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Personal Branding 101

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Brands are everywhere.

You know them: Chevrolet, Chick-fil-A, Apple, Wrangler, Casio. All of these companies are brands. 

Let’s discuss personal brands.

  • Do you know what a personal brand is?
  • Do you know how to build one?

If your answer to either of those questions was a “no”, then this post is for you.

Now more than ever, you need a personal brand.

Do you want to:

  • stand out from the competition?
  • attract new clients?
  • build a thriving business?

If so, then it would behoove you to take the time to create a powerful, thriving personal brand.

woman taking notes while on her laptop deciding on her brand colors

If you are an entrepreneur or are planning to be one in the future, it’s time to start devoting some work hours to strengthening your brand, as it will become one of your biggest assets.

Why is that?

Well, your personal brand can take your business to places you never even thought were possible.

You just have to build it.

It’s unfortunate that most business owners don’t know about personal brands nor how to build one. They’re fuzzy on what steps to take and what’s involved.

For the rest of this post, I’m going to go through what a personal brand is and why you need one.

I’m attaching a bundle in the Resources section at the bottom. It is a step-by-step How-To manual on building your personal brand.

Are you ready to learn?

Let’s get to it.. 

what is a personal brand?

first things first

A personal brand is:

  • much more than a flashy logo or a color palette  
  • goes far beyond having a nice-looking business card
  • not just about having a website with your name on it (although that’s certainly part of it) 

A personal brand is much bigger and all-encompassing.

It’s about the core of who you are and what you do.

It's the image you portray

Your personal brand is how you present yourself to your audience, both online and off.

It’s the image you put forth and includes:

  • what you stand for 
  • your values 
  • what you’re all about 

It is the very essence of who you are as a person.

Your personal brand is your secret sauce – the thing that sets you apart from everyone else and makes you unique. 

your authentic self

Your personal brand includes your:

  • Values
  • Unique skills
  • Experiences
  • Stories
  • Personality
  • Image

Each presented in an authentic, honest way to your audience.

Your personal brand centers around you as an individual:

  • what you bring to the table
  • the value that you offer
  • the specific ways that only you can solve people’s deepest pain points and biggest frustrations 

everyone is a brand

Are you under the impression that only big names are brands?

Nope.

Thanks to the internet, every single person can be their own brand.

Everyone has the ability to:

  • put themselves out in front of an audience 
  • add value to their audience’s lives
  • communicate their personal message loud and clear 

We all have the tools to build powerful personal brands.

So.. are you actively taking control of your brand?

As Influencer Marketing Hub puts it:

You can either ignore your personal brand and let it develop organically, possibly chaotically, beyond your control, or you can help massage your personal brand to depict you as the person you want to be.

Simply put: you’re going to have a personal brand, whether you want to or not.

Everything you do is part of your brand:

  • what you share
  • emails you write and send
  • your blog posts
  • events you host

All of these things shape the way people think about you and the image your put forth. 

take the reins

Questions:

  1. Do you want your brand to develop on its own with no guidance from you?
  2. Do you want to actively control the process?

It probably goes without saying, but it’s probably better when you’re in control of the process.

  • So how do you actively build a personal brand?
  • How do you get in control of the process?
  • How do you ensure that your brand is helping to build your business?

Keep Reading.. 

why do i even need a
personal brand?

I know what you’re thinking by now: 

“Why do I need to build a personal brand?”

“I’m not a big company or a celebrity, so why do I need a brand?”

Reality Check! 

Everyone should be building their own brands. 

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Coaches
  • Consultants
  • Freelancers 
  • Everyone

It doesn’t matter than you’re not well-known or a huge company. 

Do you want to build a business? If so, then you need a personal brand.

So let’s talk about the benefits of building your personal brand: 

Stand Out From the competition

Building a personal brand allows you to stand out from the competition.

What sets you apart?

Your:

  • brand?
  • values?
  • expertise?
  • background story?

Your competitors don’t have your unique offerings and can’t bring what you bring to the table.

YOU are the only YOU there is. 

Your uniqueness is what sets you apart from everyone else:

  • Experiences
  • Strengths
  • Beliefs
  • Perspectives
  • Skills
  • Insights

All of these are incredibly valuable to the right audience and distinguish you from your competitors.

Building your personal brand allows you to highlight your uniqueness.

