A step by step guide for building a strong personal brandThursday, 12th October 2017
Why should you care about your personal brand?
- People buy from people, faces are more approachable than logos.
- Unless you own the business you’re in now, it’s unlikely that you’re going to be there for the rest of your life, so you should put your career agenda above your businesses agenda and allow the business you work for now to profit from your efforts while you’re there.
- The stronger your personal brand, the more valuable you are to the business. When you’re consistently generating leads and clients you are then in a much better position to negotiate work benefits.
- You will win work and build a strong network of like-minded individuals who will help you grow and develop and thus strengthen your personal brand even more.
Step 1: Strategise
Authenticity seems to be the latest buzz word. I myself use the word on a regular basis because it is important. However, one of the reasons I think some people struggle to build a strong personal brand is that they haven’t thought about why they are doing it. You need to have a purpose and this purpose doesn’t come from who you are now but who you want to be, your goals, your aspirations, your vision.
Having clarity on who you are now and who you want to be in a years time is a very powerful thing. All of a sudden you feel the power to achieve your goals in your finger tips and you know exactly what your personal brand should look like in order to achieve them.
Building and maintaining a strong personal brand requires day-to-day effort therefore it is very unlikely you will be able to do this if you don’t have a goal which is driving you every single day.
So ask yourself ‘Who am I right now?’ (grab a piece of paper!)
- What do you care about?
What is sitting at the core of the way you behave and the choices you make? For example: Your family, financial wellbeing, mental wellbeing, physical wellbeing, etc. Be as specific as you can.
- What is your story?
When telling your story, ask yourself what 3 key events have affected your life and you as a person the most, what events have shaped you into who you are today?
- What is your current situation?
What is your current financial situation? What is work like? Do you feel fulfilled? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What do you do outside of work? Who currently makes up your network?
Then ask yourself ‘Who do I want to be in a years time / 5 years time / 10 years time?’
- What is your desired situation?
What do you want to be earning? Do you want a promotion? What will make you feel fulfilled? What new skills do you need to achieve your goals? What do you want to achieve in your personal life? Who do you want in your network and what do you want to use it for?
- Summarise your goals?
Taking into account your desired situation, now sum up in one statement what you want to achieve in the next 12 months
- What do you want to be known for?
How do you want others to see you when they read your content / meet you / listen to you speak / work with you? What do you want to be seen as the expert in?
- Now that you know who you are and what you want to achieve, you need to plan how you are going to get there.
This gap between your current situation and your desired situation is your purpose and your purpose is what is going to drive your personal brand.
Step 2: Plan
So now you know the purpose of your personal brand, in the words of Joe Wicks – “prep like a boss.”
You need to be regularly communicating with your network and growing your network at the same time.
You need to build KLT – ‘Know’, ‘Like’ and ‘Trust’
Building ‘Know’ involves being consistent, being visible and being top of mind. There is a lot of noise out there, especially on social media, so if you are not consistent and visible people will forget about you.
Building ‘Like’ involves being engaging through the content you put out there, conveying your personality and being transparent and authentic.
Building ‘Trust’ involves showcasing your knowledge, your achievements, your work, your happy clients, your happy colleagues/employees.
What you wrote in the ‘Strategise’ section will dictate what you actually say, whether on social media, at networking events or other speaking opportunities.
However, you communicate true value when you are not thinking about yourself, but of those who you can help, your potential clients, so make you think of their needs first and be generous. Don’t be afraid of giving value for free because it will come back to you.
Some times are better than others for communicating your personal brand. If your ideal audience works a 9-5 job then posting before and after work on social media is preferable.
Also frequently attend networking events and put yourself forward for as many speaking opportunities as you can. Frequency is key to maintain the ‘know’ factor.
You need to know where your ideal audience hang out. What social media platforms do they use? Do they read blogs? What magazines/newspapers do they read? What networking groups are they part of?
Once you know where your ideal network is, you need to make yourself present where they are and talk about things that interest them and provide them value.
Make sure you record your progress, because when you have a bad day or a busy period, it’s very easy to just put your personal brand on the back burner. Seeing your progress and thinking about your purpose will keep your personal brand on track because it will provide you that incentive, it will be become a priority rather than a back burner item and it will make you feel pretty darn amazing when you look at the progress you have made.
What tools are you going to use to carry out your plan? I suggest automation tools and tools which allow you to synchronise as much as possible. Have your processes in place and routinely evaluate their success. When you know what works, scale it up and when you know what doesn’t, don’t waste your time.
Step 3: Commit
This is the thing that will make or break your personal brand. You have to commit to it, and the first two steps, ‘strategise’ and ‘plan’ put you in the best position possible to do this. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. Many of you will have full time jobs, children, spouses, hobbies and other responsibilities so don’t even try to sprint. Doing little bits every day will take you much further than spending a solid day on it once a month.
Part of the commitment is also to continually put yourself out of your comfort zone. By posting content, attending networking events and speaking in front of audiences you are presenting yourself for scrutiny and judgement from others. However, you are part of a huge community who are doing this so reach out them for support. Building your personal brand shouldn’t be lonely and you will go further quicker if you surround your self with people who have similar goals and aspirations.
So that’s it in a nutshell. I am still very much on the beginning of my personal brand journey so I would love to hear from anyone who is keen on boosting their personal brand too. So do get in touch.
I am so excited to see where my personal brand will take me, but I know that it will be to somewhere amazing because I have strategised, planned and committed.