More recently I have noticed a rise in individuals either quitting their 9 to 5 job to set up their own small business or setting up their business on the side.
I have to say I think that is awesome! Not only because that is how I started my business, but also because it takes a lot of initiative and dedication to make it actually happen.
Not so long ago I was on a call with a client who was confused about how to start his new venture. One of the topics that he wanted to discuss was how to brand himself.
After a lengthy discussion, and a lot of explaining, I realised he can't be the only one curious about personal branding and so today I wanted to share some tips on how to create a personal brand.
What is a personal brand?
A personal brand is how you appear to the rest of the world.
Personal branding is the process of establishing your appearance.
It’s important to define the two as they can be easily confused. A strong personal brand will help you to gain credibility and trust. Personal branding will help to establish you as the expert in your field or industry if done correctly.
Do I need to create a personal brand?
Your personal brand is you! However, if you are setting up your business and it is primarily focused on you and the services you provide, then it is definitely worth thinking about how to manage your personal brand and how to build around what you already have to establish yourself as the expertise.
It could be that you already have a business but it has recently changed direction, or you have added another service to your business and therefore you have outgrown your original brand.
Bringing all the services you provide under one roof can be done in the form of personal branding, in which case, creating a professional look and feel will be important.
How do I establish or define my personal brand?
Here are my 6 tips on the best way to establish or define your personal brand. It’s important not to rush through these, but keep in mind these are simply starting points.
1 | Be clear on your core values
Write down the words that best describe you - These will be useful for when it comes to creating a visual representation. I.e. in the form of a logo.
2 | Be real, be you
This will help to humanise your business, making you naturally more approachable.
3 | Write out your bio and description
Simply put, how would you introduce yourself to someone who doesn't know you?
4 | Establish your website or blog
Post regularly to create help show your expertise and build your credibility.
5 | Use social media
Make some noise and start to build a following. Also sharing relevant and intentional articles and resources will help strengthen and develop your personal brand.
6 | Communicate with others
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get referrals, so creating and maintaining a strong network you can leave a pathway to new clients or repeat business.
When do I establish my personal brand?
This depends on a few different factors, for example:
- Is the personal brand for a new business or an existing business that has changed direction?
- Have you defined your core values? (This is more often than not the words that people would use to describe you and sould be defined sooner rather than later).
- Do you have a unique selling point or points that will help you stand out of the crowd - Do you do more than 1 “thing” that could differentiate you?
The key thing to remember is you are your brand so although you already exist, your brand probably isn't or hasn't been recognised for the things you may want it to be recognised for. Therefore, defining your personal brand and building it consitently will strengthen your business, so when you are ready to move to the next stage of your business - this could be to have a professionally designed logo, or to increase your email subscribers, etc, you have already done the ground work.
I hope the tips in this article have helped you if you are thinking to create a strong personal brand. Don't forget to keep it consistent!
Have you created a personal brand? What has been your experience?