You’ve heard that building a personal brand is essential for business start-up success and that’s actually true. We are in a new age now, gone are business cards and even shopfront presence. What matters is your brand, that’s what’s selling.
But what is it exactly?
Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos summed it up perfectly, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”
Building your personal brand is about creating a perception about your business and your professional skills that people want to talk about and talk about positively (and we’ll include envy in positive terms, even if it sounds spiteful).
Big companies spend millions on creating and projecting a brand they feel is desirable and will link favourably to their product. It’s your brand people will be thinking of first, your product or service second. If you become know as a brand that is reliable or trustworthy and valuable, sexy, state of the art or cutting edge, people will buy your product without even knowing what it is. This is how Apple created sensations with its brand. People sleep on the footpath for days to get their hands on the next Apple release without knowing anything about it! The product didn’t matter, what it did, whether they needed it or not. They assumed they were buying something modern, trendy and desirable, just like the brand that created it.
So, without a big marketing budget, a professional team and billboards, how are people going to see who you are, and build knowledge about what you are known for.
For many people, this is the part of business that terrifies them the most, the part that will have them avoiding their own businesses management at all costs. In many ways creating a brand for yourself overlaps with self-promotion. You will need to speak highly of yourself, tell people about your successes, your abilities and blow your own horn. If you are starting out you might really find this a challenge. With no runs on the board, how will you have anything to back yourself with.
For a start, you have years of knowledge and experience in life, you’ve been living it every day! You also have an idea you are willing to take from concept to reality, that’s a rare and brave thing. Speak with confidence and talk about yourself the way you want others to. You don’t need to sound obnoxious.
Here are five ways to take your knowledge and strengthen your personal brand.
- Be a leader
Personal brand management is about showing others that you are a leader. People like people they want to be like, so admiration, authority, success and passion all work wonders. Be the role model and mentor in your profession, as well as a trusted voice in your local or online community.
You can create a brand for yourself through showing passion, authority, and value in blogs, vlogs, webinars as well as your presence in the community, either as a speaker or presenter at conferences or invited guest at events and functions.
Speak at as many events as you can but don’t waste your time at places that won’t be favourable or positive. For a start, it’s going to be about building up your confidence and communication, finding the best personal stories, right length of time, perfect content. Remember, leaders are authentic so write your own script and bring your whole self to the stage. All that really takes is practice so no matter what size the audience is, embrace it as an opportunity to speak and be heard.
Graduates of the Influence Now speaker training have gone on to be some of the most in-demand presenters in Australia, earning in one day what they normally would in a month!
On Paper: Write a list of places you can start speaking, start small, community networks and workshops, libraries and local events. Also a list of people you would like to contact with information about what you do and how you deliver – local newspapers, radio stations, guest blogging.
With your coach: construct an anchor (or maybe some stacked anchors) that will give you focus, concentration and confidence on stage.
- Know your niche
It takes a lot of time, study, and hands-on experience to be noticed in your field. This may be your long-term goal, however, being an authority in your niche is faster, very effective and a great way not just to create a brand for yourself but for your business understanding and customer awareness.
When people know who you are and can connect you with a specific area of expertise or knowledge, you are well on your way to becoming the go-to person, which creates more referrals and word of mouth advertising that, if you deliver on, builds your brand.
On Paper: Write up your ideal avatar and create a program or product just for them.
With your coach: Uncover your passion. What is it you love doing? It might be something from your childhood you’ve forgotten or a life purpose you have not been aware of before now.
- Be authentic
Building a brand out of something that is fake will take huge stores of stress and energy to maintain.
Your passion is your compass so follow that. Creating a brand for yourself means building your personal brand on who you are. Which is a lot easier than who you are not. Who you are comes naturally, will be easily accepted by others and will work in attracting the RIGHT customers to your business.
Attracting like-minded people to your business is what happens when you are authentic. Not only will you respond with more speed and greater enthusiasm than someone you don’t genuinely connect with, you will be better able to see their needs and get them met, thus further enhancing your niche and ability. When you are authentic you will attract authentic people.
On Paper: Consider you in your business. Write down who you are. List what you believe in, what you stand for and also write out your strengths and weaknesses.
With your coach: Determine your business values and get them aligned to your personal brand management strategies and make sure they all working positively towards your goal.
- Invest in an online you
Building a personal brand online takes time, and not just sporadically. You need to really invest in creating an online you The more creative you get the more you will stand out as an individual so throw all your talents in here. For that I mean, photos and visual aids, soundtracks, videos, regular creative content that really helps people.
It’s not just time spent on your own platforms either, following, commenting on, sharing and being present on other relevant social media content is great for your brand as well. People will want to see who you are interested in and where you hang out, both online and in the real world, so share this information, always making sure it’s in line with your values and how you want to be perceived.
Where are you at online?
Personal brand management means getting all your social media profiles completed and making sure the brand you represent runs true and strong across all of them. If you are all about creating peace, you need to have this upfront and available on all social media sites. If your brand is intended to be calm and relaxing it needs to be reflected in all the words and images you use. If your brand is out there and creative, be consistent.
- Present yourself in a positive light
- Be professional (in accordance to your product)
- Be creative and unique (while still professional)
- Use high-quality photos, sound and video
- Interact and engage with others in as many ways possible
- Update and provide new content regularly. Even something as simple as loading a new profile photo will help engage others, get them to know you and see who you are.
On Paper: Go through all your profiles and check of theta they are complete and follow your value.
With your coach: Determine a time you can dedicate to each social media platform, when, and how much. Then stick to it.
- Stay enrolled at the University of Life
There is always something new to learn, new material, new people, new content and new openings so be there through all of them. Stay present to your industry needs and trends no matter how experienced you think you are or how well you know things.
When you are present and stay open minded your brand will remain flexible to changes.
If you’re not growing, you’re sliding, so keep growing! Keep moving outside of your comfort zone, testing your limits and pushing the boundaries of what you can achieve.
On Paper: Write a list of the challenges you have overcome, the ones you are still learning, what it is you still want to learn, as well as the things in life you have achieved.
With your coach: Set new goals and be sure they are really challenging.
Remember, when you are blowing your own trumpet be real about it. You’re not perfect and no one expects you to be, so tell the stories of the times you fell down and got back up again. The challenges you had and overcame, people will learn something from your journey but they will also learn big things about you.
This build real currency and authority.
Have fun with it, and be troublesome!