It is a brand new year and the perfect opportunity to create or reignite your personal brand.
Whether you are an employee, solopreneur, business leader or just want to establish your professional persona to the world, your personal brand enables you to define or even re-invent your public persona how you want to be seen.
Creating a personal brand is an investment in your career, credibility, and your success. You don’t need to be a business owner, or well known personality to create your brand. In fact, your personal brand could be a great selling point in the next step in your career!
You are more than just your resume. The brand of YOU represents your skills, education, expertise, values, desires and possibly business offerings if you are transitioning your brand to a business. Think of yourself as a product and building your brand is the first step in marketing that product.
“A personal brand is what people say about you when you leave the room.” Jeff Bezos, Founder, Amazon.com
Here are 5 steps (+ 1 bonus!) to craft a powerful and memorable personal brand to promote your unique identity and value. Each step asks you a series of questions. Grab a journal or copy and paste the questions below and answer them worksheet style. Answering these questions is the first step in creating or re-igniting your personal brand! Let’s get started!
Step 1) Find Your Voice
What is your intrinsic value?
What have people said you do really well? Not sure? Take a poll!
What are your key most valuable skills?
What are 3 key messages you wish to bring to the world?
What style represents you? (Formal, Casual, Rebellious, another unique combination?)
Craft your voice so that everything you say, write, and create is in complete alignment with who you are and the value you provide. Authenticity makes your brand building easier and ensures you don’t need to wear a mask or act like someone else when it is showtime! Be yourself.
Step 2) Define your Audience
Who is your ideal audience?
Why would they care about your message?
How would you audience benefit from your expertise?
Where can your audience find you?
How do you find them?
What are the best channels of communication with your audience?
Define who your target audience is, with great precision. This goes well beyond demographics and starts the process of creating a persona that represents the ideal person/customer/audience. Remember, you can’t serve who you don’t know and you can’t serve everyone. Being precise in your declaration of who your audience is enables you to focus and provide a clear vision of your value to who you serve.
Step 3) Amplify Your Voice
What tools/channels can you leverage to reach your audience? (Blog, Vlog, Podcast, Guest Posts/Articles, Speaking Engagements, etc.)
How can you make it convenient for your audience to hear your voice and interact with you?
Who can help you spread the word? How can you leverage your network?
Where can you promote yourself to reach your audience? (Online and offline)
Amplifying your voice doesn’t necessarily mean turning up the volume. It means extending and expanding your reach in ways that will connect you to your perfect audience. Find ways to get to them faster, in a convenient way for them.
Step 4) Create Your Brand “Package”
What are your top 3 key offerings and/or speaking topics?
What level of online visibility do you need?
Do you have professional photographs? (Dedicated professional photos of you for this business purpose). If not, who can you hire to take great pro level photos of you?
What proof points do you have or can you get to support you? (testimonials, endorsements, case studies)
What is the best way for people to contact you?
What type of look & feel do you want for your personal brand? (see what you wrote for finding your voice)
Think of your brand as an extension of you. It is a virtual package of your personal and professional identity so you want to get it right. Remember that your brand is an investment. Poor quality graphics or photos with family/friends/pets cropped out won’t cut it. You want a PROFESSIONAL first impression. Not sure where to start? Think of your favorite actor/singer/musician. Look up their websites and see how they have packaged their brand. Use ones that resonate with you as inspiration.
Step 5) Get Feedback & Tune Up
Reading over the information you have gathered, is there anything missing?
Who in your circle will give you honest and meaningful feedback of your personal brand? Choose 3 people who can help you.
What feedback did you receive? Did you notice any trends?
Are all of your visual components consistent? (colors, fonts, language, tone, graphics, and photos.)
Create an action plan to take action and tune.
What can you do to kick it up a few notches? What help do you need? A speaking coach? A stellar graphic designer? A mentor? Better technology? Take stock of where you are and where you want to be. Then operate from a position of where you want to be, rather than where you are.