As an entrepreneur, your personal brand has the ability to set you up for speaking opportunities, podcast interviews, media coverage, and more! When done right you can showcase yourself as an expert in the areas of your expertise.
As a freelancer, personal brands are crucial for showing your skills to establish credibility and dependability and to help you land more jobs.
As someone working in Corporate America, a personal brand has the ability to land you better jobs and opportunities, help you impress recruiters, and as a result get a better pay or a raise.
The benefits of having a personal brand include:
- A steady stream of ideal clients
- Rewarding partnerships
- Leadership opportunities
- Greater mindshare
- Association with niche market
- Greater credibility
- Recognition and prestige
- Higher perceived value
How To Create A Strong Personal Brand
1. Stand Out
It’s tough to stand out in today’s market, but you must try—after all, your personal brand is your reputation. It’s what you’re known for (or want to be known for) and how people experience you. It’s about packaging up who you are with what you do and how you do it.
Spend time developing a unique:
- Brand Statement – your niche
- Brand Position – what need you’re fulfilling
- Name (that speaks to what you’re doing) – domain name
- Brand Promise – how you’re fulfilling that need
- Unique Selling Proposition (USP) – what makes you different
- Graphic imagery – what makes you stand out visually
2. Pronounce Your Strengths
People with strong brands are clear about who they are and what they have to offer. It’s that simple.
If you don’t know WHY you want to create a persona brand yet, read: 5 Steps To Help You Find Your “Why”.
But don’t fret if you don’t “have it all together” yet.
Clarity comes from taking action. You’ll get there; just remember to embrace the process, and the product will follow.
From the list below pick out the top 3 that you’re already naturally good at or add your own.
- Positive attitude
- Willingness to learn
- Thinking skills
The qualities above were the top 7 qualities selected by business owners and human resource professionals as being the most desirable.
Now, answer the following questions.
What are your TRANSFERABLE SKILLS?
- Ability to motivate and organize others
- Ability to work with facts and figures
- Good verbal and communication skills
- Accuracy and/or an eye for detail
Finally what are your SPECIALIST SKILLS?
- Fluency in a language
- A license or degree in a certain area or something that you’re naturally good at and haven’t gotten certified in
- Ability to use specific computer programs and/or technical equipment
Validate your strengths by asking a few close friends or family members if what you came up with was accurate and what they would add.
3. Acknowledge Your Weaknesses
You can’t be good at everything and that is ok. Why else are there so many other people in this world? Ask yourself the following questions so you can better understand yourself.
- What are the weaknesses that you are aware of?
- When working on a team, what roles do you typically avoid?
- When working alone, what makes you the most anxious?
- When faced with an overwhelming obstacle, what’s most likely to cause you to give up?
- What was the least successful project you have ever tackled at work, and what tripped you up? If you can’t recall anything, perhaps you’re not pushing yourself hard enough.
Maybe you’re a people pleaser, and that leaves you scattered, or perhaps you jump too quickly into tasks which results in you having to redo them, or perhaps you’re just the opposite and perfectionism is your Achilles heel.
Look at the weaknesses that you have identified.
- Which weaknesses are not essential to your career goals?
- Which weaknesses might hold you back from getting where you need to go?
This is where you’ll want to focus your energy to make sure it doesn’t happen!
4. Tap Into Your Values
Sometimes values seem nebulous.
They can be hard to define until someone or something violates them.
Values can be instilled in us from our parents, from experiences in our past that shaped who we are, and a whole array of other things.
Your values can point your decision making in the right direction so you can spend your time in the “right” areas for you. There is nothing better than spending your time on pursuits that have meaning to you.
If you’re able to pursue activities and interests that are in line with your values and what’s important to you at a core level, you will be less stressed, have more energy and get into less conflicts – both internally and with others.
Out of the following 92 values, pick the top 5 that resonate with you, or add your own. A lot of them mean similar things—take note why you choose or prefer one word over the other.
Next, list them in the order of importance. Define what each value looks like to you so you’re crystal clear what each word represents to you.
And ask yourself:
ARE YOU LIVING IN ALIGNMENT WITH YOUR VALUES?
Rate yourself from 1-5 on each of your five values, which ranks highest? Lowest?
Take time to evaluate yourself, be honest with yourself, and think of how you can live a more aligned life.
5. Unwrap Your Passions
Your passions fuel your actions.
Answer the following questions.
- What would you do with your summer if money weren’t an issue?
- What are your favorite activities?
- What type of people are you drawn to and drawn to you?
- What kind of stories always capture your interest?
Now you may not attribute your passions to your work, but they should be intricately connected. For example maybe you love zip lines, which can translate to you being a risk taker, loving adventure and living life on the edge which are all great qualities to have as an entrepreneur. Maybe you love making crafts or baking things from scratch, which can translate to your innate ability to create something out of nothing.
How can you
- Showcase a strength?
- Do you need to develop a new skill?
- Are you aligned with your values?
6. Discover Your Purpose
Imagine your future. What do you want it to look like?
Jot those ideas down, now list out what you need to do to achieve those goals. What skills do you need to learn? What time do you need to set aside to accomplish them? Can you list out some steps to help you get to where you want to go?
Ask yourself the same questions again from section 2 in “How To Find Your Why.”
7. Build Your Brand
You may not have everything figured out. In fact it’s best that you don’t, so that you’re flexible. But you must start building it no matter what. Your brand will morph and change as you do, so allow yourself to grow into who you want to be!
I made an infograph to help you wrap your mind around Personal Branding.
Pin the image and share the knowledge!
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be glad to answer them!
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<3 Elaine Rau