It allows you to:

  • capitalize on your strengths
  • highlight the best parts of you

It’s your distinct competitive advantage.

Think about a luxury brand like Rolex and how they’ve set themselves apart from the competition.

They focused on being exclusively a luxury watch brand, setting themselves apart from other watch companies, like Casio or Timex. Rolex is the brand for those who want a luxury watch, while Casio or Timex are brands for those who want a sturdy, relatively inexpensive watch. By working relentlessly to build their brand, Rolex has distinguished themselves from every other watch company.

The lesson from this?

The more you work to build your personal brand, the greater edge you’ll have over your competition.

You’ll stand out from the crowd.

charge premium rates

As noted, personal branding highlights just how unique you are and the incredible value that you offer.

Because you bring unique value that no one else offers – you can charge a premium price for your services.

After all, you’re offering something that can’t be found anywhere else, right? Your services have that personal touch that is only offered by you. 

Craft that strong personal brand means charging that higher price because your products and services are exclusive to you, not available on the shelf in any old store. 

The stronger your brand, the more people want your services. 

The more people want your services, the higher the price you can charge.

This is exactly why high-end shoe brands are able to charge so much
for their shoes. They’ve spent years building their brand into a powerhouse. The shoes become a status symbol, and wearing them says something about who you are and what you support.

This allows those brands to charge exorbitant amounts of money.. because their branding automatically commands higher prices. 

Take a page from this playbook so you can charge premium prices in the same way luxury brands do: 

  • Work hard to build your brand.
  • Show how much value you bring to the table. 

highlight your expertise

Gentle Reminder: your personal brand is how you present yourself to the world.

Why do you need the reminder?
Well, a significant amount of personal branding involves the content that you share with the world.

More valuable = the more you demonstrate that you’re an expert who should be trusted.

Every piece of content that you share establishes you as an expert in your field or niche:

  • Social media posts
  • Blog posts
  • Emails
  • Videos
  • Inspirational graphics
  • Meditations
  • Affirmations
  • Audiobooks
  • Podcasts

You’re seen as someone who:

  • really knows what they’re talking
    about
  • is a thought leader in your arena 

To whoever is watching, you’re demonstrating your:

  • knowledge 
  • insight 

You’re proving:

  • just how much value you offer 
  • that you’re the go-to person in your industry 

The more you demonstrate your expertise, the more your audience will trust you and come to you to solve their problems.

The more value you share, the more it shows people that you know exactly what you’re talking about and should be looked at as an expert.

attract your ideal audience

Being known as an expert in your field brings unique benefits with it.

Being a known expert in your industry:

  • attracts the people who need your help the most (ideal audience)
  • gets you more referrals from others in your industry and related niches
  • allows you to charge a premium experts-only price

Example: Tony Robbins.

For years, he has been sharing the same message of
self-empowerment. Everything he says, every video he puts out, every book he writes has the same brand message: you can develop into a powerful individual and I can help you to do that.

Over time, he has established himself as one of, if not the, go-to person in the self-development arena.

The results?

  • He attracts huge audiences who want to fulfill their potential.
  • Millions read his books and follow him on social media.
  • He can charge a premium price for his services.

By consistently building his personal brand over many years, Tony Robbins now has people flocking to him for advice.

Do you want to experience the same?

If you ever want to be known as a go-to person in your industry, then it’s absolutely essential that you begin building your personal brand as soon as possible.

you're in charge of your narrative

As noted earlier, your personal brand will evolve, whether you want it to or not.

You’re already building a personal brand if you:

  • Use social media
  • Have an email list
  • Have a blog
  • Speak to groups
  • Record and share videos

Everything you put out into the world is part of your brand.

Some questions.

Are you:

  • intentionally shaping the narrative of your brand?
  • carefully determining exactly what your brand is all about? 
  • letting it all happen in an ad-hoc manner?
  • thoughtfully curating your brand?
  • letting your brand “evolve” on its own?
  • the one crafting people’s opinions about you?
  • sort of just letting things happen?

The ability to actively shape your own narrative is the beauty of personal branding. 

You determine what others think of you, rather than letting them form their own opinions.

NOTE: authenticity is key here. Make sure that what you say matches up with what you do. You can shape the words all you want, but if none of it matches up with what you do, your narrative won’t be authentic.. and it will become clear to your audience sooner or later. 

