In the past, the traditional narrative suggested that to be taken seriously as a business leader, you needed to be at the helm of a successful business. The credibility of a leader was often tied to their personal credentials such as a title and tangible success of their company.
However, the digital age has flipped the script. Today, it’s not just about leading a business; it’s about leading a personal brand. Prolific leaders who create prolific content are now the ones who are taken more seriously. Not because their degree or college education. They’re respected based on their followers. 🤔
Does your business have a face? Should it have one?
The short answer: it should.
The rise of social media and content marketing has democratized the business landscape. It has given individuals the power to build their own platforms, share their ideas, and connect with audiences on a global scale. This shift has led to the emergence of a new kind of business leader: the personal brand leader.
Personal branding is about more than just self-promotion. It’s about establishing a reputation and building trust with your audience. It’s about sharing your unique perspective and insights, and providing value through your content. When done right, personal branding can elevate a business leader from being just another executive to a thought leader in their industry.
Examples of successful personal brands
Tesla and Elon Musk: Elon Musk is arguably one of the most well-known examples of a business leader with a strong personal brand. His innovative ideas, outspoken nature, and active social media presence have made him a household name. Musk’s personal brand is so strong that it’s often hard to separate him from his companies, Tesla and SpaceX. His vision for a sustainable future and space exploration resonates with many people, and his personal brand has undoubtedly contributed to the success of his companies.
Virgin Group and Richard Branson: Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, is another business leader with a strong personal brand. Known for his adventurous spirit and customer-first approach to business, Branson’s personal brand is closely tied to the Virgin brand. His charismatic personality and commitment to innovation have helped Virgin Group become a leading brand in multiple industries, from music to aviation to space travel.
Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg: Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and CEO of Facebook, has a personal brand that is intrinsically linked with his company. His story of creating Facebook in his Harvard dorm room and growing it into one of the world’s biggest social media platforms is well-known. Despite facing criticism and controversy, Zuckerberg’s vision for connecting the world and his commitment to innovation have helped shape Facebook into a multi-billion dollar company. His personal brand, like it or not, has played a significant role in the success of Facebook.
In this new paradigm, content is king. Prolific leaders understand this. They leverage platforms like blogs, podcasts, and social media to share their insights and experiences. They create valuable, engaging content that resonates with their audience. They don’t just talk about their company’s products or services; they talk about their vision, their values, and their journey. They share their successes and failures, their insights and lessons learned. They show their audience not just what they do, but who they are.
This shift towards personal branding and content creation has several implications for business leaders.
First, it means that authenticity is more important than ever. In a world where everyone has a platform, those who are genuine and authentic stand out.
Second, it means that business leaders need to be not just business savvy, but also media savvy. They need to understand how to create engaging content, how to build an online presence, and how to connect with their audience.
Finally, it means that business leaders need to be constantly learning and evolving. They need to stay ahead of trends, adapt to changes, and continually find new ways to provide value to their audience.
Interestingly, companies are now recognizing the value of personal branding and are investing in personal brand marketing for their executives. They understand that a strong personal brand can enhance the company’s brand, build trust with customers, and drive business growth.
The script has indeed flipped. Business leaders no longer need a successful business to be taken seriously; they need a successful personal brand. They need to be prolific leaders who create prolific content. This shift presents both challenges and opportunities. But for those who can navigate this new landscape, the rewards can be immense. They can build a loyal following, establish themselves as thought leaders, and create a lasting impact.
In the digital age, personal branding is not just an option for business leaders; it’s a necessity.
Ready to elevate your brand and accelerate your success? Let’s talk! Schedule a Branding Strategy Call with us today. Together, we’ll explore your vision, define your unique brand identity, and create a powerful strategy to make your brand unforgettable. Don’t wait to make your mark. Click the link to book your call now and take the first step towards transforming your brand!
The coronavirus pandemic is emerging as an existential threat to the nation’s small business owners. This is NOT normal. Even when people try to sugarcoat it. We joke and say “the new normal”, but … the banking account is feeling quite the opposite.
Businesses need 2 C’s:
1) Clients 2) Cash
The way you get clients is through getting exposed in front of potential buyers, period.
Success is mathematical, not psychological.
If you don’t go to events, don’t attend conventions, don’t have professional interactions, sooner than later, your pipeline will simply get dry.
This is a real problem.
The solution to get more leads? Virtual prospecting.
