What is Personal Branding & Branding Awareness?
How do you define who you are? How do you define your business? How do you develop brand awareness through personal branding? All relevant and very important questions. Questions that a lot of entrepreneurs, unfortunately overlook in the start up and development phase of their business.
So what is personal branding? It is not so much about you, but who other people know you to be. It is crucial to success and has tremendous potential for business growth.
A powerful personal brand will position you as the leader, the expert, in your profession. It is your #1 lead magnet to attract your clients and ultimately, grow your business. All successful entrepreneurs have a strong personal brand.
Examples of entrepreneurs that have honed in on their personal branding and created amazing brand awareness are; Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Michelle Bridges, Sarina Russo and Tony Robbins to name a few. Each of these entrepreneurs come from very different industries; however, have all put strong personal branding at the forefront of their businesses.
In fact, their personal brands are so powerful that in these cases, they actually overshadow their own companies. Their brands are engaging, relevant and authentic. They benefit others and are, above all, memorable.
What is the purpose of building a personal brand?
The power of personal branding…
A personal brand always begins with your core values. What do you stand for – quality, excellence, responsibility, teamwork, innovation, leadership? Your personal brand is how people see you, the persona you convey to the world. It is the way you share your values, beliefs, achievements, dreams and aspirations. It’s how you share a little of yourself to your clients or customers. From their perspective, it makes you real, more than just a company. It builds authenticity and trust.
Your personal branding encapsulates what you stand for. It is the manifesto for your business…
With a good personal brand, clients will trust you more, be willing to pay more and argue less. In saying that, however, don’t make profit your priority, instead inspire your audience with vision and goals. You are a leader in your profession because people believe they know the authentic you. When you position yourself as the expert, they follow more enthusiastically and encourage others to do so as well. They become fans not followers.
The power of personal branding lies in the emotions it instills in people. Most people make decisions emotionally but justify these decisions logically. A powerful personal brand inspires emotion, but, more importantly, backs it up with clear and specific facts.
How do you shape your brand?
Consideration needs to be given to the story behind your brand. The voice and style of your brand – the ‘feeling’ your brand portrays and embodies, it’s values. The message you share with others needs to reflect your values through integrity.
The human psyche needs to know what you care about before it will trust what you know. Your clients need to trust you. They need to know your vision for the future. A future which benefits them. This trust is best built through transparency.
Let’s focus on Elon Musk and his personal branding. Now he has achieved a lot, but far beyond that, he is a visionary. He shares his story, that vision, in a way that people feel they can participate and become involved. His followers become part of his story. They are inspired and charged to share this vision through action.
Shaping your personal brand is about linking with people and getting them to participate in your vision. Your story becomes a part of their story. This makes for very powerful personal branding.
In this digital age everyone has a personal brand. Your personal brand in this instance is your online persona. Personal branding encompasses a great logo, a website and perhaps, even a great tag line.. This is, however, a limited interpretation of how to begin developing your personal branding.
Nevertheless as a professional you want a landing page that represents who you are and what you do. The right platform for your brand is important here, you want to be taken seriously – as you know, there needs to be a lot of planning, thought and reflection put into your brand purpose.
Positioning yourself as the expert in your industry
Identifying yourself as an expert in your field needs to go far beyond calling yourself that on your website. However, after the hard work, when you are acknowledged as an expert in your field, you will begin to gain credibility and your personal branding becomes even more powerful.
As you know, it is important to understand your target market. Who is going to most likely act on the value you deliver? Identify what people want and respond to this with the information you provide.
Figure out your audience’s frustrations, doubts, hopes, activities and ideas. This connects you with your audience. Be a great storyteller- tell your story with clear structure, engage and excite them with the possibilities.
How is what you deliver unique? Understand your own uniqueness, understand the value you bring to the market – what’s different – craft a message – don’t just share, amplify – strive for greatness!
Specialisation, personality, leadership, distinctiveness and visibility are all important aspects of positioning yourself as an industry leader, the authoritative figure in the field.
Content as communication
Content is the way you communicate your brand to those who want to listen. The way you express all the different aspects of yourself and your practice. Content is king. It is an opportunity for people to learn about you and what you are doing. You need to know your audience and create your content for this audience.
There are seven essential elements for ensuring your content meets the needs of your potential clients. This content directly builds your credibility and positions you as the expert in your area.
Your content needs to;
- engage, provide value and educate
- entertain and inspire
- be relevant to your clients
- build trust and loyalty
- be transparent
- be proactive not reactive
- be memorable
One of the most important aspects of content as communication is to create and post consistently. Not only does it give more opportunity for people to learn about you but, it affirms your expert status.
We have discussed the importance of personal branding and brand awareness. We have even walked through the initial steps. So where to now? How do you begin creating this awareness and building your companies ‘personal branding’? Or if you have already begun, how do you then develop this?
Developing a powerful personal brand is about dreaming big and focusing on the future not the present. Stake your claim, amplify your message and don’t be afraid to sell yourself.
Be self-aware, develop your reputation and prove you are, who you say you are. Everything counts; your talk, your walk, your work, your play. Your personal brand is a promise you make and keep to the person you are influencing. Remember, everything you do or say either builds your brand or weakens it.
Building your personal brand may just be the most important thing you do to build your business – and that is a big statement to make.
Ready to talk?
At Teaming, we understand and value the importance of personal branding. It is at the forefront of our initial business assessment.
With an element so critical to your company’s success, you can not leave the development of your brand to just anyone. Flanked by an amazing team, Roanne specialises in business consulting for both the medical and healthcare industries. Working with directors and owners just like yourself, she thrives on creating and implementing long term, sustainable and strategic, business growth plans. Starting with an in-depth assessment and your personal branding!
To learn more about personal and brand awareness, head to Teaming’s ‘Contact ’ page. Get in touch, we are always happy to help.