7 Key Elements of a Successful Personal Brand
Recently, I had an interesting coffee date with my husband. Not that our coffee dates are usually boring but you know… they’re more a couple of hours just to ourselves where we usually wind up discussing our kids… which we are trying to take a small break from…
Anyway, back to the interesting part of it. You see, my husband is trying to break into the streaming scene on Twitch. And while he was telling me his plans and bouncing ideas off me, I asked him how he plans to get followers. With a heavy sigh, he admitted he will have to get social on social media and then asked if I could make him a cover for Twitch and for Twitter…. Before dropping his jaw and concluding:
OMG I’M GONNA NEED A BRAND AREN’T I?
Which brings me to the point of this post: anyone attempting to make it online, needs a brand. It doesn’t matter if you are a streamer, a blogger, or a small business owner. Branding is no longer reserved for big names like Coca-Cola, or Sony.
The thing is guys, a personal branding strategy can be the most influential tool for success in your self-marketing toolkit. You can identify, package and sell who you are to build a personal brand that results in blog or business growth, influence, and income.
The problem that most people have with branding though is that they simply have no idea where to start when it comes to developing an effective personal branding strategy. And, unfortunately, most of them equate their brand with a logo.
Please, I urge you, don’t be one of them.
Personal branding strategy is much more than having a logo! Having a logo is all fine, cool, and dandy but a logo a brand does not make. A logo is more like a collateral to your overall brand – it should reflect it.
So how do you develop your branding strategy? Where do you even start?
I’m so glad you asked because I’ve got the answer! So, grab a cup of coffee, sit down, get comfy and let’s get to it.
01 / Define Your What
Get clear on your personal strengths, talents, values, and core area of expertise. What are you good at? What unique experiences do you bring to the table? What guides you in your everyday life? Understand how you connect best with people. Consider what your target audience needs and wants, and then identify the value and the experience that you can deliver to meet those needs and wants.
Communicate in ways that reach into the hearts and minds of your target audience and connect with their core values and deepest desires – in other words, speak their language. Don’t use $100 words just because you know them if your target audience responds better to everyday vocabulary.
02 / Establish Your Why
The personal branding process is about having self-awareness of your strengths and talents, and then letting everyone know about your gifts, talents, and experience. It’s about giving a clear impression of who you are, what you value, what you’re committed to, and how you can be counted upon to act.
Your branding statement must provide a clear, concise view of your unique set of strengths and tell why you can do it better than anyone else. You need to be able to state clearly and unequivocally, why you are different than everyone else, and what services you offer that make you unique and set you ahead of your competition. Also, consider why are you doing this. What made you choose that particular topic/business? Why are you so passionate about it?
03 / Your Audience
Once you’re clear on what you’re doing and why, you need to define WHO you’re doing it for. After all, if nobody is interested in what you have to offer, then there is no point in continuing to build a brand. Every brand needs an audience and yours is no exception.
Consider what problem your product or service solves and then identify people who have that problem. There are numerous websites out there that help you define your ideal customer avatar and you can also sign up for my free member hub and download Ideal Client Avatar Workbook (and other goodies — find the link to sign up at the bottom of the post!).
If you’re absolutely stuck coming up with an ideal client profile — start by looking in the mirror. Often, our ideal client profile is a person similar to ourselves.
04 / Your Visuals
Now that you have the big three defined, you can start working on your brand’s visuals. This inlcudes brand assets that will represent your brand on your website, in your print materials, and elsewhere online. Usually, you’ll want:
a color scheme
a set of fonts (no more than 3)
images and photos (either stock or custom)
a tone of voice that reflects your brand’s personality
icons, patterns, and textures
05 / An Offline and Online Presence
I’m referring to the act of exposing your potential audience to your name, logo, tagline, etc. on a frequent basis, and to the extent that people are already aware of you when they are ready to purchase a product or service that you offer.
After all, it makes no sense to create a personal branding strategy if your audience doesn’t even know you exist.
You have to be present where your audience is and in today’s day and age that usually means social media. However, you also don’t want to overdo it, otherwise, you will chase them away. You have to find the perfect balance between getting noticed and drowning in with the rest of the noise.
Start by engaging with your audience on one or two networks; preferably those you are most familiar with. Engage actively with your audience at least three times a week. By running a very strong campaign over the course of a month, you can easily create a very lasting effect on the people you would like to have as your customers.
It is important to maintain continuity through the use of the same logo, business name, or tagline in all your promotions so your targets are receiving the same impression with each exposure, regardless of the exact mode of delivery.
You want to create the awareness of your name, logo, or tagline and associate it with your products and services well before they even need what you have to offer.
06 / A Flagship Offer
Next, you need to know what you will offer. Knowing how you help your audience will become “the thing” you’re known for, something people will immediately associate you with when they hear your name.
How do you come up with a flagship offer?
Find the thing that’s right at the intersection of what you do best, what your audience wants the most, and what you love doing.
07 / The Grace to Embrace the Competition
I hate to break this to you but chances are there is someone out there with the same/eerily similar business model/blog as you. But you know what? It’s not the end of the world. Competition is actually healthy because it can challenge you to be better.
So instead of crying in your pillow and allowing paranoia to set in, use competition to your advantage. How? Watch what they do. Take notes and learn what you can do to improve and how you can bring greater value. What are they successful at? Which strategies failed? Use that information to bring out the awesome in you.
Now let’s make one thing clear. Being aware of your competition and knowing what they are doing is important but please for Pete’s sake don’t get so caught up in it that you turn into a stalker. Or worse – a copycat stalker. That’s just creepy. So don’t do it mmkay?
Remember, you are UNIQUE, your story is UNIQUE, and that is what sets you apart.
Their target audience might be the same as yours but I guarantee you, they won’t attract every single one of them. Just like PlayStation and XBox or DC and Marvel.
P.S. Oh, and if you need a little help with your brand, why not take my free Brand Personality Quiz and find out what the perfect colors, fonts, and patterns are for your brand? 😉