Want to build a dynamic personal brand, but don’t know where to begin?
Eager to create buzz around your business, build authority, and design a branding strategy that builds momentum fast?
If you have expertise in a specific area, building a credible brand creates the differentiation you need.
Read on to learn how you can develop your personal brand and then join me and author, international speaker, and dynamic branding strategist, Debra Trappen for our event on November 2nd.
Get ready for a one-time experience where you’ll master personal branding through a proven 3-day strategy.
And don’t forget to grab the Infographic at the end to get a sneak peek.
How To Build The Most Powerful Personal Brand In Your Industry
1. Get in Alignment With Your Internal “Code”
It might seem strange that I’d start with a code. I mean, what is it really? Some secret word that unlocks a “brand in a box” strategy?
Nope, sorry. Nothing as cool as that.
But it is an incredibly important aspect of defining your personal brand. Let me tell you why:
Your code is what you subconsciously or consciously live by. It’s the driving force behind all that you do.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Your code aligns with your core values. It’s the driving force behind all that you do.” quote=”Your code aligns with your core values. It’s the driving force behind all that you do.”]
It’s the one thing that’s been prevalent in your life and business, helping you CRUSH any outside negative forces.
That code is what keeps you on track, acting as your moral compass. But more than that, it’s your commitment to yourself.
As you’ve grown, it’s grown with you, helping you shape and design your best self. Through it, you’ve set the goals you want to achieve, defined your version of success, and intentionally nurtured your mindset.
But what happens when your code is out of alignment with your words or actions? Here’s what that could be for you:
- You say yes when you KNOW you should say no… and no when you want to say YES.
- You tell yourself you’ll get up at 5am and then hit the snooze button 3,4,5 times.
- You say you are going to exercise 5 times a week and only do it twice because you’re tired.
- You plan on writing 2 new blog posts per week, but barely get one out a month.
- You tell a client you’ll get that project to them on Tuesday and then don’t start on it until Wednesday.
Living out of alignment with your code (an embodiment of your values, vision, passion and purpose) causes tension in your life and business.
And when you feel the tension, your clients, fans, and followers feel it as well.
If you want to establish a strong personal brand, you need to bake trust into everything you do.
The only way to do that is to stand firm in your beliefs and share those without reservation. It’s when you step outside of that (doing or saying something that doesn’t feel true to you), that you create internal and external conflict.
2. Define Your Core Values
Like it or not, your beliefs are what drive your core values. That means the lens in which you see the world is how you communicate your values. They’re the internal beliefs that dictate your life and create a strong business foundation.
According to Wikipedia, they’re the…
“fundamental beliefs of a person or organization. They help people to know what is right from wrong; they can help companies to determine if they are on the right path and fulfilling their business goals; and they create an unwavering and unchanging guide.”
When you look at it that way, sharing what you value most shouldn’t be too difficult, right? Let’s take a look at what that might look like.
Let’s say you value reliability in your life. In your business, that would translate into a commitment of always saying what you do and doing what you say.
If you’ve yet to sit down and define your core values, it doesn’t have to be complicated. After all, you’ve lived with them your whole life.
Below are a few examples to get your creative juices flowing, and if you need more help – here’s a HUGE list of 500 examples.
Once you’ve gone your own soul searching and reflected on that list, write down 3 that speak to you the most.
Now weave those into the very essence of your brand. They’ll be seen and felt in every article, post, and tweet you share.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Your core values are seen & felt in every article, post, and tweet you share. Get to know yours!” quote=”Your core values are seen & felt in every article, post, and tweet you share. Get to know yours!”]
Example of core values:
3. Speak to an Audience of One
Have you ever read a post that felt it was written just for you? It’s as if they reached into your world, overheard a conversation, and provided the exact solution.
That’s what knowing your audience does for your brand and business. It infuses life into your content and communication. It allows you to empathize, but not in a trite, “I feel ya” kinda way.
Instead, you stop talking and start showing. Your actions say to your fans that you know exactly what their pain is because you’ve, “been there, done that, and found the best solution to their challenge.”
Now if you’ve wondered why no one is listening, responding, hiring or buying from you, think on what I just shared. Because that is your answer in a nutshell.
