Developing Your Personal Brand [5 Simple Steps]

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A personal brand takes consistency, but the rewards are enormous!

Today let’s talk about building your personal brand. 

I started thinking about this topic after reading a recent edition of the Hampton newsletter. 

If you’re not familiar – it’s a community for tech entrepreneurs.  You can connect with other members and share challenges, ask questions, etc… That kind of group. 

Anywho…

This question came up to the group: Do you need a personal brand? 

I thought the responses interesting: 

  • Many said that a majority of their business revenue can be traced back to having a personal brand. 
  • Others mentioned that it can help push a potential customer over the edge to work with your company.  And that there are more benefits than simple revenue, including:
  • Talent & Recruiting
  • Inbound investors
  • Strategic partnerships
  • Unforeseen opportunities
  • They also added: While these days you could hire a ghostwriter or similar role, many agreed it makes sense to dig in and try this for yourself for a bit before doing so.

Hmmmm. Seems to me there’s a lot of value in having a brand. 

That got me thinking. A few Google searches later I was into a whole treasure trove of articles, videos, and podcasts on the topic. 

And whoa, this is a hot topic. 

Take a quick look at the Google Trends chart below. Personal branding has been on a steady growth path for the past few years. 

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What’s driving it? 

First – is the growth of the creator economy. Over the last five-ish years this sector has ballooned. 

The second reason: it works – see bullet points above. But, it has to be done right. 

I spent a lot of time reading articles, books and watching videos to deliver this mini master’s class in 5 easy to understand nuggets, enjoy!

5 Nuggets About Personal Brand

Nugget 1: Assess The Brand Of You

Part 1. Do a quick Google search of your name. 

What do you see? 

This is what others see, too. 

You already have a brand. But is it the brand you want? Is it saying something special or unique about you, or not much of anything? About the services you provide? 

Will people want to work with you? 

Before you can build the 2.0 version of your brand, you need some self-assessment. 

Here is a list of questions to consider: 

  • What are you all about? Capture your hobbies and interests, your desired industry or career. What are the things that excite you? Use adjectives. 
  • What are you not about? What adjectives absolutely do not describe you? 
  • What are your values? What causes or social issues are important to you? 
  • What’s unique about you? This will help you determine your value prop later. 
  • What are your strengths? Is there one thing you do exceptionally well?
  • What impact do you want to make—on your audience, on your business, on the world?
  • What makes you stand out? 
  • Who do you want to serve, and how can you provide value to this group? Keep in mind, that the value you deliver will vary based on your audience. 

Now, put your answers down in a notebook. You’ll need to come back to it later. 

Notice in that list of questions you need a range of adjectives – so here you go:

Influential, unstoppable, dynamic, electrifying, outstanding, substantial, successful, flawless, first-rate, phenomenal, exemplary, exceptional, top-notch, remarkable, creative, imaginative, unique, sublime, supreme, unrivaled, superb, masterful, unparalleled, passionate, inspiring, uplifting, vibrant, brilliant, insightful, intuitive, savvy, erudite, perceptive, astute, sharp, clever, gritty, unyielding, relentless, tireless, unshakable, steadfast, curious, unbeatable, graceful, elegant, chic.  

That’s part one. Now, it’s time to hear from others – part two. 

Bring in friends. Bring in clients. Bring in other team members. Ask for their feedback. But be specific. 

In his book, Brand It Like Serhant, Ryan Serhant suggests asking for three adjectives that describe you. 

Additionally, you’ll want to hear back from clients, why would they refer you to others? There’s going to be gold in those responses. 

Now, pull this all together. Your insights. Plus, the insights from others. Do you see similarities?

Are there words you didn’t think of? Highlight those. 

Now, look at the reasons why somebody would recommend you. 

Pulling this together will give you a good understanding of who you are and the value you can provide to your customers.

Nugget 2: Build Your Content Pillars

Ok, you’ve done your audit, and have a better understanding of your brand and the audience you want to go after. 

Now it’s time to nail down the topics you need to talk about to build your brand reputation with your target audience. 

You want these topics to be niche enough to be famous for those things—yet broad enough so you’ll never run out of content ideas for each.

For example, let’s say you want to serve the adventure travel market, focusing on women 31-40 years of age: 

Your topics could include:

  • Educational content (tips, tutorials, how-tos)
  • Personal anecdotes and experiences
  • Ratings and reviews on products or brands relevant to your audience
  • Fresh perspectives and opinions
  • Adventure travel can be dangerous – so it’s important to have an agent when things go wrong. 

Heck, it could be all of the above. But before you start publishing remember this: have a point of view. 

The thing that is going to help your content stand out is your opinion. We all love personality so let that come out. Now it’s time to start publishing…and the first place to start is your website. 

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Nugget 3: Turn Your Website Into A Lead Gen Powerhouse

The best sales and marketing tool you have is your website. So it needs to reflect what makes you stand out and why customers want to work with you. 

