People look to influencers for a life they look to emulate or try to achieve.
There’s a secret to this celebrity-level success: these individuals have established authority through their personal brand. Their strategy makes perfect sense, and it is one that should be taken into account if creating influence is the goal. The more visibility established, the better opportunity a brand has to gain credibility, recognition, clients, and sales.
How can you begin to develop a successful personal brand, even if you are not a celebrity? Think like one, of course.
What is a Personal Brand?
The word “brand” is typically associated with products and businesses, not individuals. However, a personal brand is something to continue building upon because it’s an affirmation of who an individual is and what they’re passionate about. Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres didn’t become famous by accident. These individuals put effort into defining their brands for others, as opposed to allowing others to identify them.
In establishing your brand, the focus should be on want to be known for and where do you see value? We highlight 3 things to consider when creating your personal brand:
1. Understand Your Value & Stay Focused
Value isn’t based upon who you work for or your position at a company; Rather it’s based on what you can bring to the table. What is it that you do exceptionally well that others can’t? Who does it best serve? Establishing a target audience and finding a niche market will help narrow down the list of potential customers that you can best assist. Clients won’t know to come to you if you are not prescriptive about the type of work you provide.
For example, Ellen began as a stand-up comic. Only after establishing herself and gaining visibility and credibility in her field did she launch into a career from stand-up and into movies and television. Utilizing this as an example, choose one thing you want to be known for and focus on being the best at it. If you’re looking to achieve success, you need to become a recognized expert and authority in one area to establish trust.
Asking yourself these questions and nailing down these key answers is the first step in establishing a successful personal brand.
2. Establish a Brand That Mirrors Your Values
Style, identity, and messaging can make or break a personal brand. If properly established, a personal brand should make you instantly recognizable and create a clear distinction between the brand and the competition.
A style is a combination of each component that makes up your brand that allows for self-expression through personality to the marketplace. Contemplate your favorite brands – what makes them unique? Do they focus on user-generated content? Personal or creative stories?
Think of a style guide that will make your brand stand above the rest. Style guides include the creation of:
- Core visual elements
- Business cards
Visualize your personal brand’s style as something that needs to be turned into a likable, shareable, and highly-contagious entity that your established audience can’t get enough.
Inconsistency can make or break a personal brand. If brand and logo colors differ across multiple platforms, your audience will have difficulty establishing who you are and what you, which can make your brand seem unestablished.
Behind every established brand is a fundamental core brand message:
- A declaration of why the brand matters
- What that brand stands for
- How that brand differs from the competition
A core brand message communicates the values and key differentiators that define the brand. Your personal brand having an emotional impact on the established audience will determine how that audience feels about you.
Successful personal brands prompt strong, positive responses from their audience meaning that the messaging you use to describe your personal brand is critical. Messaging shapes the way people see you; it arms prospects with concrete reasons to choose you over other options.
3. Brand Visibility
Now that you’ve established your brand’s values, it’s time to gain visibility. Having brand visibility means letting your audience know you exist. Increasing visibility requires a multitude of processes such as creating a well-strategized social media plan, networking, ongoing social engagement, drafting press releases, content, and establishing a strong foundation of sites and social media profiles.
Beginning a personal brand alone can be daunting. How can you ensure your brand is personalized, write valuable content, network, engage on social platforms, and still focus on establishing the brand?
The answer: you probably need help–and there’s nothing wrong with that! Hiring professionals who understand your vision and take it to the next level is an excellent business decision. Utilizing marketing professionals expertise, know-how and experience can be imperative in the creation of a successful personal brand strategy.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, patience is critical. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your personal brand will not be either. Creating a personal brand takes time, continuous effort, and sometimes an entire team of individuals to launch it towards success.
In today’s world of technology, opportunities for growth and visibility are more plentiful than before. In building a personal brand, be sure to define goals, stay focused, and always make sure the brand stays true to you.