Are you a small business owner, entrepreneur, or professional who is asking yourself, what is personal branding and why is it important?
Personal branding represents the emotional, intellectual and visual imprint you leave on others. It has become so fundamental to not only promoting yourself and your values, as a business owner, or professional, but as employees who are promoting their employers’ business.
Regardless of the reason, personal branding is very much important because it reveals that behind any business or brand, we are human, and that is what customers want to see and make a connection with!
What is personal branding and why is it important?
Think about the values that make you unique and stand out. What values represent your personality? What skills and experience do you have that have got you to where you are today? What life lessons have you accumulated over the years?
All of these questions represent your personal brand, and it is becoming an increasingly popular strategy when marketing a business for personal branders to talk about all of this. And why not! Let’s face it, it’s important we shout out about what makes us, us!
Our potential customers want to see the human side because that’s who they will be doing business with. It helps with gaining trust and building long-term relationships. And the more connections you can make will lead to a ripple effect, through word of mouth, when your best clients want to talk about you and your amazing personal brand!
I will discuss the important elements that make up a personal brand.
Use a personal branding consultant coach
Sometimes it can help to have a personal branding consultant or coach to help you think outside the box, in terms of what your values, skills and experience are, and how you can best use them creatively to make noise and attract prospects.
A personal branding consultant or coach will help bring out your personality and value and help identify your strengths and weaknesses. I mention weaknesses because it’s important you are not put off by any weaknesses or negative experiences. They shape us into who we are today, and can very much be used as part of pushing your personal brand. It’s important to not leave anything out, tell the world all there is to know about you!
By working with a personal branding coach, they can help put together an action plan for going out into the world of social media, and embracing your personal brand. I provide my clients with 1-1 sessions, that include exercises and strategies that have seen amazing success.
Invest in personal branding photography
It’s important that any marketing communication represent you as a person and your values. One way to capture this is through personal branding photography.
It may be that you are creative, trustworthy, ambitious, assertive, original, or traditional. There are hundreds of adjectives that can describe your values, but one thing is for sure, personal branding photography is a great way to bring your values to life.
Not only can a photography session be invigorating, and therapeutic in a sense, but the photographer should get to know you as a person, and know exactly how to get the best out of you so that it is conveyed through your photos. I found my personal branding photography sessions to be empowering, after all, I had put so much into starting my own business, and I’m proud of my journey. So should you!
If you are going to be using social media such as LinkedIn personal branding, or Instagram having a collection of attractive-looking professional photographs that represent you as a person, will work wonders.
After all, a picture tells a thousand words, right?!
Don’t forget the personal branding exercises
I touched on this briefly, when discussing strengths and weaknesses. There are many ways to explore your personal brand, and personal branding exercises are a great way to begin!
I believe it’s important to collaborate, and 1-1 coaching workshops can really help you think outside the box and come up with amazing life experiences that your audience would love to hear about.
I use Milanote for all my coaching sessions, and if you are a visual thinker like me, you will love it! You will have access to your board, and we can collaborate in live mode, over a Teams call.
As I mentioned earlier, personal branding represents your emotions, intelligence, and physical attributes that make you a person. And surprisingly, it’s not always that easy to come up on the spot, with an amazing post you can write that will capture your audience.
This is why personal branding exercises are important, but also fun! So what sorts of exercises apply?
I love a SWOT analysis. It’s so simple, yet effective, and lets you dive right into your experiences, based on your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
What you might find is, inspiration hits when you do this, and suddenly, you have great ideas you wish to share with your target audience.
If you were to work with me, I will prompt you and let you do all the thinking while I put together your SWOT analysis. I like to ask specific questions that truly dive into your personal brand and experiences.
List your personal values
This is a fun one to do, and you can also ask those close to you what their thoughts are. Sometimes, others see something extra in us we might not see ourselves.
Think about your personal values in terms of adjectives that describe you. It might help to list them across the three pillars of emotion, intelligence, and physicality.
Are you fun, creative, calm, balanced, simple etc?
Value Proposition Canvas
The value proposition model is popular in branding, and typically used by businesses, but it can also be beneficial for personal branding.
An easy way to simplify it, is by thinking about your ideal customer pain points, and how your personal brand alleviates that pain.
If you can tap into your customers’ pains, then you will ensure that your personal branding message is communicated effectively.
Personal Branding on social media
One of the most popular ways to promote your personal brand is through social media. Depending on the products and services, and what industries or sectors you target, it’s important to choose the right social networks.
For me, LinkedIn personal branding works well, as I am targeting business owners, and the networking platform can be very powerful for engagement and reach. What social networks do you use? Are they the right platforms for you? If you are not sure, my 1-1 coaching sessions will help you define that.
When you have brought elements of personal branding together such as photography, and relevant exercises, you should be in a good place to start making some noise.
Talk about your experiences, your customer success stories, and what mistakes you have made throughout your career. It’s important to be human, and what you will find is that this resonates well with your audiences, as guess what, they are human also!
A marketing coach can really help you get your messaging right, and ensure that your content is optimised before publishing. Although the messaging has to be right, you can’t forget basic optimisation principles for ensuring that your message is clear and concise.
What do you think? Could personal branding on social media work for you? I offer 1-1 marketing and personal branding coaching sessions that help get you on the right track for getting in front of your target audience.