The sooner you can learn how to master the process of prospecting online, the better it will be. But wait… prospecting online?
How to prospect for new clients online or how to prospect virtually?
In person events are out of your lead generation equation. This means that you now have to hustle online. Well… welcome to my world.
I realized that my decade of experience in internet marketing, developing new markets using social media marketing and personal brand marketing could add value to many professionals and entrepreneurs.
What are the best prospecting techniques?
Social media marketing, especially Facebook, is at the top of the digital marketing strategies to find new clients online.
I host networking events for our community of Austin Networking for Professional & Entrepreneurs. We are now over 5,000+ local business owners and counting. As a social media educator, I decided to host online events to provide connections and discuss resources for those who wanted to accelerate their online networking skills. Those events were the inspiration for my book.
How do you reach prospects online?
Finding, reaching, and discovering sales opportunities online can be intimidating. Add to that the urgency and anxiety from a pandemic and you have the perfect storm!
The key to reach out to prospects online is in your personal brand. Without it, you are at risk to be considered a spammer. … You can’t risk your first impression … especially online!
Personal Brand Marketing
Personal branding refers to the practice of marketing and packaging yourself, your career, and your experience as a brand.
What’s your personal brand about? It’s about YOU! People buy YOU before they get interested in your products or services.
My Book on Personal Brand Marketing
My book reached #1 best-seller in 2 categories: Web Marketing and Internet Marketing and I’m just amazed!
What’s in the book?
Part 1: The Essentials of Social Media- Solopreneurs spend many hours of the day, working on marketing tasks, that come randomly, and most of the time, as a distraction. Learning the fundamentals of building a social media marketing strategy is the key to growing a business, along with strategies followed by amazing brands like Amazon, Starbucks, Apple, and Kendra Scott. You will be inspired to build a community of loyal customers, to stop competing based solely on price, and to grow your business.
Part 2: A Guide to Personal Branding- Here’s where you’ll get the- A 1-page blueprint to building a personal brand that builds a long-lasting first impression and ignites revenue. This is what thriving brands are doing in the digital economy. What if you are a brick and mortar business? Do you need to follow personal branding strategies? Absolutely! Humanizing your brand is the ultimate secret to survive the retail apocalypse.
Part 3: How to Write So They Listen- You will learn the psychology behind crafting content that moves your audience to action and learn why writing is not just about sharing pretty words.
Part 4: A Full Year of Copy For Social Media Marketing- You’ll have everything you need to simply plug n’ play your profitable content marketing plan. These are not just ideas to post. You will get detailed campaigns with strategies and templates.
Part 5: Social Visibility- You’ll get the Social Visibility Blueprint to turn your social media marketing into your salesforce. My promise with Your Visibility Blueprint is to eliminate the overwhelm from social media marketing. I want to provide you with a blueprint to ignite visibility, so you can build the business you love, and have the life you deserve. Most likely, you’re a purpose-driven business owner like me; I take my mission to activate your greatness very seriously!
BONUS: Along with this book, you will unlock access to amazing resources, such as:
* A complimentary Forensic Marketing Audit (Value $500+)
* Editable Visibility Workbook to plan your content like a pro (Value $47)
* Special price in our Marketing For Greatness Courses (save up to 80%)
* The Marketing For Greatness Network. Connect with other solopreneurs and participate in life-changing conversations.
If there were a clear, actionable way to boost your personal brand using social media WITHOUT turning yourself into the embarrassing “I am the influencer” style… Or even better … BENCHMARKING your growth so you see where your revenue is at. … Would you feel motivated to market your amazing products or services? You see: you’re willing to put in the work. If you read my book you’ll find a lot of practical advice to implement personal brand marketing the right way!
When my husband asked me for a picture of us in 2009, I immediately knew the #10yearchallenge went viral. He is never up to social media trends! So, of course, I wanted to jump into the challenge… until I checked out the stories that people were sharing.
What’s wrong with the #10yearchallenge?
There is nothing wrong. In a simple answer, you’re just supposed to share a picture side by side comparing your life in 2009 vs your life in 2019. The problem is that the trend went way too far in how people curated their lives.
In case you haven’t checked, go ahead and search on Instagram for the #10yearchallenge. You will the search results and will find Instagram influencers with unbelievable stories! Based on those search results, you will think that the world turned into a better place within the last 10 years.
