Personal Branding.. What? me?
First off let’s talk about what personal branding is. Take a moment, close your eyes, think about what you stand for, what unique skills you bring to the table and how you want others to picture you. Are you done? There you go that’s your personal brand!
I know it might sound a bit corny, but your personal brand is like looking at yourself in the mirror. It is all about YOU. Instead of customers seeing a logo and a design they see your personality and your unique skills.
Hold up! Let me give you an example. Have you heard of Victoria Beckham? (I really hope you have or have you been living under a rock?) Celebrity turned into a millionaire stylist, she once said “I want to be as famous as Persil Automatic” and isn’t she? She is a perfect example of how to build a personal brand into a success. So you might be asking yourself how did she do it?
Here are a few things that you can do to turn yourself into a personal brand:
1. Understand what makes YOU authentic
Think about it, there’s already only one of you! This means that just being alive makes you authentic. Now really think about it… what makes you different from your friends, family and maybe even your favourite brand? Really think about it because your answer will reveal what makes your personal brand unique and genuine.
An amazing way to grasp the idea of authenticity is to just sit down, think and write. Write down any words, beliefs or values that makes you different! “Values are very personal, and help people understand what your personal brand stands for.” Do you value fitness? Do you value fun? These are just a few examples of values that can really help you start brainstorming! Even drawing a picture can help you grasp some ideas. This practise will really help you understand what makes you different and ultimately what makes your brand authentic.
Take me for example, I really value freedom to do the thing that you love and everything I do in my personal brand eludes to the fact that I believe that everyone should be encouraged to follow their passion and make it into their own personal brand. The way I make Visuable authentic is by having my brand follow my own personal values and beliefs and never straying away from them. Making sure that anyone who comes into contact with my brand believes my brand allies with my point of view.
2. Define who your ideal customer is
Now that we’ve revealed your brand’s authenticity, it’s time to define who your ideal customer is. Before we start really getting into it, I just want to make sure to say that it’s okay if not everyone in the world is your ideal customer (yes-it would be amazing to sell to everyone). But, reality is that your personal brand speaks to a certain demographic.
Think about what you’re selling, whether it’s a product or a service and define the features and benefits that your product /service needs to have in order to fulfill the need of your ideal client. To put these ideas into action, let’s take two of our own clients - fitness brands. Health Means Happiness and Mums Get Fit to explain how to appeal to a specific demographic. Health Means Happiness vision board (as seen below) includes pinks, greys, avocado toast and sitting by water. If you could guess which audience would best be fit for this fitness personal brand you could probably guess it would appeal to more of a younger generations (yes- we all love avocado toast, but it’s very on trend with the Instagram generation). Now let’s take our next fitness personal brand, Mums get Fit, and understand their target audience. You could already guess from the name that Mums are the main target, but let's look at their website. At first glance you can already tell that the target audience is focused on Mums because there is a clear family portrait. This photo speaks to those who have children more than to those who do not.
Not only should we look at age or occupations examples, but also the psychographics of the ideal customers. Is your ideal customer outgoing? Do they like to watch documentaries? All of these questions are essential in understanding who the ideal customer is for your personal brand. Take Health Means Happiness as an example, since the brand uses a lot of pinks it could be suggested that the ideal customer would be outgoing and also open to having a personal trainer. Mums Get Fit on the other hand, has a very relatable approach to Mum’s. The ideal customer could be a Mum who is looking for a fitness regime that can fit around her crazy life with her children. These two brands, although similar, target different individuals because they know their personal brand will speak better to those with similar values and beliefs.
3. Turn your passion into a profession
Marc Anthony once said, “if you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life” and we at Visuable truly believe that. What do you love doing? Baking? Dancing? Researching? Passions aren’t just for your free time or a hobby. Turn them into a business! Take these passions and amazing unique skills you have and monetize them. If you love copywriting, you can offer blogging for other business or use your on fleak (is that word still in?) social media skills and offer marketing to business’s. If you love photography take your camera and get out there and start taking photos for business, weddings or even families! Take me for example, I was passionate about photography and entrepreneurship, so I picked-up my camera one day and started helping female entrepreneurs create authentic visual brands. If I can do it so can you! Find your passion and turn it into your profession!
