Crafting Your Legacy – Getting Started
What Is a Personal Brand?
A personal brand is much more than a flashy logo or a color palette. A personal brand goes far beyond having a nice-looking business card. A personal brand is not just about having a website featuring your name, although that’s certainly part of it.
Your personal brand is how you present yourself online and offline to your ideal audience; it’s the image you put forth. Your brand represents what you stand for. Your values. What you’re all about. The core of who you are as a person.
Your personal brand combines your values, unique skills, experiences, stories, personality, and image; all presented authentically to your audience.
Why You Need to Build a Personal Brand
Every entrepreneur, coach, consultant, or freelancer must develop a personal brand. Here’s why.
- Here’s the truth, your brand will evolve whether you want it to or not.
- Personal branding allows you to stand out from the competition. Establishing your unique value proposition UVP sets you apart from your competitors.
- If you use social media, have an email list, write a blog, or speak to groups, you’re already building a brand, whether it’s intentional or not.
Personal brand building ensures you’re forming people’s ideas and opinions about you. You’re in control of the story.
- Personal branding increases your visibility.
- As you build your brand, you’ll become more visible.
- You attract more fans on social media, who will share your content with their tribes, which will then attract more fans.
- You’ll be invited to speak as an expert in your field.
Personal branding shapes the content you share. Without a personal brand, guidelines for sharing content are non-existent.
- With a personal brand, guidelines are defined, and what you should share with your audience is clear; only share things that align with your brand. Anything off-brand shouldn’t be shared.
- Personal branding connects you more with individuals. People connect better with other people than they do with companies. The more you work to build your brand, the more individuals you’ll attract. The people you attract are the type you’re interested in helping. They are attracted to your values, personality, and insights.
Personal branding allows you to become an influencer.
An influencer is someone who significantly shapes the opinions of their followers and has a big influence on how they behave. There are some significant benefits to being an influencer.
- Big brands want to work with influencers, which can generate revenue for you.
- You often receive free things from companies interested in partnering with you.
- You frequently get media requests to speak or attend events.
How to Build a Personal Brand
Step #1: Determine who you are. Understanding yourself, your motives, and your inner strengths is part of the process. Building your brand requires sharing your authentic self with the world.
You must be authentic to connect with your audience’s hearts and minds. You will likely fail if you “fake it” for whatever reason.
Ask yourself: What unique skills do I have? What are my core values? What am I most passionate about? What unique experiences have shaped who I am? How can I most effectively serve my core audience? What do I have to offer that no one else does?
Step #2: Determine what you want to accomplish. Once you’ve identified your core, it’s time to think about what you want to achieve with your personal brand.
- What would I like to accomplish personally and professionally?
- What do I want to be known for?
- If I could be the world’s foremost expert on a topic, what would it be?
- What key message do I want to communicate?
- What would it be if I could only give one piece of advice? What is the “personality” of my brand?
Step #3: Identify your target audience. There is a core demographic of people who will resonate deeply with you, your brand, and what you offer. This core demographic is your target audience.
- To identify your core audience, ask yourself these questions;
- Who can I most effectively help?
- Who will benefit most from my skill set and knowledge?
- Who am I most passionate about serving?
- Who will resonate most with me and my brand?
It can also be helpful to create a persona for your ideal client. The persona should include demographic information, desires, aspirations, pain points, and challenges your customer avatar faces.
Grab a copy of our Customer Persona worksheets here.
Step #4: Determine your Unique Value Proposition. Your UVP is your brand summed up into a powerful, compelling statement describing what you do for your audience.
A UVP typically looks something like this: I help (target person) to (achieve X) so that they can (outcome). Your UVP doesn’t have to say everything about your brand, but it should get to the heart of who you are and how you help your audience. It may help to give your UVP a unique name that will stick in people’s minds.
Here’s a recent example of a UVP we helped develop for our clients, Suzanne & Shawn Bandick, relationship coaches. “We help our clients overcome fear, past pain, and self-doubt. Working with us gives you clarity and confidence so you are ready for your best relationship.” Their tagline is: Recapture your dreams.” Do you see how this UVP is clear and gets to the heart of what they offer?
Don’t skip this step! Creating your UVP gives you a high degree of clarity about what your brand is all about.
Step #5: Start treating yourself as a brand. Stay true to your brand message in every communication with your audience, whether a blog post, email, podcast, social media post, etc.
Constantly speak about the problems you solve, always encourage your audience, and continuously voice your brand’s message.
It also means creating a strong, compelling website to serve as your home base for all your online activities. It means creating a media page or media kit on your site for media inquiries. It could mean not answering emails yourself but having an assistant answer them.
Step #6: Optimize your website. Your website functions as your “home base” of sorts. It is one of the primary places people get to know who you are and what you do. Your website is also one of the primary ways you turn visitors into paying clients.
Optimizing your website includes:
- Having a professional logo designed.
- Showing off your UVP.
- Using professional photos.
- Using testimonials.
- Presenting a clear call to action.
- Creating a compelling “About” page.
- Developing a services page.
- Giving away free resources.
- Creating a contact page.
#7: Develop your content strategy. You build your brand primarily by creating strategic content, such as blog posts, videos, social media posts, emails, affirmations, and podcasts. Each piece of content you share with your audience should serve to build your brand.
We recommend the “Pillar Method” for your content. The Pillar Method involves creating longer pieces of content that function as pillars. These pillars are divided into smaller pieces of content and shared across various social media platforms. This method allows you to repurpose a single piece of content in multiple ways.
Step #8: Constantly add value to your audience. It would be best to consistently provide value without asking your audience for anything. The main thing people should take away when interacting with your brand is how much value you provide.
There will be times when you ask for a sale or ask someone to become a new client. The main emphasis, however, should be on adding value to your audience.
Step #9: Build a community. One of the best ways to build your brand is to build a community of people who can share ideas, support each other, and reach out to you directly. You create a tribe of passionate people who care about the same things you do.
Some simple ways to build a community include starting a private Facebook group where people can encourage each other and share ideas, hosting live events where you can interact personally with your tribe, or creating a membership site where people can get exclusive access to you.
Download our Customer Persona Workbook and create customer personas for your target market
Coming mid-July – the eBook Crafting Your Legacy – Unleashing the Power of Your Personal Brand. The eBook contains 60+ pages packed with information and worksheets to help you Unleash the Power of Your Personal Brand.
Grab a copy of our 2023 Branding Guide. It covers the 7 components Fortune 500 companies use to craft their brands. It’s cool, colorful, easy to read, and has self-assessment questions you can use to see how your brand stacks up. GO!