Building a personal brand is on definitely on the rise. More and more people are stepping into the light. Companies are realizing the importance of having a face in the forefront for their audience to connect and build a relationship with.
First off, what exactly IS a personal brand?
Your personal brand is the foundation of who you are. It is your unique individual essence and your reputation. It is what people feel when they interact with or think of you.
The explosion of influencers and influencer marketing was really the first widely visible result of the landscape shift from business-to-person to person-to-person; the shift from business brands to personal brands. We have been getting bombarded by nonstop adverts and communications from so many companies for so many years that we’ve become numb to them. Our filters are higher than ever before. We are trusting less and expecting more.
When there is a face, a real person behind a product or service, we have a higher propensity to trust the product or service.
This idea of building a personal brand and stepping out into the forefront is exciting for some and a bit daunting for others. So whichever side you sit on right now, I have put together some fundamental MUSTS when creating a personal brand.
#1. MARRY YOURSELF
I know this might sound weird…maybe even scary. A marriage is a long-term commitment, right? You must treat your personal brand the same way. Don’t be a personal brand just to be a personal brand! This is a real commitment here.
I’ll put it simply: play the long game. Prioritize your brand over sales. Trust me, sales will follow suit. Long-term branding always beats short term sales in the end.Long term branding always beats short term sales in the end. Click To Tweet
So many people mess up right here at step one. I’m going to give you a few classic examples of the ways people do this:
- Sacrificing core values for short term gain. I did this once and I got out pretty quickly within 2-3 months because I knew it was out of alignment. The cash was super tempting but I knew my values were more important. If I had stayed longer, I know more people would have found out and my reputation (my brand) would have been tarnished.
- Partnering with the wrong people. I’ve also done this! Huge learning lesson for me. A partnership is also like a marriage! You must, must make sure that whoever you partner with is in alignment with your core values and who you are before entering. You know that saying, “you are who you hang around”? Well, yeah. It’s true. Associate and surround yourself with the right people.
- Not seeking counsel when sh*^ gets tough. My dad used to always say that a marriage is two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other. You are imperfect. I am imperfect. We all are. You cannot give up on yourself when the imperfections arise or when things get tough. Rather, this is the opportune best time to invest in yourself! I’ve had a mentors and coaches for as long as I can remember because I know the value in it. Invest in yourself!! You are worthy of the support and the investment.
#2. PICK ONE THING!
I used to be a
jack shmuck of all trades. I thought being good at and doing everything was the way to go. The thing is, it’s NOT. You end up doing 20% here, 20% there, 10% here and GIVING 100% NOWHERE.
Instead, the key is to pick ONE thing to own and become an expert in. I love when I see people pick super niche stuff and just dominate that niche. Ahhh, that brings me so much joy.
It’s also just less confusing for others and your audience when you pick one thing. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you watch The Paradox of Choice with Barry Schwartz and you’ll see what I mean.
#3. BE AUTHENTIC & VULNERABLE
People can sniff out fake-ness and inauthenticity so quick these days! We’re getting smarter and smarter. You just can’t fool people anymore.
Plus, why would you want to? Being fake is freakin’ exhausting!
Here’s a hint: if you’re feeling exhausted all of the time then you’re either being fake or inauthentic or you’re out-of-alignment somewhere in your life.
Vulnerability creates deep connection. When you are transparent and raw, it’s refreshing and people love it. After all, you’re not a robot. When you let people in to see the imperfect, human parts of you they can relate and connect with you on a human-to-human level.
When you stay surface, you attract surface. And why would you just want to scratch the surface of your business anyway? Let people in. Go deep. Watch your results deepen and behold the trust and connection that unfolds.
#4. BE CONSISTENT.
Consistency compounds. Now that you are being your authentic self and creating deep connection and bonds with your audience, you mustn’t let them down! Be consistent with your content production and with how you show up. Keep your promises. Be there and be your word.
Consistency also keeps you top of mind. It keeps you relevant in your space and it lets people know they can count on you. That’s why I said consistency compounds. I’ll say it again: consistency compounds!
Do I need to say it again? Or maybe you do…CONSISTENCY COMPOUNDS. #BeConsistent #Branding101 Click To Tweet
#5. CREATE CURRENCY CONTENT
Creating currency content is crucial in building a personal brand. In a world with an abundance of content, you can’t get away with just creating content anymore. You must create currency content.