This made me wonder… why do most people feel the urge to curate their lives on social media? Don’t we connect better when we are vulnerable and real? Then, why don’t people just show more vulnerability?
If you’re wondering where the line is between sharing your life- raw and vulnerable and attracting people to you- the real you, then keep reading!
The Mandatory Question: What The Heck Is Vulnerability?
One of the most quoted definitions of vulnerability is from Brené Brown “Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen. It’s tough to do that when we’re terrified about what people might see or think.”
As small children, we are open and free, sharing all of ourselves with others. Until something very painful happens: your best friend reveals your secret to someone and that someone decides to share with everyone. And now you’re exposed. This can be one of the most traumatic experiences for a child. Did you ever experience how is like being exposed and ashamed as a kid? I did… plenty of times.
As we grow and mature, we soon learn that the world can be a very painful place. We learn that not everyone is on our side, and not all situations are going to go our way. We get disappointed and go through growing pains, and that’s how the fear of vulnerability is formed.
Think about your first love. You believed in eternity. You thought this was the only person you could ever loved. And then… You got hurt.
The fear of vulnerability is ultimately a fear of rejection or abandonment. You have been hurt before, so you seek to minimize the risk of being hurt again.
Why Is Vulnerability A Good Thing, Especially For Your Marketing?
Vulnerability is scary. However, if you are business owners, c-suite executives, leaders, or trying to build a name and a personal brand, vulnerability is needed.
The well-known neuroscientist, Antonio Damasio stated, “We are not thinking machines that feel rather, we are feeling machines that think.”
Damasio made this discovery: every human decision depends on emotion — every single one.
We make each choice somatically. In other words, we feel each decision out.
In sum, it’s about EMOTIONS.
Your personal-vulnerable stories will get you closer to your audience. Even more than your superhero stories. In general, people relate more with struggles than with wins.
Vulnerable Leaders Are Confident
People who do have a lot of self-confidence, are actually willing to show more of themselves. They’re willing to be vulnerable because they’re not afraid that someone might come in and take advantage of that. A recent set of studies calls this phenomenon “the beautiful mess effect.” It suggests that everyone should be less afraid of opening up—at least in certain cases.
The best example: video marketing!
Have you ever used video to increase your business? Have you thought about it but decided it wasn’t for you? Did you try it and feel embarrassed and not want to do it again? Even if you are a pro in video marketing, you know that the struggle is real, especially for women! We need to have the perfect background, the perfect hair and makeup, perfect nails, and of course, the idea of what we are saying. It’s exhausting.
With video, the more you do it, the more confident you get on camera, and then you learn that it’s ok if you mess up. You laugh and move on. By the way, I want to add a side note here and feature Barnes Team Media from Austin, Texas. They are educators on how to perform better on camera. You should check them out! Mike & Kim Barnes!
The next time you’re hesitating about sharing a great message on video, just think about the beautiful mess effect. People love messy! People love reality shows!
But what about your content marketing, in particular, social media marketing, how vulnerable do you really need to be? Where is the line between vulnerability and privacy?
The Golden Rule of Social Media: Be Personal, Not Private
In my book, The 6 Golden Rules of Social Media, rule #3 is Be Personal, But Not Private.
We all have that one friend on social media who tells us what she had for breakfast, what she wore to work today, the fight she just had with her mother, the supervisor at her job that constantly calls her out and, you know, I could go on and on about her life, or, just go check her social media pages to tell you exactly what is going on with her.
This is exactly WHAT NOT TO DO on social media. It is a desperate cry forattention and while you need the attention and you want new visitors to your social media profiles and pages, this is not the way to get it. In fact, this type of behavior attracts the attention you really don’t need.
You need to be more intentional with what you share on social media, especially if you want to attract a high-level profile.
Think about what your friends want to see from you.
Normally, people are open to know about things that benefit them, such as:
How to save money
How to make more money
How to save time, or
How to save efforts.
Those are the top motivators. You see, it’s not about you! It’s about them.
People don’t want to remember how dramatic your life is or how tough it is to be a parent. We all go through highs and lows. People don’t want constant reminders of your lows; especially when you have poor judgment on your images.
Your friends don’t need to see your c-section scar, bleeding, to know that you have a baby and it was a c-section.
You are entitled to a private life that you share with your family and close friends, away from your business. Do not cross the line of displaying your private life on social media.
