Whether you are an influencer, a business owner, a coach, an entrepreneur, a freelancer, and the like, you need to have a personal brand. Building a business of any sort has to have a personal brand if you want others to start taking YOU seriously.
In this blog, you will find more about what personal branding means, understand why it is important, and tips on how you can fast track your career with personal branding.
So, if you are ready to take your business to the next level so that you propel both online and offline, continue reading below!
A personal brand is much more than a flashy logo or a cute color palette. It goes far beyond the aesthetic side of it. It is also not just about having a website with your name on it. A personal brand is how you present yourself both online and offline to your ideal audience. It includes the image you put forth, what you stand for, what your values are, and what you are all about.
To sum it up, personal brand is the core of WHO YOU ARE AS A PERSON and that translates to your business. It’s the marriage of your values, unique skills, experiences, stories, personality, and image. This makes for authentically presenting what you want others to perceive of your business.
Everyone can now put themselves out in front of their audience constantly. With the use of social media and the internet, everyone can say that this is what they stand for, this is what their business is all about, and the like. Everyone can add value to their target audience and they can communicate their message loud and clear.
The question, however, is whether you are actively taking control of your brand. You can tell your audience so many things and they can believe these messages you have for them. But, do you let your brand develop on its own and let your audience or the trends dictate what your brand should be? Or do you want to shape it and be part of the process that builds your personal brand?
With personal branding, there are so many positive sides to it. Let me enumerate why building your personal brand is important:
Personal branding allows you to propel as a free agent – Your personal brand is your reputation because it is the way others see you. Your personal brand is an asset you can take with you wherever you go. You let your brand speak for what you offer and what you believe in.
Personal branding allows you to chart your own direction – Because you have a personal brand, you know which paths to take for your business. You are able to establish goals that align with your mission, vision, and core values. You can prioritize opportunities that come your way and you will have a bigger picture in mind.
Personal branding allows you to serve others – Your personal brand shows the positive impact you can have on other people and the world around you. This is the two-fold beauty of personal branding. While you promote yourself, your business, and the things you believe in, you also serve your target audience. You become their go-to for the problems they face and you add value to their lives because you have specific messages you put out there that you know can help your people.
Personal branding allows you to stand out from the competition – Your competitors can’t bring what you bring to the table. You are unique and only you are you. Through personal branding, you tell your target audience about your unique experiences and you let them experience your strengths, beliefs, perspectives, skills and insights that no one else has.
Personal branding allows you to charge a premium price – Because you bring unique value to the table, you can charge a premium price for your services. This is because your products or services are exclusive to you.
Personal branding allows you to highlight your expertise – A significant amount of personal branding involves the content that you share with the world. The more valuable information and content you share, the more you demonstrate that you are an expert your audience should trust. With every piece of content you share, you establish yourself as an expert in your field. The more you share, the more you become an expert, and the more people will in turn trust you and your brand.
Personal branding allows you to attract your ideal audience – Let’s face it, with social media as a platform where anyone can say they are this and that or their products or services should be considered by others, you are shooting your shot to a wide array of audiences. However, if you have a personal brand and when you’ve proven that you are an expert about a certain topic, you attract those who need your help the most. They will want your help and they will refer you to other people who they know you can help, too!
Personal branding allows you to be in charge of the narrative – Your personal brand will evolve, whether you like it or not. Every social media post you make, every e-mail you send out, every blog you post, every talk you go to, you are already building your personal brand. That is why you have to be strategic in these social media posts, e-mails, blogs, and talks. You have to make sure that YOU are the one forming people’s ideas and opinions about you and not the other way around.
Personal branding allows you to increase your visibility – All platforms are now saturated since many businesses have turned to online advertisements or online marketing. Now, if you have a personal brand, you become more visible because you speak to specific or targeted audiences. You will attract more people on your social media pages who will share your content with like-minded people or their tribes. In turn, your platform will also grow.
Personal branding allows you to connect with more individuals – People connect with other people than they do with companies. So, the more you work to build your personal brand, the more people will want to connect with you. If they see that they have the same values, personality, and insights, there is no other way but for them to connect with you.
Personal branding allows you to become an influencer – An influencer is someone who significantly shapes the opinions of their followers and has a big influence on how they behave. Big brands work with influencers and this is one way you can generate revenue for your business. You can receive free things from companies who are interested in partnering with you and you can even get requests to speak to the media or attend events. However, make sure that the companies you will partner with or the events you attend are still in line with your personal brand, mission, goals, values, and vision.
Now that I’ve enumerated the importance of personal branding and you get the gist of what it is, let’s talk about the steps on how you can build your personal brand. This is a step-by-step guide and I hope this will help you!
Step Number 1: Determine who you really are.
Building your personal brand is about sharing your authentic self with the world. Ask yourself these questions:
Step Number 2: Determine what you want to accomplish.
Once you’ve identified the core of who you are, it’s time to think about what you want to accomplish with your personal brand. Ask yourself these questions:
Step Number 3: Identify your target audience.
