The 5 step process to building your personal brand

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“If you want to develop a powerful personal brand, you must be clear and certain about who you are and what you can offer to the marketplace.” - Dan Lok, business magnate

 

While it’s important for a business owner to know how to run their business, it’s equally important that they know how to present themselves to the public. A successful business often has a strong personal brand behind it because it helps them engage their audience and set them apart from their competitors. 

 

Cultivating a coherent, consistent personal brand builds strong recall and positive associations for your business. Without it, you run the risk of becoming forgettable and irrelevant to people (particularly your target customers).

What is a personal brand?


A personal brand focuses on establishing and promoting you, the business owner. It highlights your industry expertise, skills, experience, and what you stand for.


Because so many businesses are competing with each other, having a personal brand helps you stand out. Some traditional business owners are skeptical about merging their professional life with their personal background. But in a highly digital world where information is easily accessible, more customers prefer getting to know the person behind the businesses they’re supporting. 


When they know your values and your motivations, your audience will have a clearer idea of what your business is really about. And you’ll know your personal brand is working if the way people perceive you online aligns with your own branding goals.


Building a strong personal brand needs to be developed consistently and constantly. It’s not something you can establish once and then leave it to maintain itself.

Why is a personal brand important?


Having a personal brand establishes trust and a more genuine human connection because your customers can get to know you. People don’t want to deal with giant, faceless corporations anymore. Your personal brand allows your audience to place a face and a voice to your business. It also proves to them that you walk the talk not just in business, but also in life.


Today’s audiences are more discerning about who they purchase from because they prioritise value alignment between them and the brands (and, by extension, business owners) that they support. Statistics show that 71% of consumers prefer buying from brands that align with their values and that they’re becoming more politically and socially conscious. A personal brand will help you demonstrate your own values so that you attract your target audience.


As more people recall and recognise your personal brand online, your business will gain partnerships with like-minded people, acquire networking opportunities, and even find talent (i.e. because people believe in what you do and want to contribute to your success).

5 steps to building a personal brand


This step-by-step guide will help you establish a strong personal brand that you can maintain. Consistently carrying out these steps will be a key factor in the success of building a personal brand.

1. Know your audience


As a business owner, you need to understand your audience before you engage with them. Knowing who your target market is will give you a clearer idea on how to communicate your values, your business goals, and your overall branding message. If your target demographic is younger, then you should cater to that demographic and vice versa. This will allow you to tailor your message authentically and in a way that resonates with your customers


Here are some of the things that you need to know about your target audience:


  • Their demographic profile (e.g. age range, educational background, employment, etc.)
  • Their pain points
  • Their motivations for making a purchase decision
  • Their preferred social media platforms (i.e. where are they most active and where are you most likely to reach them)
  • Their expectations from your brand


2. Find out how you’re currently being perceived


Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO and founder, once said: “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” It’s important to get an idea of the current public image you have as a business, whether you developed it intentionally or accidentally.


It’s highly likely that people already have impressions about you and your personal brand. Asking for feedback and doing a personal audit will help you identify areas for improvement. Once you actively start developing your personal brand, you can manage those perceptions about you and keep it contained within the narrative you want to achieve.

3. Figure out your narrative and keep it focused


The narrower the focus of your personal brand message, the better. Instead of trying to cast a wide net, you have a higher chance of achieving success with a niche audience when it comes to your personal brand. It’s easier (and much more genuine) if you position yourself as an expert in a specific field rather than as someone trying to tackle everything at once. This will also keep you front of mind because your audience will easily recall your consistent brand messaging. 

4. Align your social media for consistency


Social media is crucial for a business owner because it helps them build relationships with their audience. It also greatly contributes to how you shape your brand identity and how you want people to see you.


But remember that all your social media channels must be consistent across the board to create a strong personal brand. While different channels require different ways of engaging, the message should be consistent throughout all your platforms. For example, Facebook is more laid-back compared to LinkedIn, which is more formal and professional. You can adjust the presentation of your content for both platforms, but both of them still ultimately have the same core message. 

5. Tell a coherent story


Storytelling is a powerful tool in building your personal brand — so long as it’s coherent. The narrative of your personal brand should focus on the value you bring to your business and your industry at large. This includes your experiences, skills, and expertise. But make sure there is a strong connection to the stories you tell because inexplicable jumps can be difficult to reconcile. 


This is especially true when your audience notices that you’re hiding the truth or not acknowledging something from your past. Even if you decide to rebrand your personal identity, it’s important to be transparent and honest about the narrative you share.


Stories are one of the best ways to catch people’s attention and engage them, because it’s something they can enjoy without being aggressively persuaded to buy a product or service. A coherent story can help you boost your own personal brand and gain your target audience’s interest. 


Building your personal brand is like building a stellar reputation. It takes a lot of time, and the work doesn’t stop. But when people know who you are and what you stand for, they’ll be more inclined to trust and support you. Consistently following these five key steps in developing your personal brand can go a long way to your success. It will help you attract your target customer, build a stronger online presence, keep your business front of mind, and set you apart from the rest of your competitors.


Got more questions? Give us a call and we’ll develop your personal brand together.

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