Marketing is all about igniting human connections. You want to activate the power of emotions by being a human, to ignite those connections and then, give your audience what they want.
Is that simple! If you’re a content creator, having a clear understanding of how to humanize a brand without crossing the line is very important.
I wish I could tell you that in 10 years, I moved a magic wand and my life changed mysteriously. Well, that’s not true.
I wish I could tell you that in 10 years, I went from my 30’s to my 40’s and I retired with millions of dollars in the bank. This isn’t the case. I had multiple wins between 2010-2013 and several losses in 2014. Those generated plenty of changes for all of us. Changes that were scary, but we are now grateful for all.
I wish that in 10 years I didn’t find myself 50 pounds heavier, and still struggling with my diet. But that’s not the case.
In reality, I can claim some wins. More wins than losses. But I would be a fraud if I tell you everything has been incredibly great. Our family of 6 has seen adversity. It’s extremely difficult pursuing your personal goals, business goals while raising a family with intentionality. I wish more people were real when sharing their #10yearchallenge.
My goal for the next ten years is to be present. To be real. To be vulnerable. This might explain why my personal Facebook is off. I want to figure some things out before I go ahead and create content: for whom?
The last decade was all about growing a massive audience. For some reason, it doesn’t serve me well. I’m all about quality, not quantity.
I have realized how much I love being a small business owner, in particular, a solopreneur and how much I love helping others succeed; especially those who need me the most.
This is me- the real me. With grammatical errors and a crazy accent.
Being vulnerable has opened plenty of doors for me. I wish I had known this 9 years ago, when I was hiding my mistakes, my accent, and tried to be someone else.
If you’re in the process of building a personal brand, take vulnerability seriously and build an audience that you can connect with. Find that line that allows you to connect with your tribe, for real. And just focus on being you, just a little bit better each day.
Don’t Forget This Marketing Secret
The most important element of your content marketing strategy or social media marketing strategy is your reputation. Without great customer service and a great reputation, every marketing effort will be worthless.
Do you care about how you make people feel when they connect with you on social media? I do!
You want to make sure that you use social media for what is good: making new connections and keeping up with the old. But you also want to make sure that you are reaching your business goals and social media is also great for prospecting.
Your prospecting goals can turn social media into a very complex world. That’s why we are here today! Let’s solve this puzzle today!
I’m assuming you know what content marketing is. But just in case you want my version of content marketing, ultra-simple, here it is:
Your brand’s voice needs content marketing to live like a car needs wheels to move.
Content marketing is not just typing keywords. If it was about that, anyone can succeed in the digital economy. You know very well that’s not the case. Our lives are so cluttered that we can’t keep up with all the data we get every second.
Just to put you in perspective, there are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created each day at our current pace, but that pace is only accelerating with the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). That’s why you feel like it’s impossible to keep up with all notifications.
✔️ Facebook notifications
✔️ Facebook business notifications
✔️ Facebook stories
✔️ Instagram feeds
✔️ Instagram messenger
✔️ Instagram stories
✔️ Google my business
✔️ Other apps
✔️ Your mom
✔️ And real life!
How can people remember your name and your story, on top of everything else they are doing?
It’s all about your brand.
Your communication is a function of your personal brand. And your content marketing strategy is a factor of your brand strategy.
Even if you didn’t have a business, your persona is a brand. You just don’t call yourself a brand, but you are!
Creating a personal brand is crucial to cultivating a successful career. Marketing yourself and your career or business as a brand is more than just about creative business cards or pretty fonts– it’s about how you present yourself to potential clients, customers, and anyone else imperative to your career.
I think you understand, the idea and purpose of content marketing. The main struggle my clients share with me is about keeping a balance between their business accounts and personal accounts. Where is the work life balance when it comes to content marketing and social media marketing?
I’m not your guru. I happen to be a recovered attorney and online marketing nerd who has been on social media as a personal brand before it was even a thing, back in 2009. The strategy I will tell you is the one I follow. Let’s dive in so I can tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly of balancing your business account with your personal account.
The Anatomy of A Perfect Content Marketing Calendar (The Branding Burger)
You want to find a balance between your personal life and your curated life. In order to do that, you need to consider multiple ingredients. Just like the burger!
As a personal brand, your work life balance, in regards to your social media accounts, is a function of the following factors:
Brand voice is the uniformity in the selection of words, the attitude and values of the brand while addressing the target audience or others.
