Creating a personal brand can be daunting. Several people get lost in the process because they’re not sure where to start.
Your personal brand is the essence of you. It’s a promise you make to your audience to let them know what to expect from you.
It is about being authentic and consistent, so that people will want to learn more about you and the work you do.
What Is A Personal Brand?
Your personal brand is the depiction of your strengths, passion, values and your skills. Your personal brand is WHO you are.
Being intentional about what you want it to stand for will shape the opportunities you want to attract.
Your brand is more than a trademark, it’s how you present yourself online and offline. It is what you create to help build your business. It centers around you as a business.
How Can You Make Sure Your Personal Brand Stays In Full Bloom?
Establishing a personal brand that you’re proud of does not happen overnight. It takes time to create a vision of what you want, and to then execute that vision.
Here are 6 steps to building an authentic and memorable personal brand.
1. Decide What You Want To Be Known For
To build a strong personal brand, you have to define this first. When people mention your name, what do you want to be known for when you come to mind?
You want to find the special thing that is YOU and make it all about that. Your personal brand shouldn’t be some made up persona, it has to be real and it has to be you and has to remain authentic.
Pick Something Specific That You Can Do Better Than 90% Of The World
Most likely, you can do a lot things well, but that doesn’t mean you’re an expert in every single one of them. The best way to create a personal brand is by becoming a recognized authority on a specific topic.
If you’re not an expert on it, someone else will be. So don’t be afraid to go narrow to dominate a specific topic.
2. Define Your Unique Value Proposition
You wouldn’t start marketing a business before you’ve defined the product and its unique value in the marketplace.
Your personal brand works the same way. You’ll want to pinpoint the unique value proposition that you have to offer before you get started on building your brand.
You’ll need to define:
- What benefit you offer people
- Who those people are
- How you solve their problems
- What makes you different from others like you
If you are struggling to answer these questions, it might be useful to clarify your WHY.
Why are you passionate about what you do? Once you answer this question, from there you’ll be able to figure out what audience you’d like to help the most and how you can do that better than anyone else.
3. Create A Signature Look / Have A Brand Anchor
Having a “look” or a brand anchor helps you to be memorable. Which is exactly what you want. Your social media is your online identity, so make sure it represents you well.
You want it to communicate and align with your brand. Use the colors, logo, interests, video style or hairdo that speak to your brand and show who you are. According to one academic study, 94% of the time someone’s first impression is based on design, and it only takes 50 milliseconds for that split-second decision to get made.
When Creating A Look For Your Personal Brand, Consider These Tips For Your Social Media And Website:
- Profile consistency: Your profile photo, bio, cover photos and website links should all be similar.
- Overall look: Colors, fonts and style are all similar.
A massive part of creating a personal brand is looking the part in the first place, whatever the look you choose may be.
For me, I have a few main signature looks and brand anchors:
- My pink flower
- Optimism, positivity and kindness
- Classic rock (The Doors to be specific)
- A simplistic viewpoint, my #laceyisms
Consistency is key. Being consistent with your creative, your personality and your message. Create something that people can fall in love with.
Which brings us to our next step:
4. Be Consistent With Your Message
Consistency makes your brand feel more dependable.
When you’re getting to know someone, you develop opinions and ideas based on your interaction with them. If they’re dressed in a suit one day, and then the next in a pair of shorts & ratty t-shirt and then the next day in a mermaid costume; it may be hard to figure out exactly who they are and what they’re all about.
People can feel the same about your brand if you aren’t careful.
If your social media voice is fun and whimsical but your product packaging is clean and plain, you’re sending mixed signals that will confuse people and leave them feeling like your brand can’t be trusted.
5. Give To Receive
There are a few steps to establishing yourself well. Gary Vaynerchuk is constantly saying this, “Give away your best work for free.”
I believe that one of the most important steps in establishing an authoritative personal brand is to give information freely.
I’m a LinkedIn Coach and Personal Branding Strategist, so when I create content, it’s based around LinkedIn and personal branding. I openly share my tips and strategies to help others solve a problem.
Create content that’s informative. Talk with people about what you know. Don’t hesitate to make people around you smarter. This will only establish you as a credible source. If you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room.
6. Understand Your Industry Well
Learning never exhausts the mind, we can never learn enough.
If you want to build trust & authority within a specific industry or niche, then you need to position yourself as a thought leader to attract more of your ideal clients. To do this you need to always be willing to learn as much as you can about your industry and niche. Be an expert.
Think Of A Few People Who You Feel Possess A Strong Personal Brand And Ask Yourself These Questions:
- Why did you choose these people?
- What do you find strong about their personal brand?
- What are you learning from them?
Likely, you picked these people because they have strongly positioned themselves as an expert or a go-to within their industry.
It’s important that you understand your industry or niche inside and out. This also means staying up to date on breaking news, latest trends and your competition. When you do this, it positions you as a thought leader in your industry, which will help to grow your personal brand to full bloom.
Building and establishing a personal brand that encompasses who you are and that you’re proud of is an ongoing project. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to create a vision of what you want, and to then to communicate and exude that vision.
Having a strong personal brand is vital to building your reputation, credibility and being successful in your professional and personal life. Whether you are trying to build your business, find a job, get noticed by the press or simply make new successful friends, a confident, attractive and visible brand is the key.
And remember, your personal brand is more than just a strategy, it’s who you are!