There is a core demographic of people who will resonate deeply with you, your brand, and what you offer. This core demographic is your target audience.
To identify you core audience, ask these questions:
It can also be helpful to create a persona for your ideal client. This should include demographic information, desires and aspirations, as well as pain points and challenges that they face.
Step Number 4: Determine your Unique Service Proposition (USP).
USP is imply your brand summed up into a single, powerful compelling statement that described exactly what you do for your audience.
A USP typically looks something like this: I help (target person) to (achieve X) so that they can (outcome). Your USP doesn’t have to say everything about your brand, but it should get right to the heart of who you are and how you help your audience. It may help to give your USP a unique name that will stick in people’s minds.
Another tip here is to summarize your USP in 10 seconds or less. Be prepared to capture people’s attention quickly by letting them know what you do in 15 words or less. You can tell you are on the right track when people start asking you more details about what you can do to help them.
Do not skimp on this step because creating your USP gives you a high degree of clarity about what your brand is all about.
Step Number 5: Start treating yourself as a brand.
In every communication with your audience, whether it is through a blog post, e-mail, podcast, social media post, etc., you stay true to your brand message. You constantly speak about the problems you solve, constantly encourage your audience, and constantly voice the message of your brand.
It also means creating a strong, compelling website to serve as your home base for all your online activities. It means creating a media page or media kit on your site for media inquiries. It could mean not answering e-mails yourself, but having an assistant answer them.
Step Number 6: Optimize your website.
Your website functions as your “home base” of sorts. It is one of the primary places people get to know who you are and what you do. Your website also functions as one of the primary ways you turn visitors into paying clients.
Optimizing your website includes:
Step Number 7: Develop your content strategy.
The primary way you’re going to build your brand is by creating strategic content, such as blog posts, videos, social media posts, e-mails, affirmations, and podcasts. Each piece of content you share with your audience should serve to build your brand.
WE recommend the “Pillar Method” for your content. The Pillar Method involves creating longer pieces of content that function as pillars of sorts. These pillar pieces are then cut up into smaller pieces of content that are shared across a variety of social media platforms. Using this method allows you to repurpose a single piece of content in a variety of ways.
Step Number 8: Constantly add value to your audience.
It’s essential that you constantly give value to your audience without asking for anything in return. The main thing people should take away when interacting with your brand is how much value you provide.
There will be times when you ask for a sale or ask someone to become a new client. The main emphasis, however, should be on adding value to your audience.
Step Number 9: Build a community.
One of the best ways to build your brand is to build a community of people who can share ideas, support each other, and reach out to you directly. You create a tribe of passionate people who care about the same things you do.
Some simple ways to build a community include starting a private Facebook group where people can encourage each other and share ideas, hosting live events where you can interact personally with your tribe, or creating a membership site where people can get exclusive access to you.
After you’ve completed the step-by-step process on how you can build your personal brand, you can also take a look at these bonus tips on how to make your personal brand outstanding.
Bonus Tip Number 1: Ask for feedback.
Feedback from your family, friends, customers and colleagues is one way to make your personal brand all the more outstanding. With the feedback that you get, take them to heart and tweak how you present yourself to your audience. Take these as constructive criticisms so you can create better content, put out clearer messaging, and the like.
Bonus Tip Number 2: Stay updated.
Review your personal mission statement every six months. Make new action plans so you are always getting closer to your goals. If you have to redirect your paths towards your bigger picture, don’t be afraid to change course!
Once you’ve created your personal brand, it’s time to expand your reach. Use these strategies to be in the forefront, to be more visible, and to target your audiences.
1. Increase your visibility.
Post fresh content on your website, blog, social media pages and the like regularly. Stay active and look for opportunities to teach classes, talk in podcasts, give presentations, or write articles in your field. Be proactive and never passive.
2. Build buzz.
Collect samples of positive feedback you get in your industry. Assemble testimonials from happy clients and encourage them to make referrals. Remember, word of mouth is often more effective and certainly cheaper than paid advertising.
3. Tell your success stories.
Craft brief anecdotes about your accomplishments that showcase your skills and make you proud. Rehearse telling them so you sound natural. Nothing beats stories and experiences that people can relate to. They will turn to you for advice or help if they know you’ve gone through or are going through the same thing.
4. Monetize your contribution.
Numbers sound convincing that is why you should try quantifying the value you can deliver. For example, if you’re pitching your IT services to a small business owner, discuss how much money they can save by signing up with you for monthly maintenance visits that reduce the risk of expensive repairs and downtime.
5. Put together a dream team.
It’s difficult to do it all alone so start cultivating your network. Help others to market their brand and they’re more likely to do the same for you. Team up with complementary partners and exchange services.
Branding used to be for cattle and big corporations but now everyone is out there putting their personal branding for everyone to see. So, take charge of your personal brand using these tips and strategies to achieve more career success and guide your business and life in a direction that is meaningful for you!