The objective of a brand voice is to result in the formation of a uniform personality, positioning, and an image. It is essential to set up and communicate branding strategies in a consistent way to obtain such results. Hence, it is important that the brand voice has a uniform vocabulary, values, and other characteristics.
Think about Disney.
Disney has an edge over any of its competitors because of one important quality – consistency. People can imagine a whole new world when they talk about Disney. Be it Disneyland, Disney’s social media network page, or any of the Disney product, Disney has its own vocabulary, values, and tone.
Your voice is the core of your brand strategy.
Your real life
Whether you’ve got 10, 100, 1000 or a million followers on social media, posting pictures and videos they’ll actually enjoy viewing is a great way to encourage engagement and keep your followers coming back for more.
Wishpond’s data says that overall, photo posts get 120% more engagement than the average post, and photo albums actually get 180% more engagement.
People love seeing your real life, to connect with the real human, especially your values.
Your real life is the top of the branding burger!
What’s on your mind
In real life, what’s on your mind? I will tell you mine so you can have a framework:
60% of the time my mind is focused on key activities related to my business goals.
40% of the time I’m focusing on my personal goals.
On a typical workday, I dedicate almost the entire morning to my morning ritual and fitness activities. I get behind my computer, typically around 11 am. I block my time from 11 am until 3 pm so that when kids come from school, I am available. My mind goes into “mom duty” until kids go to bed around 9 pm. Then I spend time with my husband and sometimes I get to mix some of my creative work. That’s my 60/40 and feels like a healthy work life balance to me, considering the season I’m in.
If you follow me closely on my social media accounts, especially Facebook and Instagram, you will notice this by the stories I share. I try to show my friends how does real life look like. Why? Because they have told me they enjoy them!
A pro tip: make your content about them. If you’re sharing what’s going in your personal life, ask your audience for their opinion!
Brand authority refers to the trust a brand has earned among customers, and the degree to which they see your brand as a subject-matter expert. This is where you draw a line.
You want to share personal things, but not private. That’s the kind of content that will turn off your credibility and trust in front of your friends and professional connections. And of course, in front of your prospects too!
Do we really need to see you with a few extra drinks? How will that be compatible with your brand identity? What do you want people to think about you?
A pro tip: if it needs an explanation, delete it or don’t post it. Just because you have a “personal” account doesn’t mean that you expose your dirty laundry.
Creativity and storytelling are like Oreos and milk – separate, they’re nice, but together they’re magic. When it comes to telling our own story, so much of what we accept as reality is just the habitual stories we tell ourselves. To articulate a new vision, you need a new story.
Coining that new story depends on your ability to tap into those creative juices and dig in to who you are. Really, the story has been there all along – you’ve just been too entrenched in it to see it! Learning how to reframe and tell your story in a creative, engaging way is crucial to creating a deeper connection with your audience. If something in your story hasn’t quite clicked yet, this could be the piece you’ve been missing.
See, for example, Alex Murphy. He’s a professional content creator who is currently building his personal brand, after running a successful video production company in Austin. Producing videos for brands like Jesse Elder got him to be inspired and use his own strategies to build a personal brand. It’s great seeing his storytelling and creative skills on social media!
I’m sure you have a friend who has a great social media account that keeps you coming back for more!
Your curated life
Within the first seven seconds of meeting, people will have a solid impression of who you are — and some research suggests a tenth of a second is all it takes to start determining traits like trustworthiness.
The beauty of social media is that you can always curate your life, to add value to your audience so they come back for more.
Think about your social media content as if you’re the editor of a magazine. Make it easy for them to follow your life, learn about your business and what you have to offer, in such a beautiful way that they feel inspired to share with their connections.
Your user experience
UX is what dictates your game plan. Think about what your audience wants to see from you. What kind of content makes them come for more. And do JUST that!
Consistency and empathy are crucial to create a great content marketing calendar. You will make people easy to follow you, adapt to your style, and consume your content. This is how they will be able to learn about your products or services without you having to feel like you’re selling them.
A pro tip: Combine social media with your blog posts / web content, but make sure your web content is optimized for UX.
Back in 2006, Jakob Nielsen published an article about the “F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content”. In an eye tracking study 232 users were recorded navigating thousands of web pages, Nielsen’s team found that the users scanned the web content in the so called F-shaped pattern.
