To design is much more than simply to assemble, to order, or even to edit; it is to add value and meaning, to illuminate, to simplify, to clarify, to modify, to dignify, to dramatize, to persuade, and perhaps even to amuse.— Paul Rand, Author, Graphic Designer, Teacher
When discussing the fact I work within the personal branding industry, many who are unaware of my services automatically assume that I must design logos, which I don't. Personal branding is a lot more than just a stunning logo design, it's the living breathing air of who you are and what you do, and it's also what many people say about you when you're not in the room.
Developing your personal brand may involve creative design elements, such as color palettes, Pinterest inspiration boards and logos, but when it comes to your personal brand you also have to think outside of the box.
So what really is personal branding?
Personal branding in simple forms is how you present yourself to the world. We all have one believe it or not, even if you would classify yourself as having no brand at all. If you post on social media, show up for your business or as an employee - you have a brand, and its personal because it has something to do with you.
The reason many believe you don't have a personal brand is due to comparing yourself to other huge personal brands out there, such as Steve Bartlett, Elon Musk, Simon Sinek, Greta Thunberg, Oprah Winfrey...the list goes on.
With this list of names, it's no secret that building an incredibly successful brand such as Gary Vaynerchuk requires a significant amount of work, time and energy, something many of us struggle to balance with on many occasions.
Not only that, when building a brand we have to factor in numerous elements such as:
It's the dedication to sharing parts of your life and business that many may never have planned to do so, and ensuring it's the right message being put out there will ensure the right conversations about you are taking place.
Okay, if you don't know Gary V, then you've been hiding under a rock of some sort. With over 20 million followers across 4 Platforms, not even looking at TikTok or email subscribers, Gary V is pretty popular.
With over 9 million on Instagram and 5 million on LinkedIn, his audience is vast and wide due to his straight-talking and no-bullshit manner. What Gary V does best is not only to inspire the younger generation to take risks and to work hard and get shit done, but he also encourages the older generation to sit up and pay attention.
Chairman of VaynerX, CEO of VaynerMedia & 5-Time NYT Bestselling Author, Gary will always be on the up and up due to his consumer-centric beliefs and pulling apart egocentric beliefs.
Okay Elon, we know you're a big dog who pretty much controls the crypto world. Elon has such a way with his words that from one tweet he can crash a whole crypto market.
Now, whilst I know NOTHING about crypto, Elon pretty much has sold me in to the fact I need to sort myself out and get in the know.
Elon is a visionary entrepreneur (how fancy) and really got a name for himself when he stepped into Tesla as a co-founder, even if his first business was as the co-founder of PayPal - which many never realise.
According to Insider;
Elon Musk is the second richest person in the world. He's currently valued at over $176 Billion. Between April 2020 and April 2021 Elon Musk made $383,000,000 per day on average.
THAT IS MENTAL.
Elon is a visionary because he puts out solutions many are too scared to.
Neil Patel, the personal brand that is positioned as the SEO man of the hour and the one who knows everything about marketing.
Not only does Neil want your business to thrive, he wants you to want him to teach you how to make your business thrive through the world of marketing.
A blogging sensation, Neil has written hundreds of thousands of words over the years along with founding and co-founding multiple companies for those within the online space. Whether you're looking to analyse who visits your website, collect emails from visitors or just view what people are doing when visiting your website, Neil knows it all.
His face is not just all over the internet, but he is teaching others how to get theirs across the internet too.
Now the CMO and Co-Founder of Neil Patel Digital, an agency that aims to help the world’s top companies exponentially grow their traffic.
A fantastic social presence, along with highlighting his own experiences for others to learn from, is a great piece of advice for those who also want to support other individuals.
Personal branding is something we all need to wrap our heads around, not only is it key to your online presence, it's also key to what other people are saying about you when you aren't around.
Including current and previous clients.
In fact, if you aren't building a brand that is aligned with your vision, values and why, then you're building a brand that will only end up losing you clients, money and possibly your business.
Whilst that is a harsh sentiment to face, it's one of truth and wisdom, and comes from a place of understanding, where I once was working myself into burnout, this year in fact, due to not being aligned with my core reason of why and running an agency that I didn't really want to run.
But have no fear, you can in fact create a business that you want to get up for in the morning that is in line with your personal brand going forward.
