Start Thinking of Yourself As A Brand
A personal brand is the set of unique and indistinguishable impressions that identify you to the rest of people. The idea of personal branding has existed for decades, nowadays, it’s a source of brand exposure, lead generation, and reputation management.
The process of developing a personal brand or how to create a personal brand can be carried out in many ways. If you’re in Houston, spend the day with the Own Your Voice team at our annual Summit, or keep on reading:
It seems obvious, but when it comes to distinguishing what parts of yourself you are willing to share publicly and what is reserved for your private life, takes you taking an inventory of what you have the stomach for. This is often the most difficult part of the process, and why we created the “Find Your Voice”, a course in emotional intelligence to guide thought leaders to find their authentic voice, and understand what is sustainable having a career in the public eye.
Most of the time, when it comes to developing a personal brand, people encounter the problem that there is no awareness of the differentiating elements of themselves. If you do not know your value add or what marketers label: Unique Selling Proposition (U.S.P.), a.k.a. what you’re really good at, your niche, it will be challenging to craft an effective message to position yourself in a lucrative way.
This is your time to reflect on this question:
Who am I?
What do I offer?
Why do people need this?
Where are the people who will be impacted most?
Digital influencer and Own Your Voice Summit presenter, Darlene Lebron shares: “I started my personal brand by making a journal entry public on my blog. On one hand, my audience really trusts me because of my vulnerability, on the other hand, I’ve had to get crystal clear on WHAT I am willing to share publicly, and WHEN to share it.”
Set a goal: personal brand goals
What do you want to develop a personal brand for?
Without an objective, you leave little room create a smart strategy. Figuring it out as you go serves more as a focus group experience, most entrepreneurs have a false sense of “If I build it, they will come.”
No, no they won’t.
You have to tell them who you are, what you offer, and why they need it, and communicate all of this on relevant platforms your audience hangs out on. The strategy defines the roadmap of how you scale your voice and grow your message to reach your target.
So, identifying if your personal brand will be focused on direct sales, brand exposure, or reputation management will feed your roadmap.
Before you define your goal, what it is that you’re doing all of this for, it is important to keep in mind that your U.S.P., the skills that differentiate you, will be fueling this experience.
Remember: always SMART targets. If you do not define your objectives well, your strategy will not go anywhere. Consider something measurable, achievable, specific, relevant, and put a deadline.
Define your target audience
For any marketing strategy, you have to define very well your buyer persona: those people to whom you are going to direct your personal brand. If you do not focus on the right audience, your message will not have the expected effect. A great starting point is to distinguish three types of audience you should address:
Customers – If the objective of developing your personal brand was, for example, to get a job as an employee, your 'clients' would be the persons in charge of selecting personnel in those companies.
Other professionals – One of the objectives of developing a personal brand should always be to generate trust. The recognition of other professionals in your sector is essential to generate confidence.
Specifiers – They are those people who, without being your potential client, have the ability to influence them. That the image they perceive of your personal brand is appropriate and essential, as they are valuable 'recommenders.' The moment you have made this preliminary study is when you can decide which strategy is the best for your case.
Build your online presence
Last but not least, it’s time to activate your thought leadership by scaling your voice through online initiatives.
Do you have a profile on social networks?
Do they have enough professional information?
Do they reflect the image you are looking for?
Beyond social networks, a website is a good option to build your personal brand. This alternative offers you more visibility in the Internet world.
Not sure how you’re perceived by the outside world? From time to time, try "googling" your name to see how others can perceive you and what is said about you.
We at Own Your Voice Communications are here to support your journey, see you at the Summit in October.