According to the article: “Users first read in a horizontal movement, then move down the page a bit, then read across and finally scan the content’s left side in a vertical movement. This creates an F – shaped reading pattern (which can sometimes look like an E).
GRCAI researchers pointed out other important findings regarding reading patterns on mobile devices:
✔️60% read a block of text at a time before scrolling to see more
✔️20% read one page, more or less, completely and then scrolled so that all of the screen’s content was replaced with new text
✔️20% read line-by-line — they focused on a single or very few lines on the screen while scrolling almost constantly to keep new information flowing
*Image from a poster of the study*
Even though social media timeline formats have been changing (most of major social platforms’ shape and navigation are more and more similar, especially for mobile devices), this F-pattern still applies for areas with less visual and complex design such as notifications, private/inbox messages list, etc. In other words it’s still important to pay attention to the avatar, username and the introductory text.
What To Share, When, And Where?
Now that you know the strategy behind your content marketing calendar, it’s time to simplify your content creation process.
What To Share? Follow The 60/40 Rule
You want to at least post daily in the social media channel where you are 100% focused to connect with your prospects.
Instead of just sharing what’s on your mind or an industry tip, I want you to think about the entire burger! Create your editorial calendar ahead of time, so you can balance it out.
Create campaigns for consistency
Motivational Monday, Transformation Tuesday, Tip Thursday, and Fun Friday. These campaigns will help you to build a content calendar faster. You don’t have to use the names all the time. This can be just for internal purposes.
You don’t always have to use a sales type of content in order to remind your audience about your product or service. A story is more powerful than any other promotional content you can create.
Where To Share? Craft A Facebook Strategy.
Facebook Groups have been a trend after the business pages’ organic traffic died. Find professional groups and hang out with other professionals. Your end goal is to build an ecosystem. A system where people share referrals and introductions.
Rumors say that news feeds on Facebook might be removed. We don’t know if this is real, but we know that Facebook Stories are a great placement. Start using them more! Especially for your creative posts! They disappear in 24 hours so take advantage!
Marketing studies have confirmed that videos get 20 percent more clicks than images. As we are crafting a new Facebook marketing strategy, we need to take video marketing seriously.
Take Imperfect Action And Just Do It
I think you’re very lucky to have blueprints and roadmaps! When I started using social media, there wasn’t anything like this. We needed to learn how to build a brand, by just doing it and making mistakes.
I wrote a book, The 6 Golden Rules of Social Media that talks about how social media is like the Golden Rule. You treat people the way you want to be treated and you will be good.
So, when you’re creating your content marketing calendar, always put yourself in your audience’s shoes. If you were you, following your account, what would you do differently?
Next Steps? Watch My Webinar On-Demand!
Master your social media marketing in just 2 hours a month! Click here.
If you’re here, chances are you want to be recognized for your expertise and want to stand out from the crowd. Perhaps you’re looking to starting a business and can benefit from branding tops. Or maybe you have a full-time job and want to become an independent consultant. Or, you are a business owner already but you feel like you should be making money online.
There’s a lot of information out there on how to start an online business which is why it’s so important to develop your personal brand and why reputation and expertise should be part of your marketing strategy to attracting your target audience.
If you’ve been plugging away and haven’t experienced much growth and are 100% clear on your value and what you offer to your clients, we’re here to give you a blueprint that will catapult your personal brand strategy.
Whether you’re just starting to build your personal brand, or you’re looking for tips on how to improve your personal brand, you’ve come to the right place.
What is personal branding?
Successful personal branding is the art of promoting yourself and highlighting at least one core skill that you want to be recognized for. Examples of personal branding are everywhere in mainstream media. Oprah is the epitome of personal branding. She’s made iterations of her personal brand throughout the years. She’s now one of the most influential thought leaders in the world. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon defined what a personal brand is as “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Therefore, personal branding is an art that anyone can apply to their life and work. If you’re up to boost your career, now you know!
Personal branding has very little to do with colors and graphic design, as most people confuse. Personal branding is the result of a series of elements that form your identity (your brand). Think about branding as the verb of adding elements to a brand. Like painting a building versus building it.
How does one create a personal brand?
1) Define your niche.
Let’s say you want to start a consulting practice and your potential clients are within the medical industry. Your focus will be on promoting YOU, which for some, might feel a tad bit uncomfortable. For this reason, I recommend starting with shining the light on your accomplishments and accolades.