Stop worrying about what needs to be changed: your content, what or when you’re posting, the amount of content you’re sharing. None of that matters if you’re not incorporating one simple aspect into the mix: speaking your audience’s language in a real and authentic way.
Because whatever you’ve read or heard about defining your target market, identifying your persona, or any other marketing speak, doesn’t matter if you haven’t gained clarity around your audience.
So, before throwing the baby out with the bathwater (such a bizarre phrase, but you get what I mean…), answer these questions.
- Who do you want to serve?
- What are they struggling to do, solve, fix, or get more of in their life or business?
- Why should they care about you, your product, or service?
[clickToTweet tweet=”If you want to create a vision of your perfect customer, you must design a customized experience.” quote=”If you want to create a vision of your perfect customer, you must design a customized experience.”]
For example, in the new online course I’m getting ready to launch, my target audience is a 35 – 45 year old married career women with 2 teenage kids, 1 dog, 2 cats, and a deep desire to get out of her 9 to 5 and create a life and business that makes her leap out of bed every day.
As I’ve written the course, emails, social posts, and all other content, I speak to “Sophia,” not a blank face, but a woman whose particular challenge I’m eager to solve. Feels far more authentic, don’t you think?
Kind of like talking with a friend as opposed to shouting out a window to a neighbor you don’t know. Pretty weird, right?
Take the time to get to know your “Sophia, and then speak to her in everything you do.
4. Establish a Brand Style That Mirrors Your Values
Your brand style is something that will flow from your website, to your blog, social media, and more.
It makes you instantly recognizable and creates a distinct point of separation between you and the competition.
If you haven’t taken the time to design your brand style, here’s a few steps to take.
Your style is a combination of each ingredient that makes up your brand. It allows you to express your personality and define your style within the marketplace.
If you’re happy, then this is the place to let that shine. If you’re somber, melancholy, or serious — let that come across in your brand style.
Your style is also portrayed through the consistent use of your logos, brand name, trademarks, communication, core visual elements, advertisements, signs, brochures, and presentations.
Think of it as all of your brand goodness fused into a likable, shareable, and highly contagious brand that your community can’t get enough of.
Your brand identity should never be compromised. What do I mean by that? Think about how inconsistency hurts you.
For example, if your logo and brand colors are one thing on your website, another on your blog and something completely different on your social networks – your audience is going to have a difficult time understanding who you are, what you do, and how you help.
Sitting down and putting your brand details into an easy-to-read doc makes sure everything is streamlined.
This one piece can dramatically change all of your online copy. I promise you – if you get nothing else out of this article, nailing down your messaging is HUGE.
One critical aspect of this is how you respond to that all too often uncomfortable question, “what do you do?” Instead of silence, put together a quick, but super specific way of expressing who you help and how.
Here’s a few simple questions to help you craft what will become copy for your website About page, social media bios, and more.
1. What do you love to do?
e.g. help people lose weight, eat healthy, house train their new puppies, or better manage their money
2. Who do you love to help?
e.g. couples looking to get healthy or people who want to create an exercise regimen, or maybe wine drinkers or those that love dance
3. What does your personal brand promise to do?
e.g. what will people achieve through you / think about what they’ll be able to do better, more of, or walk away with after working with you?
Maybe they become a great tennis player or work more fruit or healthy foods into their diet or finally get their finances under control. Again, be as specific as you can.
I want you to think about your answers and set aside 30 minutes. Whether it’s in the morning or afternoon, choose a time when you can do your best thinking.
Now write out your responses. Because this is where your personal brand really starts to come to life.
What you’ll end up with is something similar to a 30 second elevator pitch. An old school term for a short, expressive way to share details about your personal brand and company.
Here’s how your answers to the above questions might come together:
“I’m a positive enforcement coach who specializes in helping you cut through the diet and exercise noise to get healthy, eat nutritiously, lose weight, and earn back your life.”
See how much better that sounds than, “I’m a health and diet coach.” Hmmm… tough for me to understand who your target market is and what makes you so spectacular at what you do.
Think creatively, but honestly as you put yours together. What results can you truly offer?
Your Main Colors
To be remembered, you must make an impact. Your colors – the dominant, secondary and tertiary colors – help you create an indelible mark in the mind of your audience.
