Five ways to start your personal brand and shine
There’s no way around it. Personal branding has lots of online buzzes lately. I love it as it is a way to stand out from the online boriness and requires authenticity for success.
But the concept can get confusing with so much information available.
The truth, it is pretty simple as it is complex. We are talking about humans here.
A personal brand is how you show up and how people perceive you. If both are aligned, there’s no gap between the two: you show up consistently, and people love you for who you are, and that’s your business!
By definition, a personal brand is not very different from one of a business. Take it from Marty Neumeier, the branding guru I love and learned so much from his books and workshops. In his words, “A brand is not a logo. A brand is not an identity. A brand is not a product. A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization.”
Your “you brand “is a reflection of you, of course. In short, you’re a brand! But in contrast to businesses, a personal brand is flexible, evolves along with your journey. In this kind of brand, you package your skills, expertise, experience, personality in an aligned story.
Therefore, even if you don’t consciously have been building it, you’ve been a brand your whole life. The unspoken words, attitudes, beliefs, and behavior are part of your personal brand. They have been sending “the gut feeling” signals described by Marty Neumeier to anyone you interact with since the day you were born into this beautiful world.
I think this amazingly cool and the secret of differentiating yourself. Turning who you are and your reputation into a caring and impactful business. It doesn’t get better than that. I love human art and stories!
If you want to take you and your story to the next level, here are essential starting points to build a solid personal brand.
1. Know and understand yourself
It comes with no surprise that much of building a successful personal brand relies on you. Your brand is a reflection of and aligned with who you are—this is non-negotiable. You don’t need to have everything figured out from the get-go, be ninja-perfect, just a basic understanding. The flexibility of a personal brand is priceless and grows with you.
You need to know your core, the pillars that make you, you—all the non-negotiable aspects of your unique personality and boundaries. Get used to drawing lots of lines on the sand when building a brand called you.
So, know yourself! Think about these questions:
• What are your stronger beliefs?
• What are your weaknesses and strengths?
• What you stand for?
• What’s your vision, how you transform and impact the world by being yourself?
• How you do it, the mission of your brand?
If you do this work (essential), you’ll uncover many aspects you didn’t know about yourself and your life. Priceless!
Linked with who you are, is having a clear understanding of your audience, customers, employers, and all people in your environment.
• Who are they?
• How your brand connect with them and support their journey?
2. Create your brand message
A brand message is a crucial aspect of how you communicate with your audience and includes the values, inspiration, benefits, and promise.
• What your audience cares about?
• And, what are you committed to delivering every single time you interact with them?
• What can your audience expect from you?
• How do you want to impact their lives with your communication and services?
Overall a brand message is an extension of your brand vision and mission, what you defined in the previous step. The win-win formula is to make it compelling, fun, and inspiring. Think of a tagline like “Just do it” or “Think differently.” It does not need to be two or three words, but short and memorable is the key.
3. Establish your brand voice
I honestly don’t know who created these brand personalities. Still, I think they are beneficial in bringing your message to life. These are the starting point, then you mix and match accordingly to what you define in 1 and 2.
Here are the critical brand personalities to help define yours:
a. Excitement: carefree, spirited, and youthful
b. Sincerity: kindness, thoughtfulness, and an orientation toward family values
c. Ruggedness: rough, rugged, outdoorsy, and athletic
d. Competence: successful, accomplished, and influential, highlighted by leadership
e. Sophistication: elegant, prestigious, and sometimes even pretentious
4. Use the online world to amplify your brand
There’s no way around it in today’s world. You must have some kind of online presence, e.g., a website and at least one social media platform. Start simple. A one-page website with the juice information about you and your business is enough in the beginning and sometimes for the years to come!
Understand the way you communicate best and pick a social network to show up and spread your beauty. If you love writing, start a blog and/or publish on Medium. If visuals are your forte, try Pinterest and Instagram. Have a great voice and love speaking? Girl, a podcast, and Clubhouse (or any social feature that allows that speaking) are your besties.
What’s most crucial practicing, develop your ideas and message consistently in a way that feels good to you. If your vibration is high up, your audience will feel it. That’s the point!
5. Have an offline audience and activities
Not every part of the business needs to happen within social media. Human connection and business happened in person for years and is still going and not going anywhere. Word of mouth is the best way to promote and get the best clients.
You want to create a network independent of algorithms, any type of AI, and wi-fi. Any kind of in-person event works for people to know you and feel your vibes. These you can control and have direct feedback. Not only for clients but also for collaborations; peers and friends are essential in any business. And, have an email list, please!
A personal brand is a beautiful way of promoting your gifts. It is not static, it grows with you. You can tweak it, reinvent it as you evolve– continuously in-motion.
Take stock every year or semester as you wish, so it doesn’t become stagnant or misaligned. We create a workbook to help with your next level brand here. Enjoy below!