Are you going into business for yourself so you can use your skills to help your own clients, be your own boss, and make more money? Then you are going to need to develop your personal brand.
Just because you’re an established professional doesn’t mean you automatically have a brand. A brand is something you must be intentional about designing and building if it is going to have any value.
If you’re already striking out on your own or just considering the possibility...
Here are 5 steps you can take to develop your personal brand.
What do people get when they get YOU? The first step in building your personal brand is to answer this question honestly. Take your time.
A personal brand that adds value to your enterprise, one that resonates with clients and draws in customers, is based on truth. Explore your passions, skills, gifts, and purpose.
- What makes you unique?
- Who are you and what do you look like to others?
- What do you love doing?
- What needs can you serve with your gifts?
KFC says, “We do chicken right.” Those four words express exactly what sets them apart from their competitors. What do you do right? What are you good at? Explore!
Educate yourself about your industry. Become the guru in your part of the world. Be that go-to-person. A go-to-person doesn’t know it all; however, he or she is connected to the people who do.
Moreover, don’t put your progress on hold because you lack some specific skill or knowledge. Find it and learn it.
There is a wealth of free resources available online for entrepreneurs, innovators, and DIYers, and the future belongs to those who teach themselves. When you do find the right person to support you in your project, they will already be building on what you’ve done.
Announce to people what you do and why you do it. Present yourself. Presentation is everything.
- Because we interact with a very visual generation, impress first and inform second.
- While informing, you want to offer clarity. Be clear on WHO you are and WHAT services you’re offering. Use your platform to provide content that your customers find valuable. Put your expert knowledge to work crafting articles, videos, or how-tos that people actually find helpful. What’s your message?
- Finally, offer consistency. Be sure to highlight your proven track record, and make sure all your branded materials are up to par.
Be authentic. Stay true to your core values. People can easily detect a fake, which is why the first step is so important to get right. Build on your strengths, but don’t be afraid to share about your weaknesses.
People are attracted to authenticity and vulnerability.
It shows that you are human and makes your brand believable.
Start with your warm market—your sphere of influence. Ask them for referrals.
- Decide how you are going to get the word out about your brand.
- What vehicle shall you use, i.e. social media, traditional marketing, word of mouth, flyers, speaking engagements?
- Decide the frequency. How often will you advertise?
Take your brand seriously. Be intentional about what you are trying to accomplish. Explore, Educate, Present, Personalize and Promote. Remember, your clients don’t buy what you do; they buy YOU.