Do you have an idea for a product or service that you’d love to build a personal brand around? So many people are filled with great ideas but let their fear hold them back from figuring out the first steps in pursuing that dream.
Well, if your dream is to start your own personal brand and start making a profit from your passions, then you’re in the right place! In this article, I’m going to be going over the step by step process that you need to follow in order to build a successful personal brand.
What is a Personal Brand?
Before we really get into it, you may be asking yourself what exactly a personal brand is. You might even be confused about the difference between a business and a personal brand. In the most basic sense, a personal brand is different from a typical business because it is not about selling.
A personal brand is about creating an online presence that centers around you as an individual and a skill or passion that you can display and share with an audience. The success of your personal brand will be based on your Personal Brand Persona, but you’ll have to go through a few steps if you want to make sure your Personal Brand Persona is a hit.
The very first step in creating a personal brand, is to come up with what exactly that brand is going to be. The most successful personal brands are designed around a person taking what makes them unique and marketing that as their brand image.
To do this, you need to ask yourself a few questions:
- What do you want to be known for?
- What do you excel at?
- What are you trying to sell?
- Are you going to sell a product? Or offer a service?
Once you’ve answered these questions and determined your niche, there is still a lot of work to do to develop your brand image. A personal brand is more than a name or a trademark or a stunning logo—it is how you present yourself online and offline to potential clients and customers.
Your brand image is what you create to help build your business. No matter what your niche, your personal brand will always center around you as an individual and he value you can bring your audience.
Craft Your Personal Brand Persona
Your personality is a huge factor in your personal brand—or, at least the personality you present will be. Creating a brand persona will help in creating your brand and drawing an audience. Your persona can be created by:
- Identifying your emotional appeal – What features of your personality stand out? This can be as easy as saying you have a crazy sense of humor or that you are obsessively organized. Take a few moments or ask friend or family members, why do you think people are attracted to the brand of you?
- Describing yourself – When it comes to your brand, who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
- Identifying your specialty – What do you do and what do people want you to do for them?
Personal Branding Statement
Once you’ve decided on your brand and your personal brand person, you need to write out a personal branding statement. A personal branding statement is best if it’s one sentence, but definitely no more than two. The purpose of writing a personal branding statement is to “grab” the attention of potential clients, not to tell your entire story—so it should be concise and to the point.
A personal branding statement also helps to drive name recognition. Use your personal branding statement to help you stand out from the crowd and create name recognition when it comes to you and your brand.
Build Your Platform
If you are going to have a personal brand, you will need a website to create your virtual platform. Your website domain should be your name or some variation of it. You should also develop distinct visuals and design a logo to help you stand out.
You will also need social media accounts that represent your brand. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram will all be vital to your personal brand, because so much of your success will depend on being able to connect with and engage directly with your audience, and these platforms are the best way to do this.
You will need to use these platforms to share your voice and show off your persona. A perfect balance will include business-related updates with personal updates so that others will so you as an established professional while also getting a sneak peek into your personal life.
Identify Your Uniqueness and Your Strengths
The way to truly stand out in your niche is to develop your own style. Think about the characteristics and strengths you’ve built in your career and make those integral to your brand.
If you are stuck, think about that “one thing” that everyone says you rock at. If you’re still stuck, ask others.
Own Your Space
Once you’ve identified your uniqueness and strengths, perfect them. You want your personal brand to be synonymous with your chosen niche. When someone needs information on anything related to your industry, you want them to think of you first.
Learn all that you can to become the expert in that area. You can never stop learning—read, absorb, and teach. And that includes learning about your competitors, trending topics, new tools and software that can help you build your brand, and anything else that will give you an edge over others in the space.
Share Your Knowledge
Once you’ve become the expert in your market, it’s time to make sure everyone knows it. It’s not enough to simply learn it, you have to teach it and share your knowledge by helping others. Do this through videos, social media, and writing both online and offline. This is where you prove to the audience that you know your stuff and how you are going to gain exposure from doing so.
While you can generate revenue with your personal brand, personal branding is not about closing deals and selling. It’s about making yourself available to others—clients, and peers. By building credibility in your niche market you will gain exposure for your personal brand and people will want to work with you or buy your product.
Finding your own style is key. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing or just follow the crowd. In fact, the more unique and authentic your style, the more likely you’ll be to find success. Audiences like personalities that are genuine and that they can connect with. They don’t want something that appears fake or forced.
A great example to think about is Gary Vaynerchuk, and how he built his brand by making videos that share wine reviews and tips. No one else was doing it, and now look around—hundreds of people are following in his footsteps. Find your own style and create a new set of footprints for others to follow in.
Identify Your Values and Set Your Priorities
It’s important to have a clear picture of your personal and professional goals, both short and long-term. So much of success in any endeavor involves planning. This will help you to not only identify the most important things to spend your time on, but will also give you something to align new projects with.
Use your values and priorities as a compass that guides you both in action and your decision-making process. Check back in periodically to see if your priorities have shifted, and to assess your successes and failures. This will ensure you stay on track.
Consistency Is Key
One of the key components of successful personal branding is staying true (i.e., consistent) to your brand. Clients will start recognizing your brand once they’ve encountered it several times, and if you change your image mid-stream, clients will get confused and ultimately not know (or trust) you.
If you’re using multiple platforms (e.g. a website and glossy color brochures), you need to keep your overall image and appearance the same. One way to accomplish this is to make sure your color schemes, logos, personal mottos, and your overall business look and feel are the same.
Consistency is also important when it comes to the quality and timing of your content. Make sure you’re always producing good content that your followers will get value from, and that you stick to a schedule when publishing content. Show your followers that they can rely on you.
Creating and ruining your own personal brand can be incredibly fulfilling. It gives you the opportunity to turn your passion into a business, but there’s no question that to achieve success, you’ll need to work hard and stay focused on your goals.
If you’d like to learn more about how to start a successful personal brand, then roll in our online Personal Branding & Influencer Marketing course today! You can also follow us on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for fun and helpful content daily, or visit our blog for FREE training resources!