Building your personal brand and how a recognizable brand opens up professional opportunities
You know what a brand is. But do you know what a personal brand is? And, even more importantly, do you know how to build one?
If you answered, “No,” to either of those questions, then now, more than ever, you need a personal brand.
If you want to stand out from the competition, attract new clients, and build a thriving business, you need to create a powerful, thriving personal brand.
If you’re an entrepreneur, consultant or coach, you need to be devoting at least some time every week to strengthening your brand. Your personal brand is one of your biggest assets. Your personal brand can take your business to places you never thought possible.
But you have to know how to build one.
Unfortunately, most business owners, entrepreneurs or freelancers don’t know how to build a successful personal brand that helps them to attract clients and scale their business. They feel fuzzy on exactly what steps to take and what’s involved in creating a brand focused around themselves.
What Is A Personal Brand?
First things first. Let’s ensure we’re all on the same page in terms of what a personal brand actually is.
A personal brand is much more than having a flashy logo or a designer color palette. A personal brand goes far beyond having a professional business card. A personal brand is not just about having a website with your name on it, although these elements certainly make up part of it.
A personal brand is much bigger and all-encompassing. It’s about who you are and what you do.
Your personal brand is how you present yourself to your ideal audience.
Your personal brand is how you present yourself, both online and offline, to your ideal audience.
Your personal brand is the image you put forth to people. It’s what you stand for. Your values. What you’re all about. The core of who you are as a person. Your personal brand is your secret sauce – the thing that sets you apart from everyone else. It’s what makes you unique.
Your personal brand is a reflection of your:
Thanks to the internet and the power of social media, every person can easily be their own brand. We all have access to the tools to build powerful personal brands. In fact, you might say that every person is now a brand. Everyone can constantly put themselves out in front of their audience Everyone can add value to their audience. Everyone can communicate their message loud and clear. But, its the strategy behind those actions that make it a successful brand image.
The crucial question is whether you are actively managing and taking control of your brand. It’s always better when you are the one in control of the process. And, the fact is, you’re going to have a personal brand, whether you want to or not. Everything you share online whether its a picture or quick status update, every email you send to your audience, every blog post you write, every facebook live you post - they all end up being part of your brand.
They all shape the way people think about you and the image you put forth. The question is whether you want your brand to develop on its own, with no guidance from you, or whether you want to be actively in control of the process. So how do you actively build an effective personal brand? How do you get in control of the process?
How do you ensure that your brand is helping to build your business?
Here’s the reality: every entrepreneur, coach, consultant, or freelancer, should be building their own brand.
It doesn’t matter if you’re not a big name or a Fortune 500 company. If you are trying to build a business of any sort, you need to be building your own personal brand. You don’t need to be a large company or a Hollywood celebrity in order to benefit from building a personal brand.
Benefits of building a personal brand
1. Personal Branding Allows You To Stand Out From The Competition
First and foremost, building a personal brand enables you to uniquely stand out from the competition.Your brand, values, expertise, and story all set you apart from your competitors.
Your competitors can’t bring what you bring to the table.
They simply don’t have what you have to offer. You’re unique. Only you are you.
You have unique:
Insights ... that set you apart from everyone else..
2. Building your personal brand allows you to highlight your uniqueness.
Think about a premium brand like Gucci or Rolex and how they’ve set themselves apart from the competition.
The more you work to build your personal brand, the greater the edge you’ll have over your competition.
Personal Branding Allows You to Charge a Premium Price.
The stronger your brand, the more people want your services, and the higher price you can charge.
This is exactly why companies like Nike are able to charge so much for their products.
3. By working hard to build your personal brand and to show how much value you bring to the table, you too can charge a premium price.
With every piece of content that you share...
...you establish yourself as an expert in your field.
As someone who really knows what they’re talking about. As a thought leader in your arena.
You are demonstrating your knowledge and insight to the watching world. You’re proving just how much value you offer and that you are the go-to person in your industry.
The more you demonstrate your expertise, the more your audience will trust you and come to you to solve their problems.
The more value you share, the more it shows people that you know exactly what you’re talking about and should be looked at as an expert.
Start building your brand with the exercises in the workbook "Getting your Personal Brand Story Straight" by Joanne Tombrakos. Get crystal clear on who you are.
4. When you’re known as the expert in your industry:
It attracts your ideal audience - the people who need your help the most.
You get more referrals from others in your industry and related industries.
You can charge a premium price - the kind of price that only an expert can charge.
The question is whether you’re intentionally shaping the narrative of your brand. In other words, are you carefully determining exactly what your brand is all about, or are you letting it happen in an ad-hoc manner?
Are you thoughtfully curating your brand or are you letting your brand “evolve” on its own? Are you the one crafting people’s opinions about your or are you sort of just letting things happen?
The beauty of intentional personal branding is that it ensures that you’re actively shaping your own narrative. You’re determining what people think about you, rather than simply letting people form their own opinions.
With every social media post you share, every blog post you put up, every email you send, you’re shaping the narrative of who you are. You’re in control of the story.
The more you build your personal brand, the more visible you’ll become.
You’ll attract more fans on social media.
Those fans will share your content with their tribes.
The more your content gets shared, the more fans you’ll attract.
The more you work to build your personal brand, the more individuals will want to connect with you, both in-person and online.
People will be attracted to your values, personality, convictions, and the insights you have to offer.
The more connected you are, the more business opportunities will present themselves to you. More speaking requests. More media opportunities. The opportunity to partner with other like-minded people.
Building your personal brand connects you personally with potential customers and clients, which then builds your business.