More than ever, it’s important to consider and intentionally craft your personal brand.
What is a personal brand?
A simple definition is: what you want to be known for. However, this isn’t just about what you offer but, the complete package that includes why and how.
People buy into people. Whether you’re selling a product, a service or even “selling” an idea.
Your success lies in getting your audience to know, like and trust you. First they find a point of resonance with you, then rapport builds and then the relationship is cemented and they take action.
A personal brand applies, whether you’re self-employed or an employee. If you fall into the latter category, you still have your own career and life goals, even as you work to help achieve the goals of your employer.
If you’re self-employed or running a business, your personal brand helps to set the tone for your business brand, especially in the early stages. It’s difficult to separate the two when you’re doing work that is in alignment with your purpose.
What happens if you don’t do anything about your personal brand?
You don’t control the story that’s told about you and ultimately, you give up agency over your own results!
By not thinking about and actively working on your personal brand, you don’t help yourself to achieve your goals.
But I know you’re a doer so, here are 9 key elements to work on, as you build and grow your personal brand.
9 key elements of a stellar personal brand
1. A mission
What change do you want to contribute to creating in this world? What impact do you want to make? Remember: we can create change in small and big ways and all of it is important.
2. A purpose
What’s your why? What are the motivations behind what you’re aiming for and the journey there?
If you need some help figuring out your mission and your purpose, check out my Check in with your purpose workbook.
3. A defined audience
Who do you want to serve? Trying to reach everyone results in a diluted message that doesn’t compel anybody, so it’s important to get super clear and specific about who your ideal audience is.
I always encourage people to create a fictional persona, complete with a name. Figure out everything about your person and then go seek conversations with people who remind you of them. This enables you to validate your assumptions and learn even more about what your people want and how you can reach them.
4. Clear messaging
This is essentially putting the above 3 points together. What are you offering, who is it for and why should they care?
Can you articulate this in a concise way that is free of jargon, fluff and unnecessary complexity? Many people struggle with this. We often create statements that make sense to us, without putting ourselves in the shoes of our ideal audience.
Remember: it’s more important to be clear than clever.
5. Considered visual presentation
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: presentation is everything! If your presentation is poor, people won’t even take a moment to look past it and discover your substance.
People react emotionally, subconsciously and quickly! With this knowledge, invest the time and money to signify that you are their type of person.
Our visual presentation may include: our colours; a signature style/outfit/hairdo; the space(s) in which we conduct business; and any communications materials we may have.
Which brings us nicely to…
6. An online presence
In today’s world, it’s crucial to have some sort of online presence if you’re trying to connect with the people you want to serve or the people who can assist you on your mission.
Developing your online presence need not be complicated or costly. In fact, while it’s always a good idea to have an independent website, social media alone can take you pretty far.
However, in this context of personal branding, I’m not talking about your personal social media profiles, where you connect with friends and family! I recommend creating professional profiles that you can use as a platform for your mission.
7. Consistent content creation
In the quest to become known for something, you need to be actively showing up about it. Sharing your perspective and ideas; establishing your style, expertise and authority; and telling compelling stories.
This is where content creation comes in and it can take so many different forms. For example: podcast and video channels (e.g. on YouTube); hosting events; writing articles, blogs and papers; publishing on social media (including LinkedIn); and more!
Choose a content channel that allows you to show up as your best. We all have different skills and gifts – leverage yours!
8. Consistent engagement with your community
This includes your community of peers, your mentors and your audience.
Don’t be held back by fear of competition – there is abundance available for all if we stay true to ourselves.
Take advantage of how technology has given us access to so many people who can inspire and guide us, even from afar.
Similarly, use technology to discover and add value to communities your ideal audience belongs to.
Consistent engagement leads to the growth of your influence (and audience). The growth of your influence translates to progress with your mission. Whether that’s sales, pushing an idea or a career jump!
I mentioned them at the start of this post and we’ve come full circle now.
Where are you headed?
You have your big mission, it’s grounded in your why and you’ve set up the platforms to push your ideas and grow your influence.
What are the milestones along the way? What short- and medium-term goals are your presence, content and engagement building towards?
If you need some help with setting, clarifying and breaking down your goals, check out my free Foundations for Freedom course.
Over to you
Have you devoted time and thought to your personal brand?
What’s working and what still needs some work?
Show up shining in 2021!
This content was originally shared as part of my Shining into 2021 Facebook Live series!
The series is designed to get you to stop hiding and start shining, when it comes to taking your creativity to the next level and growing the creative business of your dreams.
One that makes an impact for you, and for the people you serve. I’m covering a variety of topics that I’ve found to be essential in this mission. From branding to content creation and more.
Join me every Tuesday at 3pm EAT, exclusively in the Afri-love Women group, through to Tuesday 15th December. When you join the group, you can access all the replays and relevant discussions.