This may seem obvious, right? Unfortunately, many didn’t get the memo because there are a lot of bad advisor sites out there!

Here’s a framework that Chris Do talks about that will take your site from meh to Oh yeah!

The framework is the 3-Fs. 

  • Facts
  • Feelings 
  • Fun 

Want to add some giddyup to your writing? Start using this.

Let me show you how it works. 

Introducing Hello, I’m Ugly

It’s hard for a product to stand out in a grocery store. After all, there are thousands of brands – all of them screaming for our attention. 

But in a crowded space, in a category NO ONE is paying attention to, Hello, I’m Ugly has broken through.

How did they do it? Check out the package copy.  Beautiful On The Inside

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Hello! I’m Ugly. I’m filled with ugly apricots that are dried to perfection and diced for perfect snacking. I’m 100% all-natural with no GMOs, preservatives, or added sugar. I’m helping local California farmers add value back to their farms while preventing over 2 pounds of waste per 4-ounce bag!By the way, I’m also super tasty and healthy…

THE UGLY SOLUTION

Thousands of truckloads of ugly fruit are thrown out in California every year. California throws away more peaches than the state of Georgia produces annually.

This fruit is perfectly healthy to eat, but sometimes looks a little quirky! Some call it ugly, but we call it a beautiful opportunity.

DETAILS

  • 4 oz. resealable package
  • All natural ingredients
  • Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten Free
  • No additives, no artificial anything
  • Zero added sugars
  • 100% Upcycled California apricots
  • By The Ugly Company / Made in the USA

Oh, that’s so good. Don’t you just want to tear open a bag? 

Let’s go through how they are using the three Fs. 

Facts:

This copy is loaded with factual information. 

  1. I’m 100% all-natural with no GMOs, preservatives, or added sugar.
  2. California throws away more peaches than the state of Georgia produces annually.
  3. Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten Free.
  4. All these facts work together and help tell a story and support the brand. And they do it so well that it doesn’t come across as dry or boring. 

Feelings:

  • California throws away more peaches than the state of Georgia produces annually. This is appealing to those who care about waste and the environment. 
  • I’m helping local California farmers add value back to their farms while preventing over 2 pounds of waste per 4-ounce bag! Who doesn’t want to help out farmers? 

Fun: 

  • Hello! I’m Ugly. I’m filled with ugly apricots that are dried to perfection and diced for perfect snacking. That’s just plain cute.
  • Beautiful on the inside. See above. 

Even using the first-person voice makes it fun, different, and easy to connect with. How many brands can you say that about?

So take this framework and put it to use on your site. Once you do, your copy will grab your visitors by the throat collar and get them to pay attention. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you don’t have a site…don’t worry this format will also work for your LinkedIn profile. 

Nugget 4: Consistency – The Fuel Driving Your Brand 

Here’s a quote from Serhant on consistency: 

Consistency is what supports a brand as it moves forward, and it’s also what can propel it to fantastic new heights. When it comes to social media, it is also what makes the difference between having a few customers follow you, maybe occasionally liking one of your posts, and building a thriving audience that draws in business, creates awareness for your brand, and helps you earn more money.

Building and maintaining your brand means you have to publish content. A lot of it. And for a long time. Sorry, there are no shortcuts.

It’s a simple idea…but hard to execute. Typically, people start hot and soon fade away. That’s why there’s so much opportunity for you. 

If you can stay in the race…you can win. 

Here are two things to make things a little bit easier.

  1. Make the most of the content you do produce. For example, let’s say you send out a regular email newsletter. Are there sections you could use for social posts? Or flip it the other way…can you take a social post and expand it into a piece for your newsletter? Keep using and reusing your content!
  2. Focus on one social channel. The temptation is to be everywhere all at once, all the time. It’s not wrong…it’s just really, really, really, hard to do. So don’t play the game. 

Focus on the ONE channel where your audience hangs out. Master that channel. Get as much as you can from it…then add on. 

Nugget 5: Be Authentic 

Last point. If you’re not authentic all the time, in all that you do…you don’t have a brand. You have a character you slip into when it is convenient or when it can help close some business. 

The truth is in the short-term you can probably get away with it. 

Long-term you will pay the price. 

The internet has made this world a very small place and it won’t take long before people find out what you’re up to. 

Do you want repeat business? Customers that refer you to other prospects? 

That happens when you’re authentic. 

Serhant puts it this way: 

A long-lasting connection (much like a real-life relationship) develops over time with consistency. And it takes work to maintain that connection. Authenticity fuels the flame of that relationship and helps remind the world who you are, what you do, and why your audience should listen to you or even care at all. 

Authenticity fuels the flame…well said, Mr. Serhant! 

There you are, the five steps to help you build your personal brand. 

  • You want more business? 
  • Better lead flow? 
  • To be in demand? 

Then, start putting these steps into action. 


Thanks for the attention and time, and if you enjoyed please share to lift someone else up!

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