Steve Jobs was a brand apart from Apple and Pixar. He was the design guru who coined the slogan, “1000 Songs in Your Pocket,” when he introduced the original iPod to the world.
Elon Musk created a brand as a visionary entrepreneur who disrupted numerous business models, from online payments (Paypal), to space travel (SpaceX), energy (Solar City), and transportation (Tesla).
Personal Branding is defined by Wikipedia as ‘the conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual by positioning them as an authority in their industry, elevating their credibility, and differentiating themselves from the competition, to ultimately advance their career, increase their circle of influence, and have a larger impact.’
OK. But now in English. What the heck is personal branding? Are we all a brand now or what?
Actually…yes, we are. All of us have a unique identity that leaves an imprint everywhere we go. Sometimes, this imprint will be perceived as something valuable worth investing in. That’s what I call personal branding. Without it, we would all be the same human being, with the same traits, same behaviour, thoughts, and values. Your personal brand is what makes you…you.
I want to ask you something, and I want you to think about it for a few minutes: If someone mentions your name, business, or brand… what do you want them to say?
Is it personal branding just for business owners?
Although personal branding is no news, many business owners and entrepreneurs start building their “empires” without even thinking about how they are being perceived already as individuals, and whether their personal and business values are aligned.
Let me start by clarifying that personal branding isn’t just for someone who owns a business. Personal branding is also essential for any influencer, business coach, or anyone wanting to share their story with the world.
If you want to make an impact in the world, creating a branding strategy is definitely the place to begin.
In a nutshell, your personal brand is how you promote yourself. It’s a mix of your experience, skills, values, and personality. To make it more clear, imagine you’re scrolling down your Instagram feed. Does it not happen to you that sometimes you see a post and you already know who is it from? The filters used, the caption of the picture, the angle used, maybe the font type…
Businesses define their own brand guidelines before launching. It’s their way to stand out and connect with like-minded peers and prospects. A personal brand is exactly the same thing, but applied to individuals, rather than businesses. But in order to create your personal brand, first, you have to be truly honest with yourself, and maybe face some ugly truths that have subconsciously stopped you from perhaps, achieving your life goals.
Do not be afraid to reveal your more vulnerable side or sharing past mistakes that have shaped who you are today. Authenticity is a key part of personal branding so don’t think that you have to emulate someone else or erase your flaws in an attempt to be ‘perfect’. Being honest about who you are, helps people relate to you and builds trust between you and your audience.
Benefits of creating your personal brand
Having a personal branding strategy in place has many advantages that not only your business can benefit from.
- It helps you get to know yourself better. As I mentioned earlier, you have to be honest and get ready to uncover some belief systems that might have conditioned your life decisions to date, without you even knowing.
- The right people for you and/or your business will find you quicker. You will attract and network with people who share the same vision and values, or who would find your persona interesting and appealing enough to purchase from you, or consume YOU as a brand (for entertainers, social workers, public speakers, life coaches… you get the idea.)
- It’s easier to build rapport and brand advocacy. When it comes to doing business with someone online, studies show that 70-80% of people research an influencer or brand before doing business with them. People like to feel like they know you, especially before they spend money or do business with you.
- It strengthens your visual image. Whatever industry you are in, your visual image is important. It’s not about following the latest fashion or maxing out your credit cards on designer clothes. It’s about ensuring that the way you dress, speak and carry yourself is in line with the messages you wish to convey, and the values you stand for.
It is important to remember that building a personal brand requires time and effort. But it’s very, very rewarding. And I am here to help. Transparency and authenticity are essential to help you set yourself apart though, and ensure that your brand is consistent, clearly defined, and in line with your short and long-term goals.
If you haven’t thought about your own core beliefs, or are looking to create a personal brand, here are some questions to get you started. Or you can simply book a Personal Branding Strategy session with me below:
- How will your brand make people feel?
- What makes you different?
- What are your core beliefs and values?
- What type of company culture do you want?
- What skillset(s) can you offer?
- What’s your message?
- Who are your ideal people or customers?
- How are you influential?
- Does your product, service, or brand give people a transformation?
- What problem do you solve?
- What guarantees success and failure to you?
- What’s your niche?
- Are you authoritative in your niche?
Book my Personal Branding Coaching Program below. Leave your details, and I will come back to you as soon as possible.