By Guest Blogger Chelsea Berler
Your personal brand is in essence, who you are and what you want to be known for. Think Richard Branson for Virgin, Bill Gates for Microsoft, Steve Jobs for Apple, Ralph Lauren for Polo.
After being in business for a few years, I discovered (the hard way) that I needed a personal brand. When I was doing everything myself, I kinda, sorta, knew what I wanted and where I wanted to go with my boutique marketing agency, but what I lacked was a clear brand for me. While I knew what I wanted and who I was, all of that was only in my own head. I couldn’t quite figure out how to convey that into my own personal passion and bring it to life as a brand.
I needed to set myself apart from the crowd.
Sure, I knew I was fun and little quirky, with non-stop drive, business savvy, resourcefulness, out-of-the-box thinking, and a helpful, can-do attitude. Everyone could see that, and I certainly didn’t need to tell them, right?
I was so wrong about that.
I desperately needed a personal brand, with a clear, relevant platform for my passion and vision. One that would enable me to express my consistent message across all communications and media, grab the attention of prospects and clients, and build long-term relationships with them. I had to have a living, breathing brand.
If you’re an Entrepreneur, Mompreneur, Businesspeep, and Wannabe Solo-Preneur, then you need your own brand, too. So, here are a few tips I learned to help you create your own insanely successful brand:
1. You’re one of a kind . . . work with that
Sure, there are always going to be people who are smarter or more skilled that you are. Don’t let your own insecurities destroy your dream or even hold you back. After all, you don’t have to be the best in the world. You just need to be perceived as the best in your own world.
Deliver a consistent message, content, graphics, and information that say you’re the best in the world where your potential customers hang out. That’s what really matters most in building your brand.
When you become a big fish in a small pond, you can have success, satisfaction, and (with a lot of hard work and some luck) wealth. It says that you are excited about your own real passions . . . that you are yourself, only better.
2. Make it easy
Become the most accessible authority in the world to your target market. You can make life better for your peeps by taking something hard (maybe nearly impossible) and make it easier to grasp. (I wish my high school math teacher had followed that advice!)
There are a number of ways you can do this. Put your information on audio people can listen to while they workout or drive. Take complicated diagrams and turn them into easy-to-digest infographics. Tell intriguing stories about yourself and your life history… about what makes you unique and interesting. Take people inside your day-to-day routine… tell them about your spouse, kids, travels, tastes in food, music, TV, books, and movies.
Make it easy and fun for them to get to know who you are, what you stand for, and what you care about. You also need to be easily found, so being accessible on all social media platforms is crucial. Yes, that means getting comfortable sharing content on YouTube too!
3. When words speak louder than actions
While you’re building your brand, be sure to keep it easy, breezy, and conversational. When it comes to personal brand-building, how you tell your story becomes more important than the story itself.
I’ve always felt most comfortable writing like I talk. I always give this same advice to novice brand-builders.
Your tone, language, and examples can define you as a trusted friend. Put together a list of words that describe you and how you want people to perceive you. These should be powerful, understandable, straightforward words unique to you… words like resourceful, savvy, and inspiring.
5. Teach them a lesson (or two)
The best way I know to brand yourself as an authority is to step up and teach people about your subject. Don’t be nervous about it. The first time is hard, but I can guarantee you that it gets easier.
When teaching, be sure to do it well, in non-pompous language people understand, with your own personality. Your target customers will come running. (One tip: Be super-honest about your skills and experience level. No one appreciates or trusts a phony or a liar.)
When you offer a free online webinar or a series of videos, even about the simplest stuff, in your own unique style, your topic gains a new richness and you gain authority. The result: you quickly attain guru status.
6. It’s NOT about you!
Focus on the emotional needs, feelings, and perceptions of people you want to attract. Your goal should be to become an expert in the minds and hearts of your target prospects and customers.
Leave your ego at the door when it comes to brand-building. When you define yourself (and your brand) with genuine humility, curiosity, and a sincere wish to help people, your enthusiastic fans will come running to you. So keep their needs in mind, not your own.
A brand makes your vision come to life . . . and gives traction to your passion. That’s good for you, your business, and your customers. When you create a brand that clearly conveys your purpose and passion, customers will keep coming back for more of what only YOU can deliver.
So, if you’ve been on the fence about whether or not you need your own personal brand, I hope this is the nudge off the fence you’ve been looking for. People buy from who they like, respect and trust… having a strong personal brand will help fast-track you to wider success.
Chelsea Berler, author of Author of The Curious One: From Food Stamps to CEO — One Woman’s Journey through Struggle, Tragedy, Success and Love, was born curious. From a young age — she felt a pull to think differently. And while she thought her differentness made life more interesting, she always felt judged for her often quirky and curious ways. Still, it was her strength and belief in herself that allowed her to come through the struggle and heartbreak of her childhood and eventually make a dent in the world she tried for so long to understand.
Today, Chelsea is the CEO of a boutique, marketing agency that supports businesses around the world. But more than that, she is a champion for people who are driven to bring their talent and greatness into the world on their own terms.
For those who have made resolutions to further drive their businesses this year, I hope this post inspires you to work on your own personal brand too. Would love to know your thoughts.