“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” – Dr. Seuss
Who needs a personal brand? You do.
That’s because customers, clients, they have choices. About a gazillion, according to the latest numbers. When you offer a service or a product, you need to stand out from all the competitors. Your brand is what makes you memorable in a sea of sameness.
Let’s be clear. Personal branding isn’t some secret system or shady method to trick more people into buying your stuff. Your personal brand should be based on taking the aspects of you and your business that are different (and that matter in the marketplace), and then communicating your special flava throughout your business.
But to leverage the power of your personal brand, you need to take control. People are already categorizing you based on attributes they see. Why not take control of the impression you make?
Your personal brand should do three things for you:
– Provide a distinctive identity
– Convey a compelling message
– Pull your ideal clients to you.
Your brand is the promise of an outstanding experience. You communicate it to everyone that you interact with through the way that you speak, your dress, what you talk about, your website, your office, and your work. What’s the payoff for having a powerful personal brand?
When you’re distinctive, you’ll cut through the clutter.
Potential clients will notice you.
They will remember you.
And when you get it right, the right people will be drawn – like a magnet – to work with you or buy from you.
So how do you create a compelling personal brand?
Do You. Creating and communicating your personal brand is not about being fake or using schlockly attention-getting ploys.
Make sure what you put out there is real and not just some cheap attempt to be “unique.” (If wearing bow-ties ain’t your thang, don’t start now.)
Want to give your personal brand a little tune up? It comes down to figuring out what separates you from all the other software companies/financial advisors/photographers/dentists/ career consultants.
1. Start by crafting a set of guidelines for yourself and your business:
– What you will do
– What you won’t do
– What you deliver
– How you deliver it
2. Next, clear on your belief systems:
– What’s your big vision for yourself and your business?
– How do you want to put your “dent in the universe”?
– What are your business and personal values that guide how you will operate?
When it comes to a powerful personal brand, the real secret sauce isn’t your logo or clever business tagline. (Don’t get me wrong – those don’t hurt either!)
3. Finally, think about how you want people to feel after interacting with you. What EMOTIONS will your personal brand evoke?
Are you inspiring, practical, bold, powerful, sassy, warm, enthusiastic? Pick two or three emotions that you want people to feel and use them as guideposts for your communications.
You develop your personal brand by taking the ‘what’ that your business provides, and then customizing it with who you are, who you serve and how you deliver it. The final step is to deliver that bespoke (er, haute couture) experience to the world.
Put it into action:
Figure our your personal brand formula. Get clear on your business guidelines, your belief systems and the emotions your personal brand will evoke. Weave those into your interactions and your business.
About the author
Lori Nash Byron is the founder of Famous in Your Field, where professionals and entrepreneurs build powerful brands and position themselves as experts through speaking, publishing and publicity. Visit FamousinYourField.com and enter your email address to get free weekly training to boost your fame factor, delivered straight to your inbox.