Why taking the time to build a powerful personal brand is so worthwhile
What comes to mind when you think of branding? Is it the brand of a large corporation like Apple, Toyota or McDonalds? Or perhaps it’s a luxury brand like Dior, Louis Vuitton or Prada?
These are epic international brands. They are household names with huge teams behind them and millions of dollars a year in advertising spend.
While it can feel difficult to see the parallel between these mega brands and you, a humble individual – it’s worth remembering the fundamentals that create a brand are the same. These brands started somewhere, and were not always as we experience them today.
The good news is, it’s within your power to implement those brand fundamentals and attract the people, opportunities and outcomes you desire.
Brands make you feel a certain way
Begin by thinking about brands you love, and even those you hate. Consider the associations you have with the brands above – Apple, McDonalds and Prada. It feels awkward even to mention them in the same sentence because they represent different values, aesthetics and visions. They may attract the same target market in some cases, but in a different state of mind upon purchase.
We hold the same power with our personal brands, even if we haven’t consciously taken control of them.
We all decide what to wear each morning, how to style our hair, who to talk to, work with and whether we’re happy with the status quo, or if we’re striving for something bigger.
Becoming intentional about your personal brand
While you currently have a personal brand, it may not be the personal brand that will help you to achieve your dreams and goals. It may also not be helping you to attract the right customers or land the right job. You may be hiding behind an outdated version of yourself or perhaps you’ve felt too busy to step back and reassess how the impression you are creating is serving you.
The first step is to become aware of personal branding, and what you can do to define yours.
Defining your brand
Before you can define your brand, it’s important to articulate what you want to achieve in a particular timeframe and why. This helps you to identify a starting point (the current state) and an end goal or success metric (the future state). It also helps you articulate why it is that you do what you do.
Examples could include:
- Winning higher calibre clients – to achieve a revenue goal within 2 years – so you can purchase a home
- Attracting employees in your highly competitive field – to run multiple business locations across the country in 5 years time – to be able to sell and travel the world in 10 years.
- Landing a Management role within 12 months – to achieve credibility and higher salary
Getting clear about your values
Once you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve – and these can be big, hairy audacious goals – it’s time to find the clarity around your values.
Isn’t it interesting the way some people make us feel. There are many times I’ve met someone, and I’ve been so excited to partner with them or work with them. But something is missing, and we don’t connect. The interaction feels hard. I’ve often tried so hard to make these relationships work and then wind up with a migraine instead!
Other times the connection and attraction is electric!
It’s often because your values are in sync.
You are also in balance energetically, but that’s another article.
Clearly identifying 3 or 4 core values really helps you to focus on what’s important to you, and to attract others who are driven by the same things.
My values, which translate across to my agency’s values too are:
What is your intent and purpose?
What drives you each day in your job, in your business or as an Entrepreneur?
Taking time to clearly define your purpose and intent will help you determine how to take action.
My purpose is to work with you to transform brands stories into content your target market craves. Why? So your current and future customers understand how your brand or business solves their problems and why their lives will be better if they buy from you.
Defining your mission and vision
While mission and vision statements might sound like corporate jumbo, it is super useful to take the time to think about what your personal mission and vision is.
- Your mission is what are you aiming to achieve each day in the work you do?
- Your vision is what you are seeking to achieve in broader strokes, or into the future.
What is your story?
Everyone has a story. Hardships we have had to face, adversity we have overcome and mountains we’ve climbed, figuratively or not.
When it comes to defining your personal brand story, it’s wise to think about who your target audience is. This will come back to who you want to work with, build partnerships with or who you want to impress or impact.
Sharing this story widely, in a way to achieve credibility and impact can take time. It’s not something to rush. It’s worth requesting a few sets of eyes to verify it’s illustrating the right points and presenting you in the best light.
Creating images and video to showcase how you want to appear online
You only have a microsecond to capture the attention of someone as they scroll through their Instagram feed, Google you or stumble upon your LinkedIn profile or website. You want to ensure the images they find of you capture the image you’d like to portray.
If you’re asked to present a photo for a speaking gig or decide to approach media, you want to ensure your photos are showing you in the best light.
I’ve learnt through trial and error, that it’s worth investing in high quality personal branding photos – but your photos should be taken after you’ve taken the time to get excited about your goals, and having a healthy, positive mindset about how you’ll achieve them.
Having a suite of high quality photos, to create regular content on your website, on your social media channels and for any other publicity you do can be game changing. It’s the difference between someone dismissing you, and you showing up as the best version of yourself so huge doors open. Just like a successful brand you love, you can create an impact, by conveying the right emotion and message.
Managing your reputation
The end goal of working hard to articulate your personal brand is to achieve your goals, but it’s also to position you as someone credible in your field – and set you apart from your competitors.
As part of this redefining process and while you’re working towards repositioning your brand – take some time to consider what is on your social media profiles and website and remove what no longer represents the person you are becoming.
Also google your own name, and see what appears. This is what others googling you will see. You need to be the master of your own content, and begin to remove, or request removal for anything you feel might be detrimental to how you’d like to position yourself moving forward.
Personal branding after all is what is said about you, when you’re not in the room. It’s as much about what you include and what you omit from your brand messaging.
Get excited and embrace your brand
Once you are happy with the new well-defined version of you, it’s time to celebrate. You’ve worked hard, and great things are to come.