So many times when I speak with my clients and other professionals and entrepreneurs I meet, they tell me how they need to work on their personal brands because they're either starting a business or shifting careers. And then they confess that they don’t really know where to even start. It can be overwhelming to think about how your personal brand comes across in person and online, whether or not it’s working for you or against you, if your personal brand is establishing you as a thought leader, and if your personal brand will help you reach your goals. Then add in the fact that you have a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, your website, a blog . . . phew! It can be a lot to think about when you’re also trying to run your business or manage your job and take care of your family. Conducting a full review and developing an action plan for a stronger and more effective personal brand can take a lot of time (I know because this is what I do for my clients). But there are three simple things you can do right now to get started on the road to a personal brand that sets you apart from others in your industry, builds your credibility as a thought leader, and helps you get to your goals.
My Three C's to Brand Yourself (Like a Boss!) is a great place to start in assessing how your personal brand is projected in person and online and for making tweaks to your personal brand so that it sets you up for success no matter what your goals are.
Your personal brand should send a clear message of what you stand for. Take some time to define your passions, values, beliefs, motivators, your unique stance on your area of expertise, and more. These are the things that make up your personal brand, your unique brand essence, that makes you you. I know it can be scary to put your real self out there and be unapologetically who you are. But you are the one thing you have that your competitors don’t! So be clear with who you are and what you stand for.
Everywhere your audience interacts with your personal brand - both in person and online - is a touch point with your brand and an opportunity for you to influence how they feel about your brand. Use your touch points to build a consistent presence and message so that you build trust in your brand (because people do business with and hire people whom they trust). Consistency means using the same profile photo (and a recent!), using consistent bio details, including consistent contact information, and sharing consistent messaging across all the platforms where your brand lives. And, it means bringing that consistent presence into the in person world too. Be who you are online and offline.
Use your personal brand presence to build your credibility with your audience. This means being authentically who you are and sharing content that supports your brand promise. For example, if you’re a wellness expert, the content you share online should support your expertise in the wellness space. That might mean articles and posts about health, fitness, nutrition, de-stressing, and more. And, if you’re a wellness expert who also brings in a spiritual or faith based component, that needs to come through in your brand, too! You're probably nervous to share your core beliefs with your professional audience. But when your real and authentic self comes through it actually boosts your believability and builds trust.
If you find yourself stuck and need some help getting clarity, consistency, and credibility for your brand a 90 minute strategy session will give you instant insight to get you on the right track right away!
The Brand Teacher