4. Build an authentic personal brand website
Now that you know what makes your brand authentic, it’s time to talk about the daunting and super important conservation on building your personal brand website. Everything that we’ve talked about so far is going to be utilised in your website. Remember your passions and beliefs? Well we’re going to use all of that to make your website unique! The first step is to make sure that every aspect on the website relates back to what your personal brand stands for and what your personal can do for your ideal customers. Yes - colours on websites make a big aesthetic difference (and can help target that ideal customer), but make sure it relates back to your personal brand vision.
Let’s look at My Soul Space, this brands vision is to offer a caring safe space for those who are experiencing pain, stress or just overwhelmed with all of life’s chaos. As you can see below the website’s colours and pictures relate back to that vision. No colour or picture doesn’t have a meaning behind it. This makes sure that the website is staying true to your personal brand and ultimately creating an authentic, unique online presence for your business.
5. Start sharing stories, photos and your ideas
Cleverism, for marketers explains that “storytelling is the process of making a connection with the customers first, and selling a product second.” This quote really hits the nail on the head, customers really want to relate to your brand and not just be arms length away. Since we are talking about personal brands it’s all about being PERSONAL. Customers believe in you, so they want to see what you’re doing in your free time, they want to see photos of your families and they want to read a blog about your life! Basically customers want to be your best friend (so - let them!). This allows customers to put a (pretty) face to the brand. If a customer can relate to why you started your business they are more likely to believe in you and buy from you.
For example, read this quote from My Soul Space ”I was already qualified as a life/business coach and Soul Coach and last year decided to train in Soul Healing, a very deep form of energy healing. I decided to put them together as a 'Soul' package to help people heal and transform their health and lives at the deepest level possible.” Can you relate in some way, shape or form? This is just one example of how storytelling can bring you closer to your customers. Turning them into best friends.
6. Gain visibility through social media and other outlets - spread your content
One of the best way to make your personal brand more visible is to optimise that authentic website we talked about. This could include using keywords in the copy in order for your website to become more visible to those searching for your product/service. Another way to expand visibility is to increase content through social media.
The best and easiest way to increase visibility on social media outlets to just post daily on your brands Instagram/Facebook/LinkedIn. Think about it every time you have a coffee during the day just take a few moments and post something on social media. It’s really fun to see reactions from customers and you can even give them comments on their posts! This creates not only visibility, but helps create that connection we talked about before. An example of this is to look at the Visuable Instagram. We aim to gain visibility by posting once a day and hashtagging appropriately in order to reach the ideal customer. This will allow your post to go through the feed of that hashtag, which should increase your brands visibility.
Another way to get your brand out there is to go to local networking events. This not only spreads your brands awareness, but can give you connections to other entrepreneurs. It’s an amazing way to gain local connections and to understand what others are doing to help their personal brands.
7. Build YOUR tribe
Remember your ideal customer you’ve been thinking about.. Ok good.. Keep that in mind! How does your ideal customer like to communicate? Is it Facebook, Instagram? maybe even face to face? This is a good way to start to think about how to build a community for your brand.
You can create a facebook group where you can discuss your product/service directly to your customer. Building that strong friendship that we talked about before. The facebook group will not only bring you directly to your customer, but also bring your customers together. Since your personal brand brought these customers together they already have something in common! This will surely start a conversation about common beliefs and build everlasting friendships. Another way to build your tribe is by sending out newsletters every week. This will show your customers (although through email) that you’re thinking about them weekly.
The most useful tool to build your tribe is social media. Social media is such an amazing way to personally connect to your customers. Your personal brand can react and comment so easily on your customers posts. Your customer will then feel like your apart of their lives and ultimately build that relationship a personal brand is made for!
8. Be true to YOU
Now that you’ve read through all 8 steps (yay you did it!) it’s time to really bring this blog into full circle. Be true to yourself because your personal brand is all about that person you say hello to in the mirror every morning. I won’t rant so much on this step, but I’ll leave you with a quote from a man who really has a true, authentic personal brand “To me, business isn’t about wearing suits or pleasing stockholders. It’s about being true to yourself, your ideas and focusing on the essentials” Richard Branson.
The take away from this blog is: just be you and your customers will love you!
If you would like some help with building your personal brand online, check out my 3-month brand mentorship programme as well as creative services: brand design, personal brand photography, Squarespace website design that can turn your dream into vision and your vision into reality!
Brand Expert at Visuable