Are you sitting comfortably? Then let’s get to work on your personal brand story

01 March 2020By Michelle

A compelling personal brand is capable of the incredible – it can instil trust, build an emotional connection, and win over customers for the long-term. We need not look far to see the proof that people connect with people far more so than brands…

 

“Brand messages are re-shared 24 times more frequently when posted by an employee versus the brand’s social media channels”.

 

“Content shared by employees receives 8 times more engagement than content shared by brand channels”.

 

77% of all discussions on social media are folks seeking advice, information or help. This is much easier to answer and interact as an individual as opposed to a company”.

 

Yet knowing the importance of a powerful personal brand and actually building one are two wildly different things. If you’ve little clue where to begin with your personal branding, allow me to walk you through it…

 

  1. First, pin down your core force

What drives you? What do you live by? Your core force is what gets you up in the morning and pushes you to do more.

Your core force MUST be aligned with your actions. Here’s what might happen when you don’t walk your talk…

  • You’re a YES person (to your detriment)
  • You set yourself health and wellness goals – like exercise times and eating habits, then quickly start to skip early workouts and every day becomes a cheat day
  • You set your sights on writing one article post per week, but EVERYTHING else comes first (leaving your audience with only one hastily written blog a month)
  • You agree deadlines with your clients which you only meet half the time

 

When your core force slips, imbalance isn’t far away – your clients feel it, as do your family and followers. Make sure you discover a force that’s true to YOU – that drives you come what may (and goals that are reasonable and achievable).

 

  1. Figure out your values

Values should define both your personal- and business-life. If your core force is motivation, then your values are your beliefs.

 

Taking the dictionary definition, values are:

“Important and lasting beliefs or ideals shared by the members of a culture about what is good or bad and desirable or undesirable. Values have major influence on a person’s behaviour and attitude and serve as broad guidelines in all situations. Some common business values are fairness, innovation and community involvement”.

 

Here’s how that could translate into personal values in terms of your branding; you might be…

  • Straight-talking
  • Reliable
  • Versatile
  • Disciplined
  • Pioneering
  • Results-Oriented
  • Animated
  • Honest
  • Broadminded

Whatever your values, they should be evident for all to see in every word, of every blog and social post, and demonstrated in all interactions.

 

  1. Make it personal, and address your audience individually

If you follow social strategists who are worth their salt, chances are that you routinely come across social posts that feel as though they’re speaking directly to you (and only you).

 

This is far from accidental.

 

The poster has thought about their audience and really got to grips with the problems they face. They’ve then come up with a solution and written their communication in the right tone of voice.

To replicate this, you’ll need to answer these three key questions…

  • Who do you serve? (who’s your audience?)
  • What are they trying to do? (what do they want to do, solve, fix?)
  • Why should they care? (about you, your product, or service)

The answers to these questions should lead you to a sentence a little like the following…

 

A 30 – 40-year-old married man with 2 young kids, 1 dog and a goal to build his business to a point where he can spend more time with his family.

 

Pin this up and remind yourself of this person every day. Aligning your content with this person will immediately add authenticity to your posts (even more so if you’ve asked your audience directly what their biggest frustrations are).

 

  1. Time to create your personal brand image

Your brand style is formed from logos, brand name, trademarks, communication, core visual elements, advertisements, signs, brochures, and presentations.

It must be recognisable and consistent – running through all your marketing elements and customer-facing materials. Let’s provide some concrete examples…

 

Copy and content

First, let’s tackle a key paragraph that can inspire you every time you write – whether it be your About page or a social post. Answer the following questions…

  1. WHAT do you do?

You might help business owners launch their online course, or help people lose weight.

  1. WHO do you do it for?

Fellow female business owners, or couples who want to lose weight through fitness together.

  1. What is your BRAND PROMISE?

Your business-owning followers will successfully launch a profitable course, your fitness fans will lose weight, feel great and look good.

 

Visuals

Make a memorable first impression with colours that connect. The key here is to keep a consistent theme.

 

  1. Become a thought-leader in your industry

A thought-leader is an expert among the experts. They know their niche inside out and, critically, they don’t merely regurgitate what other people are talking about – they add their own thoughts and opinions, often going against the grain.

To become a thought-leader, find out what the hottest topics in your industry are. How can you add something fresh to what people are talking about? By serving up original, thought-provoking content, you’ll offer something that others don’t. So, don’t be afraid to offer up a controversial opinion if you have the argument (and stats and facts) to back you up.

Finally, always #hashtag when you post to social – this can lead people to your pages and postings. It can even help you hone in on trending hashtags, which can guide you content creation efforts. Head over to Hashtagify to explore hashtag marketing.

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