Let’s talk about personal branding
Updated: Nov 11, 2019
And how you can start taking steps towards finding your unique personal brand
According to Wikipedia 'Personal branding is essentially the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual, group, or organisation.'
Personal branding as your visual identity
This is about what your colour palette, fonts, logo look like. For example, your website, business cards and any professional printouts, like promotional flyers, all come under this category. It’s important to put some thought into this and employ a professional if you have to. Most of us do. You want your business to look well-put-together, stand out from the crowd and not scare away potential clients by just throwing something together.
Your branding is your shop-window for what you and your business represent. … but personal branding is so much more than what your website or your business cards look like.
Written personal branding
Every business owner should have a personal brand statement written up as part of their branding strategy. Your business name and any tag-lines or catch-phrase you might use should also align with what you offer, and the message you want to send to prospective clients. Your usual writing style, tone and syntax are also part of your branding. You need to develop and cultivate a style that you can easily maintain and stay consistent with it.
Depending on what you’re selling you could portray yourself in a very serious manner, or elegantly sophisticated, or in a quirky and fun style – or even a combination of any of these. It all depends on what you’re offering and who your target audience is.
Consider the following points when developing your brand.
You are your own brand
People identify you with your business. How you come across and present yourself will be associated with your business, products or services you sell. You might have a great product to sell or fantastic services on offer, but if you as the person behind the brand don’t come across in a certain way that aligns with what you have to offer, you might put off any potential customers before you’ve even had a chance to talk numbers.
Too many people - in business and in person - try to project something they’re not.
Your audience will see through this eventually, and you’ll lose their trust before you’ve even had a chance to start building a relationship with them.
By staying true to yourself you end up attracting the right type of clientele for your business - because they like you and your personal brand in the first place. It’s surprising how many prospective clients end up giving their money to a competitor they like over someone who might be a better fit on paper for what they were looking for in the first place.
Don’t try to cover all bases
Have a key message and focus on this one thing that best represents what you do as a business.
Define your niche
If you have a unique selling point, it’ll be easier to tailor your personal branding around this and finding your target demographic will come naturally as a result.
Are you confusing your audience with what you have to say? Whenever you post something on social media, or email one of your clients, potential leads etc., think about how this might affect your personal brand. Write engaging stories (for example problem solving) around your brand/products/services rather than coming out with in-your-face salesy messages all the time. You’ll end up putting off your existing clients too.
Also, it’s worth developing a consistent style of writing, specifically tailored to the mediums or social channels you’re using.
Don’t just give up and throw in the towel if you fall at the first hurdle. We all make mistakes. Dust yourself off, learn from what went wrong - maybe by discussing this with an outsider, a friend, a branding consultant or a professional business coach - and come up with an action plan to get you back on track.
How would you define your unique personal branding and is there anything else you think could be added to this list?
Zsike | chief vampire