Which brings me to my Free personal brand assessment, which you can do now or after!
Are you an expert in your niche? Are you in a state of transformation, looking to pivot your business and become a teacher to your audience?To get there, it’s essential to lay the foundations of a powerful personal brand. We all have one - it’s integral to who we are - but we need to manage it effectively. The key to this is to ask:
I can support you to find the answers, giving you clarity on how 'powerful' your personal brand is, and a roadmap so you can start taking steps to improve.
& by taking the assessment you will:
It's so easy to fall into the comparison trap when it comes to your personal brand, trust me I know this.
Your niche is probably packed with hundreds if not thousands of others with a similar service point to you.
But the difference between you and that other person is YOU.
As cliché as that sounds, who you are as a person and the story that you hold within you, is the difference between them and you.
It will also be the difference between their clients and yours, trust me.
When you understand what makes you unique and you're radically clear on the pains in which you solve you will be right on your way to defining your message and delivering a service that is packed with a punch.
The takeaway here?
Discover your uniqueness
Discover your story
Define the pains of your client
Define the problem you solve
Define your message
What is a target audience? Well, in simple terms your target audience are your potential clients.
Now, whilst you believe everyone could be your potential clients, and that could be true, a target audience is a smaller group of individuals that fit the criteria of who your 'avatar' is. No, I am not talking about the tall blue creatures that live amongst the trees that come alive, I am talking about one person who you know inside out that would KILL to have their hands on your products or service.
Because your offering is so irresistible to them they can't bear to wait another day for it.
Because you are solving their biggest pains and problems with your product or service.
Technically your target audience is a clearly defined group of individuals who are your IDEAL consumer. They're the people you want to sit down and have a warm cup of tea with and not those who you avoid like the plague or roll your eyes when their name appears on your phone screen.
Want to hone in?
Have a look at the ideal client worksheet
Now it's time to step into your brand identity!
This is where the creative stuff happens and it's definitely where I recommend looking at hiring a graphic designer.
Whilst we are all Canva professionals and can just about remove the background from a photo, when it comes to your brand identity, I really do recommend a professional of the artistic kind.
The reason for this is that once you have your vision, mission, why & offer aligned with you and your values, you want somebody to bring it to life.
So here are a few steps before hiring.
Whilst your personal brand isn't just about a fancy logo, your personal brand is a representation of you, which means you need to make sure all visuals also represent your personality and image.
So, now you have your messaging aligned, you have a vision being brought to life and now you want the world to see it.
It's time to talk social media.
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty let's clarify a few things around what a content strategy is, however before we do that, let's look at what a content strategy is not.
A content strategy is not:
A content strategy is a strategy with a clear outlined business (or personal) goal, clear methods and tactics all utilising content.
When working with clients, the 'goal' can often be a struggle due to the understanding that they need to be showing up on social media, but they are unsure with why and how they want to be seen.
"To build a following" may seem like a good end goal, however, there's no depth to this goal.
Why do you want to build the following?
What happens when you build the following?
Are you creating brand awareness or just doing it for the likes?
Are you looking to earn money through your audience or just wanting to build it for the sake of saying you have a swipe up?
Your content strategy is one of the key components to build trust as a business and/or personal brand, therefore ensuring you have one with a clear outline goal is the first step to the never-ending building of a business puzzle.
Simply put, a good content strategy is the foundation of your buyer's journey.
When it comes to building out a successful strategy, you have to be incredibly clear on who you're serving and why you're doing what you're doing.
You are not putting content out for you, you are putting content our for your audience.
Educate them, inspire them and be there for them every step of the way.
The best thing I can recommend is reading this article on how to develop a 30 day content strategy you can repeat
The final part to this article is discussing consistency.
I'm sure you've heard it all before.
"Consistency is key."
Blah blah blah.
No, but really - it is.
You need to be consistent with your message, with your offer and with your support.
New people will come along all the time and if you aren't consistently spreading the word and talking about your niche, how do you expect people to find you?
Make it clear - don't confuse people.
Make it consistent - be open and honest and post regularly.
Make it easy to find - if you have a consistent strategy, it should be clear for your audience to know when and where they can find you.
Be you - there is only one you, utilize it.
For more support, please don't hesitate to reach out.