Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon) says ‘Your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room’.
He’s the boss of a company that’s worth over a trillion dollars so I reckon he’s spot on there.
So how does this apply to you?
Imagine you’re not in the room and your best friend is trying to explain what you do for a living.
What does she/he say?
If it’s along the lines of ‘Um… well she talks to people on the phone about their businesses I think. And maybe helps them? It’s got something to with wishing for success… or something.’ then you may need to do something about your personal branding.
It SOUNDS really easy to define your personal brand but it’s about as easy as writing a resume. And we all know how appalling awful it is to write resumes.
Remember when you were in high school and you tried out a few different versions of yourself to see which one fit? Goth Girl? Sk8ter Girl? Blair Waldorf Lookalike Girl? Super Smart Science Girl? Got Caught Smoking Behind The Gym Girl?
Finding your personal brand is the same thing only with your business as the centre focus, not your precarious teenage social standing. Here’s why (and how) you need to develop a personal brand and why it’s so important.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression
If you’re all wishy-washy about what you do, everyone else will be too. You have one chance to make people stand up and pay attention to you and that doesn’t just apply to in-person introductions. Every time someone clicks on your website, Instagram profile, Facebook page – they should know exactly what you do and more importantly, what you can do for them.
Your personal brand helps develop trust with your customers
So obviously don’t make your profile picture a weird placeholder avatar. You want people to know who you are so they trust you. Consider including some basic information about your work history, family and where you live. All of this stuff makes you look properly legit and not like some weirdo who’s trying to siphon money out of your customers’ bank accounts using the death of a faux relative to reel them in.
A personal brand makes you seem less dodgy…
So a lot of jobs these days sound really made up. Life coach, business coach, online entrepreneur. You could do almost anything and call yourself one of the titles above.
Your personal brand gives you the opportunity to explain exactly what you do and how you do it. So people aren’t staring at your Instagram profile going ‘What’s a mindset coach? And what do they even do?’
Explain yourself, simply and concisely.
Helping You Get Out of Your Own Way
Don’t forget to add links to your LinkedIn profile and website. Anything to give your customers proof that they won’t end up chasing you down the street on the next scammer’s episode of A Current Affair.
… it also makes you seem real
Authenticity is what everyone wants these days and your personal brand gives you the opportunity to give your audience (a curated) peek at the real you. Only share what you’re comfortable with but also be honest. Honesty sells.
Creates a desire for people to want to work with you
If you really hone down on what it is you do and the style in which you do it, you will have people banging down your metaphorical door to work with you.
Look at the masters of personal branding, The Kardashians. Their shtick is basically shameless self-promotion. That’s not going to work for many other people though so think about the type of people in your niche that your ideal clients are falling all over themselves to work with.
What’s their personal brand? What’s the secret hot sauce that has people putting themselves on waiting lists to work with this person? How can you take inspiration from their personal branding?
Hot tip: The form of the personal brand doesn’t actually matter it just has to be defined and communicated clearly. For example, if you’re a life coach you could market yourself as a spiritual, gentle life coach or a ballbusting tough love life coach and there will be plenty of clients out there for both styles of branding but only if you pick one and stick to it.
You can’t be pitching a soft, sweet approach and then deliver the Godzilla Hulk of life coaches. Your clients will be running for the hills.
Gives clues has to whether you’re the right fit for a potential client
Before you read this section, complete our Brand Archetype quiz.
There are 12 archetypes and it’s possible you have more than one (most people have 2 to 3 topline archetypes).
As a consumer you tend to seek out products/people who align with your archetype so if you show your true colours you will naturally attract the right kind of clients.
If you’re a Lover archetype, Lover clients are likely to seek you out. Same with being a Jester and attracting Jester clients. What an amazing time saver right? If only that worked with boyfriends and neighbours.
Helps you attract quality clients
Not only does your personal brand to attract the right clients it will also help attract quality clients which awesome because your personal branding…
Allows you to charge the big buckeroos
Quality clients mean ongoing contracts, lucrative retainers, and repeat bookings and that all equals lots of money. Which is always excellent, isn’t it?
