoritative experts on brand strategy and business startups. Brand Camp is the largest conference of its kind in the Midwest, with Flemings expanding its reach to New York and Boston. He’s also the author of The Brand YU Life: Re-Thinking Who You Are Through Personal Brand Management (Third Generation; $14.95).
Last year, Flemings became CEO and co-founder of Gokit (gokit.me), a digital communications tool designed to aggregate your “personas” across social media networks into one centralized identity. A black enterprise contributor who writes about technology, social media, and branding for small business, he will lead sessions on alternative financing and monetizing social media at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference, set for May 15-18, 2013, in Columbus, Ohio.
Flemings took a few moments to talk with us about the importance of personal branding, the future of Gokit, and why the Entrepreneurs Conference is a can’t-miss event for entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners.
What sparked your passion for evangelizing about personal branding as a critical priority for entrepreneurs and professionals?
When I realized that people are brands, and brands are stories, the light bulb went off in my head that the future of business was going to be driven by the digital economy. I became totally obsessed with identity and helping the new-economy workforce to package their stories and create a personal brand or digital personality. Back in 2008, I saw a shift in the economy, with the financial crisis and corporate bailouts. People were looking to reduce their dependency on an unstable job market and starting to take things into their own hands.
Your latest startup is Gokit. What’s happening with that and how excited are you about the future of this venture?
Things are going well. We are continuing to build our online community. It is exciting to be in the startup space and I am very optimistic about the future.
You’ll be moderating two panels at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference. What drives your enthusiasm about the event as an opportunity for those who want to start and grow their own companies?
I feel like at the be Entrepreneurs Conference, the attendees are the new thought leaders in our community who will bridge the technology and wealth [gaps] to what is commonly called mainstream America. Not only is it refreshing to see that many great minds in one space, but the intensity of entrepreneurial focus is inspiring.
Learn from Flemings and other outstanding entrepreneurs and top business experts at the 2013 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo hosted by Nationwide, May 15-18, at the Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. Expect innovative sessions, high-powered speakers, and an early peek at the products, trends, and services you’ll need to stay ahead of the curve. Be sure to enter our Elevator Pitch Competition to qualify for the $10,000 grand prize. To register and find out more, follow the hash tag #BEEC on Twitter and visit www.blackenterprise.com/ec!