First things first, let’s define branding in general.
A brand is the promise of an experience that is consistently delivered everywhere your business shows up.
If you’re a service-based business owner, speaker, author or online influencer, we need to take this concept of branding a step further because you’re not just building a brand; you’re building a personal brand.
This means that you need to create a brand experience based on your identity—your personality, values, beliefs, opinions, passions, quirks, etc.
Building a brand experience based on your identity is so important, because it’s not about the service you sell or the content you share… people choose to buy from you or follow you because they like YOU!
Think about it:
Everyday we’re flooded with online content.
And everyday thousands of new entrepreneurs offering similar services break into the scene.
We have a lot of choices when it comes to whom we follow or do business with, and when it comes down to it, we make our choices based on how we feel about that person.
Do we resonate with their perspective? Do we share similar values? Do we love their crazy personality because it inspires us to break free of our shells?
This is what makes us choose to work with one health coach over another health coach, or follow certain people on Instagram but not others.
Ultimately, you’re not selling a service, but rather, what you’re selling is a relationship with you!
For potential clients to know if they want that relationship in the first place, they must know how they feel about you.
But if you’re not clear about who you are or what you stand for, how can you expect anyone else to have a feeling one way or the other?
That’s why my personal branding process begins with a deep discovery process where we unearth the truth of that person’s unique essence and clarify how they will show up as the face of their brand.
There are many misconceptions about personal branding. Let’s clear some of them up now so you don’t prevent yourself from benefiting from a personal brand.
PERSONAL BRANDING IS NOT HIRING A GRAPHIC DESIGNER TO CREATE A LOGO
Oh my gosh, if I have another entrepreneur tell me she doesn’t like her logo… and then go on to explain that she just went online, found a designer and asked him to create a logo without first establishing her brand identity… I’m going to scream!
Your logo is NOT your brand! And your logo should NEVER be the first step in the branding process. A logo should only be designed after going through a discovery process to clarify your personal brand! Otherwise your logo will have no meaning, fall flat, be inconsistent with the rest of your brand… and worst of all you probably won’t like it.
PERSONAL BRANDING IS NOT CHANGING WHO YOU ARE TO MEET EXPECTATIONS OF WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK YOU SHOULD BE
Branding is not about changing who you are. Yes, it’s important to clarify your ideal client, but you never want to change who you are to meet someone else’s expectations, even your ideal clients’.
You want your clients and tribe to love the real you. And there’s no better way to do that than to show them your true colors up front. Sure, this means that you might lose some people, but this is better for everyone, believe me. Attracting clients based on false expectations will never serve you or them.
PERSONAL BRANDING IS NOT BEING FAKE OR INAUTHENTIC TO MANIPULATE PEOPLE INTO BUYING FROM YOU
This one is similar to the point above, but with a focus on manipulation to get people to buy. If done right, there’s no way your personal brand can be manipulative.
Your personal brand is about clarifying your truth and showing up consistently aligned with that truth everywhere you go. Yes, you’ll make more sales when you get clear about personal brand, but not because you’re being manipulative. You’ll make more sales, because potential clients will be clear if they want to form a relationship with you.
PERSONAL BRANDING IS NOT EGOTISTICAL
I can hear some of you yelling at me through the computer… “but… my business isn’t about me, it’s about my clients. I’m here to serve my clients not talk about myself!”
Ok, I get it, and it a way you’re right. But trust me, getting clear on your personal brand will actually help you serve more people and make a bigger impact!
Clarity sells and a confused mind always says no. Without a personal brand, potential clients (people who need you!!!) will go elsewhere to find help… they’ll go to someone who they feel clear and confident about.
If you’re clear about your personal brand and show up consistently, you’ll get more YESES and ultimately be able to impact more lives—not egotistical at all!
YOUR PERSONAL BRAND HELPS YOU ATTRACT MORE CLIENTS
We addressed this above, but it’s super important, so let me say it a different way: potential clients make the decision to buy based on how things are different, not the same. Your personal brand is your differentiating factor that sets you apart and helps potential clients know if they resonate with what you’re about… and therefore if they want to buy from you.
YOUR PERSONAL BRAND MAKES IT POSSIBLE TO BE PAID WHAT YOU'RE WORTH
Here’s something I know about you: you’re amazing at creating transformation for your clients. But if you don’t act, look and sound the part in all the moments leading up the sale, it will be difficult to charge prices that reflect your extraordinary expertise.
Your personal brand makes all the awesomeness you have to share on the inside, believable on the outside, so potential clients not only want to work with you, but they are willing to pay premium prices for your services.
YOUR PERSONAL BRAND HELPS YOU GET MORE REFERRALS, INTERVIEW REQUESTS AND SPEAKING INVITATIONS
Once you establish your personal brand, it becomes how you are known and remembered. You’ll start to become the “go-to” expert in your space and sought after for podcast interviews and speaking opportunities.
Without a personal brand, being sought out like this is really difficult because you’re not quite clear in other people’s minds. It’s only through clarity that they can say “oh you’d be the perfect coach for my friend Sarah!” or “I know the perfect speaker on this topic for our conference!”
YOUR PERSONAL BRAND MAKES BUSINESS DECISIONS MUCH EASIER
Have you ever been approached for an “opportunity” that you weren’t quite sure was right for your business? Have you ever struggled with what to wear to a networking event? Have you ever wondered what topics to blog about?
Business decisions like these become so much easier when you’re clear about your personal brand. Your personal brand serves as your guiding light for every business decision you make—if it doesn’t align with your brand the decision is always no.
YOUR PERSONAL BRAND HELPS YOU STAND OUT FROM THE NOISE
With so much distraction and noise in the online world, ATTENTION is today’s highest currency. Your personal brand is what helps you catch, and most importantly KEEP, the attention of potential clients and tribe members so they become paying clients in the future.
And no, I’m not just talking about looking the part (although that’s important too), but the most important thing here is BEING the part through consistently sharing who you are and what you stand for.
YOUR PERSONAL BRAND MAKES YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS GO FARTHER
If you invest a lot of time into building a social media presence (for example) but your messaging and visuals are inconsistent, don’t you think that might confuse people? And remember, a confused mind always says no... so this leads to lost sales.
If you want to reap the rewards from your marketing efforts, you need to clarify your personal brand first so you don’t waste your time and money!
YOUR PERSONAL BRAND HELPS YOU FEEL CONFIDENT
When it comes to pursuing opportunities that could take your business to the next level, like speaking on bigger stages or interviewing big industry names, confidence is EVERYTHING!
If you don’t feel confident in how you show up as the face of your brand, chances are, you’ll play small, never achieving the greatness you know you’re destined for.
Nothing breaks my heart more than seeing an entrepreneur who has a gift to share, a gift that the world desperately needs, but she doesn’t know how to express herself in a way that inspires people to work with her.
This is why I love personal branding. It’s about taking the brilliance that’s already inside and bringing it together into clear messaging and visuals that connect with the hearts of the people you want to serve.
Are you ready to explore what’s possible for your personal brand? I'd be honored to help!
Join me every Friday at 10 am Mountain Time, inside The Daring Fempreneur Facebook group, for a free brand-booming training. Bring your questions for on-the-spot coaching!
Watch the replay that goes with this blog post here.
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