Personal branding makes creating content a hell of a lot easier
One of the most labour intensive parts of running an online business is the never-ending need for content.
If you have your personal brand sorted that means content creation is a no-brainer.
If you often find yourself sitting at your computer screen wondering what to write because you don’t know if you should be whimsical/funny/sombre/dark/witty/long form/short form/lyrical then you need to sort out your personal brand ASAP to save yourself from a serious content block.
Helps you build a bigger/stronger network
When you identify your personal brand strongly it invites other people to align with you.
Much like the aforementioned phases you go through in high school. The sporty kids all looked the same and hung together as did the popular kids, the drama nerds, and the straight-up geeks.
When you create and then promote your personal brand you can effortlessly create a strong network of like-minded people, who incidentally will be excellent allies in your quest for business success… and they probably won’t be too painful to have a Sunday afternoon pub sesh with either.
Helps you create the persona you want
Authenticity is definitely key but you can also tweak it a little bit – you can ramp up a part of your personality to help boost your brand. For example you could ramp up your comedy chops/spirituality/sweetness a little just for a bit of extra oomf.
Hint – Make this sustainable. It’s super difficult to maintain an Acai-bowl eating, yoga-every-morning, meditative persona if that’s not really who you are. Not only difficult but bloody boring. Imagine doing all that when what you really want to do is sink a 6-pack with a pizza chaser and watch Netflix all weekend like a normal person?
You have control over your own message
Always brand yourself before someone else does it for you. Otherwise, you might end up with a brand you really don’t want.
Helps you to stand out (this is essential)
So you know the internet is incredibly crowded right? And you need to stand out to get any kind of traction?
It’s going to be almost impossible to stand out without figuring out your personal brand. Otherwise you’re just another fish in the entrepreneurial sea that’s full of other fish just like you.
Separates you from the competition
You’re always going to come across competition at every stage of your life (Remember Emma O’Connell who always got the speaking parts at school assembly?) but you’ve got to point out what makes you different.
It might be your language, the way you present your information, or your overall style. Pick that thing and cling to it like a washed-up cheerleader clinging to her youth. It’s the thing that’s going to set you apart.
Like Danielle LaPorte and her no-bullshit prose.
Mark Manson and his potty mouth.
Lindsay Lohan and her unpredictability.
Go big or go home on this situation.
Helps you to define your audience (so you can target them!)
Just like your personal brand can help your potential customers define you, it can also help you to define your audience.
This is super helpful so you can target them in your ads.
Gives you a focus point (so you can focus… der!)
In the business world, we can easily get distracted and forget what our actual goals are. If you condense your personal brand down to one concise sentence and keep it posted somewhere you can see it that will give you a focal point in everything you do.
So your mind doesn’t wander and you end up trying to become a successful YouTuber instead of the motivational speaker you were trying to be.
Makes it easier for media to feature you
When features writers and TV producers are looking for talent they want someone who has precise branding. The want an ‘online shopping expert’ or a ‘home improvement guru’. By choosing a phrase like this for your branding you’re increasing your chances of being chosen for opportunities like this.
Networking is made super easy
You can bung your personal branding on a business card, fling it at someone you just met and they’ll know exactly what it is that you do. Boom.
Makes you easily recognisable
This is more of a visual cue but if you have a recognisable profile picture or personal style, that will be the icing on the cake. Think along the lines of Steve Jobs and his signature black turtleneck sweaters or Dita Von Teese and her pin up look.
Gives good recall factor
When you’re super clear about what you do, people will remember and that will become your calling card.
Personal branding helps you to know what you’re selling
If you sell something physical like candles that makes your job easier but if you’re selling something like coaching it can be harder to stay focussed on your message because you can’t see or hold the thing you’re selling.
In a nutshell?
You need to…
- Focus on one overarching personal branding theme
- Lock it in
- Use it to sculpt your digital presence
- Attract the perfect clients
Need help creating an action plan to make it happen? Click here to get in touch with our team.
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