So what is currency content?
Currency content is high-worth, high-value content. It is straight up MONEY.
Time is money. Consuming content takes time. Your content must actually be worth the attention and time it takes to consume it. Period.
We’re playing the value game now. Your focus gets to be on what value YOU can add to the conversation. Value, value, value! Focus on creating massive amounts of value.
Your gauging question should always be: would people pay for this information?
#6. SHARE YOUR PERSONALITY
As I stated in the very beginning of this article, your personal brand is your personal essence. It really is your personality. No one else has your personality– it’s what makes you unique.
Share your personality! Let your audience and your clients/customers get to know you and WHO YOU ARE. Give them the full 360 view.
Most people don’t do this because they are scared of judgement. Well, I hate to break it to ya but judgement is inevitable and it means nothing other than what you make it mean. People judge. People hate. People love. People cry. People smile. That’s their prerogative and their business, not yours. You just focus on doing you.
This actually leads me nicely into my next point…
#7. HAVE THICK SKIN
If you are building a personal brand then you are going to be stepping into the spotlight. The more you step into the spotlight, the more you are subjecting yourself to all kinds of eyes, feedback and yes… judgement!! You CANNOT, I repeat CANNOT, let what others think of you affect you. You’ve got to let it drip down your back like water and keep moving forward. Be a maniac on a mission and absolutely relentless in pursuit of your vision.
One of my favorite things is actually transforming the hate I get into purpose-driven content. For me, it reinforces my purpose even further (because I choose it to do so). I actually get a lot of inspiration from my haters, it’s great! 🙂
And look, everyone has haters. The biggest and most powerful leaders in this world have haters. The bigger you are, the more haters you will have! That’s just how it works. Tony Robbins and Ellen Degeneres have a millions of haters! Trying to please everyone is a fruitless and meaningless endeavor because it’s just NOT POSSIBLE.
Let the amount of haters you have be an indicator of your growth and your success. The more you have, the bigger you are.Let the amount of haters you have be an indicator of your growth and your success. The more you have, the bigger you are. #lovethehaters Click To Tweet
#8. EMBRACE EVOLVEMENT
One of the most common concerns I hear about being a personal brand is over committing long-term to a particular direction or line of work. The question arises, “what if this isn’t what I want to do forever?”. And here’s my reply to that:
Who said you had to?
This is the beauty of being a personal brand! Your brand is YOU. Not what you do. You can pivot and reinvent as many times as you like, as long as you remain true to who you are along the way.
As long as you are always being your authentic self, your brand evolves with you.
Takes the edge off a bit, doesn’t it? You aren’t stuck! You’re actually more free than ever. 🙂
#9. COLLABORATE STRATEGICALLY
You’ll often hear me say that collaborations are the quickest way to grow your personal influence, your reach and your ability to be more seen and heard.
Here are the different ways you can collaborate:
- Paid collaborations: you are either paying or being paid to be featured or feature another person or brand.
- Trades or exchanges: you give something of value in exchange for something of value (i.e., you share someone’s content on your YouTube channel and in return, they share your content on their IG).
If there is someone you want to collaborate with, lead with providing value. The first question to ask yourself is: how can I give to this person? Focus on giving value first.
To summarize, here are the 9 MUST HAVES to building a personal brand:
- MARRY YOURSELF. Building a personal brand is a long game.
- PICK ONE THING and be an expert at it.
- BE AUTHENTIC & VULNERABLE. It’s super attractive.
- BE CONSISTENT because consistency compounds!
- CREATE CURRENCY CONTENT that people would pay for because it is so valuable.
- SHARE YOUR PERSONALITY to create a strong brand essence.
- HAVE THICK SKIN. Accept that judgement will happen and it means nothing more than what you make it mean.
- EMBRACE EVOLVEMENT. As long as you remain authentic, your brand pivots and evolves with you.
- COLLABORATE STRATEGICALLY and always focus on cultivating relationships by adding value.
Let me know if you enjoyed the article by commenting below! Feel free to ask any Q’s or add to the conversation with any thoughts, ideas or input you have. Let’s keep the dialogue flowing! I love nerding out about this stuff, guys. 🙂