What’s your personal brand?
And by that I mean, how do you want to come across in your business? Who are you, and how do you want the world to see you?
When we talk about our personal brand, we’re talking about how people perceive you based on what they know about you. How you can create an emotional connection between you and your customer.
It’s how you interact on social media, how you come across in business, the tone of voice you use to write with, and so much more.
Think of it as an ecosystem that works together to create your overall personal brand. Once you have created your personal brand and are clear in your core values, it’s time to build it.
But, how do you build your personal brand?
In this article, I am going to give you my 10 easy but powerful ways to build your personal brand, as well as a few of my tried and tested methods to creating a personal brand that is all about you.
What is YOUR personal brand?
By the way – we have put together a quiz to help you identify your own personal brand archetype – take our personal brand archetype quiz here
What is a personal brand?
We all know that to build your personal brand, you need to have – well – personal branding.
This includes everything from:
- Finding your circle
- Understanding your audience
- Knowing your core values and authenticity
- Your message that you want to give to the world
- Discovering your niche
- Choosing your brand colours and signature fonts
- Creating your digital assets
- Developing your tone of voice
- Carving your space in social media (and choosing which platforms work best for you)
- Having the right imagery
- Your signature look and style
But I believe your personal brand is so much more than that. And just in case you are thinking, “but, I don’t have a personal brand,” I am here to tell you that yes, you do!
It is what people think about you based on what they know about you and your business. Even without trying to create a personal brand, you already have one.
Your personal brand is your vision. It is how you interact with people, and how you do business. It needs to be clear and concise and translate in every medium you use. Whenever you are creating any kind of content, you need to be clear on the purpose of your brand. And stick with it!
Can you sum up your brand and business in a short and snappy sentence?
If you can, then you are clear on your messaging, and that will help you when it comes to building your personal brand.
It’s crucial to be consistent in how you present yourself personally through your business. That’s everything from your graphics, your brand colours, your interactions, your service, your social messaging, and your values.
Why should you build a personal brand?
If you are trying to build your business online, then it is vital to build your own personal brand.
Business is becoming more and more personal. Customers and clients want to get to know the people and the faces behind a business. It instills trust and connection.
By building a recognisable personal brand, you are on your way to opening up a wealth of professional opportunities. Such as more clients, more followers, more business, more networking opportunities, and more success.
Who doesn’t want all that?
So, how can you take your personal brand to the next level, and start getting more recognition?
It’s all about putting yourself out there. And your brand! Your brand, expertise, and values set you apart from your competitors. You are unique. And so is your personal brand.
Once you have nailed your niche, your audience, your colours, and your message, then it is time to make your personal brand known. Far and wide.
And I am here to help you do it!
10 ways to build your personal brand
You want your personal brand to create an impact and help you build your business. Incorporate these 10 steps into your personal branding journey, and you’ll soon find that you are able to spread your messaging and reach the audience that you are working towards.
Create your own podcast
Podcasts are a great place to build your personal brand, as they allow you to create long-form valuable content. They also help you depict who you are and give you a big platform to show your authenticity and the value you can give to your audience.
Podcasts are a form of rich media because it gets you on iTunes, where you can be picked up with related shows. And that means more exposure to potential clients and followers.
Make a content plan for your podcast where you create episodes filled with value for your ideal clients. Don’t be afraid of giving away a little of your secret sauce. Once they see you as an expert in your field, and they get to know your personal brand by the way you speak, you’ll have newfound followers for life!
Get interviewed as a guest on podcasts
If you haven’t taken the leap to launch your own podcast, then appearing on someone else’s podcast as a guest is a great way of getting exposure of your personal brand to your ideal audience.
When you are interviewed by someone else, you can really focus on yourself and talk about your brand, and your business. And because it is you speaking, the audience will get a greater understanding of who you are and what you stand for. Your true self will come out and your personal brand will speak for itself.
By being a guest on someone else’s podcast, you also have the opportunity to reach a potential brand new audience. An audience who could very well become your new clients.
Submit guest posts on high profile sites
Your website, blog, and other content marketing channels act as a hub, showing off your personal branding efforts. But in order to build your personal brand, you need to outreach and get attention. Especially when it comes to reaching your ideal audience.
You need to go to where your ideal audience is, and get their attention. This might be in other websites and forums that publish content about the things you do.
This is where guest posting can really come into its own. If you can provide valuable content to these websites, platforms, or channels, you will have the chance to expose yourself and sell yourself to their audience. Your ideal audience.
Post regularly about your key focus topic
Choose one main social media platform to be your platform. While you can be on all of them, to really master a platform and build a strong following, I really suggest choosing one to be your preferred social space.
Once you have built a strong following on one and mastered all the engagement and posting strategies so that you are getting regular engagement, likes, comments, follows and shares, then you can start moving to another one.
Trust me, it is really hard to build a strong following on more than one platform at a time!
The second thing that you want to do is post regularly, so people start to see you more and look out for your posts. Create a posting schedule that allows you to create connection and engagement.
When someone decides to follow you on social media, they have already been won over by your personal brand, (and are probably on social media A LOT) so here is your chance to engage them in your core values, your key focus, and turn them into customers.
It is a vital step in building relationships with your followers.
Just remember that whatever you post on your social media platforms should always reflect your brand. You might think the meme you saw this morning was funny, but if it doesn’t promote the values of your personal brand then avoid sharing it.
Build a strong network
So many opportunities present themselves from personal connections. And the more you work to build your personal brand, the more opportunities and connections you will make. Because people connect better with people – and not companies.
In today’s online world, you don’t have to wait until you meet people face to face. Some of my best business connections have been made online with people all over the world. You’ll be amazed at the deep connections that you can create with people online.