If you haven’t chosen your brand colors yet, here’s a few tools you can use to pick the perfect color palette.
- Use an online color picker. I like Colordot.
- Upload your image to imagecolorpicker.
- Download a Chrome or Firefox extension like ColorZilla to find colors you like online.
5. Build Buzz, Gain Publicity, and Become Known in Your Industry
To maximize your personal brand and become known in your industry, you need to create a diverse strategy.
This will incorporate various online tools to quickly accelerate conversation, buzz, and word of mouth.
Step 1: Create a Personal Brand “About” and Press Page
One of the biggest must-have steps in building your personal brand is creating an About and Press page.
By incorporating both of these into your web marketing mix, you’re letting your target market (and the media) know what’s going on with your brand, and also creating an extra opportunity to be discovered in search results.
The first step is deciding what you’ll share on your About and Press page. For your About, give all relevant details about your education, work, and personal history.
For your Press page, think about whether it will share press releases, a media kit, company news, media coverage, or something else?
If you’re not sure, ask yourself:
- Who do I want to see my page?
- Is it potential customers, journalists, Google?
Now write with them in mind.
And don’t forget to optimize your pages for SEO. This is your extra chance to get found on Google, so make sure you use your industry keywords.
Your next step is to choose a place for your About and Press page. You have plenty of options!
You can put them inside your blog, in the top-level navigation, or in a dropdown “about” section.
Find a logical and easy-to-find place for them to reside.
Now, decide what to call them. Your About will be exactly that or Bio or Meet Me. Any variation works.
For your Press page, you can use a title like “news,” “media,” “press” or “company news.”
Step 2: Launch Your Social Media Branding Strategy
Launching your brand across social media can feel overwhelming. It can also be terrifying if you haven’t put a plan in place.
In this step, I’m going to walk you through a 4- step process I’ve taken thousands of clients through.
It’s called PREP and with this proven process, you can launch your personal brand social media strategy without worry, stress, or headache.
Your PREP Work Process:
Analyze what you know vs. the real intent and struggle of your audience. For example, if you’re a food blogger – is your audience looking for the best gluten free recipes because of a chosen diet or because they want to know how to manage celiac disease?
What you want to get to the bottom of is the purpose behind the connection your personal brand is looking to make. What is going to bring your perfect audience to you?
Identify your top differentiators, objectives, and opportunities.
Where is there a hole in the market or a space for you to put your creative spin on an already established idea? This is where differentiation really starts to happen with your brand.
While there might not always be a new idea, there’s always you and your perspective.
Create a social media marketing strategy and justify the content mix and posting plan through data.
Improve authority and credibility to monetize your social media marketing efforts. This final step comes from consistently sharing your value, solving customer problems, and giving away your secrets.
Because yes – you must give to get, especially on social media.
If you want personal brand success on social media, you need to add value continuously.
This PREP process will help you stay proactive in your approach, making it easy to not only keep up with social media, but also create sustainable growth for your personal brand.
Step 3: Hack Your Hashtags
Hashtags are one of the best ways to reach a completely new audience and get the word out about your personal brand. But not every hashtag will get you results, you have to be strategic.
Do some research to find hashtags relevant to your industry. Look for both: the general trending hashtags, and the lesser-known, but more specific ones.
The trending hashtags will help you reach a large or broad audience, while the specific (and targeted) ones will help you connect with people more likely to be interested in what you’re offering.
For example, #socialmedia is broad and while it might be a very active hashtag, you could also get lost in the barrage of content. A more targeted hashtag like #facebooktips places you in front of the exact people looking for Facebook content.
And if you run a local business, make sure you also use location-specific hashtags. Since I’m in the Los Angeles area, I often use #mydayinla or #ILoveLA.
Once you’re done with research, start using the hashtags in your social media posts. But remember to only use the ones that best align with your business.
By using trending hashtags which have nothing to do with you, you attract an audience you don’t want – or need. Sure, you may get a lot of visibility, but no real sales.
Ready to Unleash Your Dynamic Personal Brand?
Want to build a dynamic personal brand, but don’t know where to begin?
Join me and Debra Trappen, professional educator, author, and international speaker, for your 3 day “getting started plan!
On November 2nd, we’ll show you exactly how to build a brand that helps you gain the competitive edge.
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