You might be surprised to hear that you’ve got more in common with Lady Gaga than you might think (apart from the 9 inch platform shoes, of course!) What you both have is a personal brand. Now, I know that many of you may feel a bit uncomfortable with the whole notion of ‘branding’, preferring to leave it to the likes of the aforementioned Lady G, or the big guns such as Marks & Spencer, Audi and L’Oreal. Well, uncomfortable or not, the fact remains that you already HAVE a personal brand. Your personal brand is what people think about when they see, hear or read about you, the way you present yourself, the things you say, the things you’re passionate about, the activities you’re part of, your blog, your website – ALL these things contribute to your unique personal brand.
So, what does your personal brand currently ‘say’?
Being good at what you do just isn’t enough, you have to make sure people know what you’re good at! Personal branding is one of THE most powerful marketing tools we have at our disposal – it’s what identifies and differentiates us so that we stand out from the crowd and attract more of our ideal clients.
If you haven’t given much thought to it up till now or you’ve dismissed it as being “not for the likes of me”, there’s no getting away from the fact that you ARE a brand - the question is, is it an accurate reflection of who you are?
This simple 3 step process will help you create a personal brand which positions you in people’s minds exactly where you want to be.
STEP 1. Clarify, clarify, clarify!
Figure out exactly what your brand IS by really clarifying your values, passion, strengths and skills. KNOW your target audience; pinpoint their needs and wants and then clearly identify precisely HOW you can meet those needs and wants.
Think about WHO you are, including your unique personality and WHAT you do and the WAY you do it and just brainstorm every personal attribute, value and passion that comes to mind. Then see if you can whittle it all down to just 6 or so key words that best represent who you are and what you offer.
STEP 2. Articulate it clearly and simply.
Learn how to express who you are and what you do – spell it out in a clear and concise way precisely what makes you unique so that people know exactly what services you offer and how clients benefit from working with you.
Learn to communicate all this in a way that connects with the values and desires of your target audience so that when people ask the inevitable, “What do you do?” question, you can answer in a way that establishes you in their minds and hearts.
For example, rather than responding with, “I’m a fitness instructor” try something more like “I help people who struggle with their weight to get fit, healthy and fabulous in ways they enjoy so that they stay fit, healthy and fabulous! ” (Which one do you think would get the response, “Oh that sounds interesting, tell me more.”)
STEP 3. Consistently communicate your brand across all platforms
The key to building a strong personal brand is consistency. It’s about conveying your brand message in every interaction you have – in what you say and how you say it – both online and offline, so that people come to KNOW and TRUST what you stand for.
Check to see that you are maintaining consistency across all platforms, so inspect your website, blog and Social Media profiles to ensure they all ‘say’ the same thing and portray an accurate reflection of who you are and what you do.
As a solo business owner, your personal brand is something to be embraced because it allows you to focus on what you love to do and what you do well and most importantly, be totally authentic. The stronger your personal brand, the more easily you will attract the customers and clients you WANT to work with and who WANT to work with you.