Sit down, grab a pen, your favorite journal and answer these questions as in-depth as you can:
1. What is my area of expertise?
2. What do people compliment me on all the time?
3. Which projects have others had to help me with repeatedly?
4. What motivates me to get up and get moving?
5. Which roles seem to drain my energy?
6. Which projects can I spend hours on without feeling overwhelmed or tired?
7. What are topics I could talk about all day?
Once you’re done, walk away and take a break. Your brain will process everything you’ve put down on paper and do its magic. In no time at all, you will be able to review everything you wrote down with a fresh outlook.
2) Claim your authority.
In today’s world of constant distractions, most professionals and entrepreneurs struggle to get their marketing messages heard. We’ve been told time and time again to not brag, not to sound arrogant, and the truth is— we care way too much about what other people think about us. This is why claiming our authority can feel like a huge challenge for some of us.
If you are committed to develop and grow your personal brand, you must ask yourself this one question, “How can I stand out from the crowd?”
Take Charlie Epstein, CEO of Epstein Financial Services in Holyoke, Massachusetts. There was so much competition in his field, so rather than simply trying to win a deal, Epstein wrote Paychecks for Life and tripled the size of his business. Essentially what he did was create authority. He became an expert in his field which inspired confidence in people who eventually helped grow his business by becoming his clients.
I’m not saying you have to write and publish a best-selling book in order to build your personal brand. What I am saying, is that establishing your expertise and claiming your authority will help better prepare and develop your personal brand.
Here are some questions that can guide you in discovering what you’re an expert in:
1. Who is my target audience?
2. What information do I know that they don’t know?
3. What are the specific skills I can teach them?
4. Out of my talents and skills which do people need the most?
5. What will people pay big money for?
6. What problem(s) can I solve?
What you’ll begin to see is a clear understanding of the problem you are solving for someone, You’ll be able to see how you evaluate and develop a set of criteria for when new leads come to your business.
In doing so, you start to move away from being all things to all people, and into an expert or authority in your specific industry. I can’t stress enough how important it is that you go through this process when developing your personal brand.
3) Your voice and tone
Most people focus solely on the visual aspect of their personal brand. However, THE most important element is: voice and tone. It’s not about what you say, it’s about how you say it. Your personal brand’s tone of voice will inform all of it’s written copy, which includes website, emails, social media, and overall packaging.
Tone and voice is what sets you apart from the crowd. You want people to recognize your voice as distinct and unique.
Here are a few questions to get you clearer on the type of tone and voice of your personal brand:
1. Do I want people to perceive me as serious, casual, or high energy?
2. Do I want to speak more to women or am I neutral to gender?
3. Will I be discussing political topics or will I stay away from them?
4. Will I be bringing spirituality into my content?
5. Is my tone formal or informal?
6. Do I share my personal side or am I strictly business?
There’s no right or wrong to these questions. The beautiful thing about having a personal brand is that YOU get to decide! It’s your brand, your voice, your message. The last thing you want is to sound like a second-rate version of another brand. This is your time to shine and uniquely you and still get your message across to your target audience.
4) Check your online presence
If you already have a quite a bit of content out there, now is the time to do an Internet audit of everything under your personal brand. If you’re starting from scratch, it’ll be easier because you would have determined much of the content, tone, and voice and start building on solid foundation.
Be sure to conduct a thorough sweep of these channels:
✔️Your Linkedin profile
✔️Your Facebook profile
✔️Google your name
Assess how your brand is showing up online. Update any incorrect information, polish up your platforms, and remove anything that is no longer aligned with the brand you want to build.
Your personal branding action plan
Now that you have these four steps, the next step is your personal branding action plan.
Let me ask you this. Be honest with me.
Is developing your personal brand urgent for you?
If it is, great! I have a Personal Branding Guide that you can get started on today.
And if it’s not that urgent for you, I highly suggest that you get this guide, and keep it for future use. What I’ve learned over the years having worked thousands of people just like you, is that getting the information is just as valuable as starting the project. Everyone learns differently.
Take advantage of the guide which will walk you through the next phase of your personal branding journey.
The hardest part of building your personal brand is your mindset! Once you are ready, a marketing consultant that focuses on personal branding will put this plan for you in a few hours. It takes me typically a day to create a personal branding guide, and if you’re ready to work with me on implementing your personal brand, take the first step and get your guide below.
Now I’m turning the conversation over to you! Looking forward to hearing your feedback!