To help shape that narrative, utilize everything you put out into the world:

  • the social media posts you share 
  • the blog posts you put up 
  • the emails you send

Keep yourself in control of your story. 

You'll increase your visibility

The more you build your personal brand, the more visible you’ll be.

It’s a powerful cycle:

  1. You attract more fans on social media.
  2. Those fans share your content with their people 
  3. The more your content gets shared, the more fans you’ll attract
  4. And repeat

As your fan base grows, you might end up featured in the media.

Media outlets are always looking for experts to comment on particular subjects, so when you become known as the expert in your field, you’ll probably start generating media requests. 

So again, the cycle goes:

The more you’re featured in media outlets, the more opportunities
you’ll have to speak in front of crowds. 

Conference organizers are always looking for well-known media personalities to speak.

Truth: building your personal brand and building your platform go hand-in-hand.

Your personal brand grows stronger -> your platform gets bigger, which then makes your brand even stronger.

Building your brand is a virtuous cycle that brings greater and greater results the more you do it.

Helps shape the content you share

If you don’t have a strong personal brand, then what content guidelines do you have for your social media? 

You’ll probably end up sharing either nothing at all or just posting whatever catches your fancy at any given moment. 

Neither of these strategies is helpful to your personal brand.

When you have a strong personal brand, it guides you toward exactly what kinds of content you should share.

Simply put: you should only share content that aligns with and promotes the values of your personal brand.

Memes are hilarious and maybe even necessary for growth, but if it has nothing to do with your personal brand, maybe you should post it in your Stories instead of posting it to your feed. 

Builds connections between you & Others

The simple truth is, people connect better with people than they do with companies. 

This is exactly why people like Elon Musk and Richard Branson have more individual followers than the companies they founded.

The more you work to build your personal brand, the more individuals will want to connect with you, both in-person and online. 

People are attracted to your what you have to offer:

  • values 
  • personality 
  • convictions,
  • insights 

The more connected you are, the more business opportunities will present themselves to you.

  • More speaking requests. 
  • More media opportunities.
  • Partnerships with other like-minded people.

Building your personal brand connects you personally with potential customers and clients, which then builds your business.

Pia Silva puts it like this:

“With so much content and so many small businesses popping up online, a brand that connects to a person’s face is much easier to
trust faster. It takes less time and effort to build a relationship with a personal brand as compared to a business brand.”

allows you to become an influencer

The more you develop your personal brand, the more you become known as an “influencer”. 

I know, I know. 

That word makes me cringe too, but an influencer is simply someone who significantly shapes the opinions of their followers and has a big
influence on how they behave.

There are actually some benefits to being an influencer:

  • Bigger brands want to work with influencers that have a large audience, which can result in more revenue for you.
  • You often receive free things from companies who are interested in partnering with you.
  • You receive media requests to speak at, or even just attend events.

Want in on any of these perks?

Start developing your personal brand.

Are you finally starting to see the power of your personal brand? 

Your personal brand: 

  • enables you to distinguish yourself from the competition. 
  • allows you to charge a premium price for your services.

Focus on your personal brand -> become more visible -> become known as an expert in your field or niche -> get more opportunities to come your way.  

Build your personal brand -> connect more with others -> grow your business even more. 

Kevin Stimpson says this:

“Having a personal brand is important for an entrepreneur because now more than ever, it’s important for CEOs and founders of companies/brands to come out to the forefront and connect with their audiences. People connect with people.”

It’s safe to say that there are few things more powerful than your personal brand. The more you focus on building it, the greater the results you’ll see.

Now, are you ready to start building your brand? 

Part 2: Building Your Personal Brand will be up tomorrow!

Stock Photos:

Ivory Mix 

resources

Personal Branding Bundle

Are you putting your right branding foot forward?

Let this bundle help you!

  • Brand Building Worksheets (to help craft your message)

  • Website Checklist & Social Media Checklist (to help you come across as professional and serious)

personal branding bundle product photo

Notes Pages Bundle

12 Notes Pages!

  • Lined Pages: Notes, Thoughts & Ideas
  • Circles: Notes, Thoughts & Ideas
  • Squares: Notes, Thoughts & Ideas
  • Graph Paper: Notes and Doodles (2)
notes pages bundle product photo
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