I have found in the past that building my own network has been incredibly powerful in creating my personal brand. When I ran Women Unlimited (a women’s business community with over 20,000 women in it), I was able to make connections with many business leaders in the UK as well as develop strong connections with women in my community.
Don’t wait for someone to choose you – choose yourself. It can feel awkward sometimes taking on that leadership role, but it is also incredibly rewarding.
When you have strong connections, more business opportunities will naturally present themselves. Things such as invitations to be interviewed on blogs, podcasts, guest speaking, media opportunities. You name it.
Run a survey
A survey is a quick and easy way to get valuable input from your ideal audience.
If you have an email list, now is the time to really use it. Create a survey for your followers to fill in. It’s a way for you to find out what they really want from you. Think about the kind of thing you want to know from them. In the survey, you can ask them:
- What content do they enjoy?
- Why did they sign up to your emails or follow you on social?
- What social media channels do they prefer?
- How often do they like to receive valuable email content?
- What area of your industry do they need help with?
- What’s one thing they are struggling with?
- What is one big question they have about your niche
When you get the answers to these questions, it will help you shape and build your brand to be more helpful to your ideal audience.
Our favourite free survey tool is Google Forms – highly recommended.
Write articles for magazines
If you are comfortable at writing, then writing articles for magazines (both online and print) is an excellent way to gain exposure to your brand. It all starts with research.
Guest writing is a great opportunity to get you personal brand in front of other people’s audiences. It can be a brilliant way to raise your profile and position you as someone who really knows about your subject matter.
What magazines and websites do your ideal clients read? What do they enjoy reading?
Make a list of all the magazines and websites you can think of, and then do some research.
Find the names of the editors and connect with them on LinkedIn or start following them on social media. Once you have done your homework and studied the magazines and the kind of content they print, get in touch with them.
Tell them that you would love to write an article for their magazine and make sure you have a really strong pitch. What will the article be about? Who is it written for? What value could it bring to the magazine?
Email them a pitch with 3 unique ideas that are well suited to their audience and showcases your knowledge. And don’t forget to follow up if you don’t hear back from them straight away, they could just be busy.
Make sure that it is written in your voice, with your audience kept in mind the whole time. This will naturally be brimming over with your personal brand.
Create a Bitesized Bio
You will want to create an easy to share and use personal bio that highlights who you are and how you help and make sure this is used every time you write for a website or magazine. Things to include if possible are a link to your website and a link to your lead magnet if possible. Share any relevant information about you that will increase your street cred with the potential audience… and make is personable and relatable, you want it to sound like you are a real person that they want to connect with. This is the first step in building the know, like and trust factor.
Be your own PR
When you get press coverage, you establish yourself and your personal brand as an authority in your industry. Not only that, but you will gain access to a brand new group of people, who could potentially become your clients.
And you get press coverage by investing in a bit of PR. And yes. You could hire a freelance PR consultant to tackle this for you, but if your funds are limited, then why not handle your own PR? It can be a challenge, but the results are so worth it.
There are a number of ways you can get free press coverage, and spread your personal brand to a much wider audience.
- See what news stories are trending and figure out how you and your services can relate to this. Then create a pitch and get in touch with websites, magazines, even the news
- See if there is a story that you can change the spin on and make it come from your angle. Write a blog post about it and then send it to different members of the press
- Offer to give a free talk or webinar at a local college or university. Opt for an establishment that has courses related to your niche. You’ll gain incredible exposure to a fresh new audience
- Use a free service such as HARO, which connects experts with journalists for opinions and statements to be used in the press. Just remember to always follow up if you give a quote. You don’t want to miss potential exposure
- ProfNet by PR Newswire is another service you can use to connect with journalists
- Follow the #journorequest hashtag on Twitter or even better, identify and follow journalists who are looking for experts in your field and reach out to them when you have something interesting to share. Also monitor them every day for any shoutouts that they are putting out.
These are just some ideas you can use to gain press coverage on your own and maximise the exposure of your personal brand.
Make friends with influencers
This step goes hand in hand with writing guest posts. It’s about building relationships and bonding with influencers in your niche. But I don’t mean network with them. I’m talking about going out of your way to forming a bond with them.
Forget about business, and actually get to know them on a personal level. That means making the effort to network in a variety of different ways. Of course, at the moment, we are all living our lives digitally. So it’s a great time to utilise resources such as Clubhouse, Instagram, Facebook, and emails.
Engaging on social media can be so easy, and it takes the fear of putting yourself out there away. If you get ignored in their DM’s – so what? Find someone (or several people) well known in your industry, get to know them but looking through their posts, look for common ground and reach out.
Once you build a relationship with an influencer, working with you or promoting you to their audience will be something they could be very happy to do.
Write a book
This might sound daunting, but trust me, this is something you can do.
A book (or an ebook) is a long piece of pillar content, which means that you can repurpose it in several different ways.
Once you have developed your personal brand and have identified and connected with your audience, you will already have a loyal fan base.
Your USP – unique service proposition – is your expert topic. You already write about it on your social media, you write about it in every piece of content you create for your website and in your emails. You speak about it with your clients. You know everything about it.
Now, think about how many other people could benefit from your USP. This is where writing a book (and it doesn’t have to be War and Peace) could really take your personal brand to the next level. Cementing your status as an expert in your field, an authority in your industry, and an influencer.
Building your personal brand is all about you
Remember. A personal brand is about who you are and what you do.
Your personal brand is what is important to you, and what is important to your audience. When you build your personal brand, those core values – the things that are important to you – need to come across in everything that you put out there.
Try building your brand bit by bit, and trying out each of these steps one by one. You will be amazed by how easy it is because really, you are talking about YOU. You, and your values. Once you are clear on that, these steps will feel easy and natural.
What are some of the core values of your brand? I’d love to know more about them, so let me know in the comments, or over on my Facebook page.