Are you building a business around yourself? Maybe you’re a coach, a real estate agent, a stylist, or a consultant? If the basis of your business depends on you earning trust and delivering a product or service, you need more than just a brand— you need a personal brand.
Personal brands are built around single individuals (think Gary Vee and Kylie Jenner) while business brands are built for companies (think Tesla and Nike). A personal brand will encompass who YOU are, your story, why you do what you do, your mission, and your vision for the future. It presents you in an authentic and effective way so you can attract and engage your ideal customers.
At Peak, we absolutely love the personal branding process and enjoy helping our clients to create beautiful personalized brands that set them up for success. Read on to learn 6 key steps involved with building a personal brand!
So how do you get started with building a personal branding strategy?
It’s important to begin by putting your business facts, ideas, and goals into words. Here are some examples to get your wheels turning:
- What is your business? What do you offer?
- Write down an authentic description of yourself.
- What are your values, your hobbies, your passions, and the things you love?
- What are your goals for the future for yourself and your business?
- What brought you to the point you are at today?
- Who do you want to help with your business?
- Who is your competition?
- What is your core motto or mission?
- What colors do you think best represent you?
- What main personality traits do you want to portray?
All of these answers will help to form the foundation of your personal brand. Don’t worry about how you word your answers in this initial step.
Once you get all of your ideas out, you will need to fine-tune them into an elegant copy that is clear, concise, persuasive, and easy on the ears and eyes.
You’ll want to organize the information into your brand mission, vision, personality, target audience, core values, story, quote, etc. This copy will likely be used across various channels and online properties.
If you aren’t a born writer or marketer, don’t stress. This is where a hired copywriter comes in. You can bring on a skilled professional to articulate you and your business in a way that will serve as a jumping point for your presence in the market. You can also enlist the help of a branding expert to help you with the whole process.
Once you have the framework of your personal brand in place, you will have a stronger sense of who your brand is, why you’re here, who you’re targeting, and what you bring to the table. The next step is to find the feel of your brand.
This is a fun part!
A great way to figure out what ‘feel’ you want is to dive into the world of imagery. What better place to do that than the image-centric social media platform of Pinterest?
We recommend creating a secret Pinterest board that only you and your chosen viewers can see. Begin pinning images that you like and that have the feel you want your brand to portray.
Think of combining about 75 pins that include color swatches, textures, patterns, fonts, logos, web designs, graphic elements, scenery, landscapes, and designs.
Once you finish, you’ll have a visual representation of what you want your brand to feel like.
Collectively, this can work as a guide to choosing your personal brand’s visual components including your font, color palette, and logo.
If you feel a bit stuck, you can reach out to an experienced marketing consultant to help you decide on the best “feel” components for your brand.
These will be used across your website design, social profiles, business cards, emails—you name it, anywhere your brand is present.
When you’re building a business around yourself, you are the focal point. You need to be the face of the brand. However, showing up in an off-brand way can actually set you back.
It’s essential that you present yourself in a purposeful way so you further empower your brand and drive it forward.
You need to be the personification for everything you created in the framework and feel of your brand.
If you are pushing a bold brand and your colors include red shades, you should come across as bold and should be wearing red.
If you aren’t sure, you can browse other people online who have personal brands. Look for those that resonate with you and take notes.
Review your brand and pick out the colors, backdrops, outfits, poses, and accessories that will align.
If your brand is feminine with pinks and pearls, you should bring that look.
Pinterest comes in handy again here. I recommend you create a Branding Photoshoot Board where you curate your ideas.
Identify how you want people to feel when they see your brand. Do you want them to be joyful, peaceful, inspired, calm? Make a list and then find images that make you feel those emotions.
Once finished, you can easily share the board with your photographer along with your branding guidelines.
A key to remember is that your brand is an extension of you and it should match your style. Don’t feel like you have to dress or look a certain way. If you never wear heels, don’t wear heels. If you don’t wear suits, don’t wear a suit. Show up how you feel confident and comfortable, and don’t be afraid to show off your quirks! Your unique personality is what sets you apart from your competition.
Speaking of photographers, choose yours carefully. Look for one who has a portfolio of past work that matches your brand style and the feel you are going for.
With your framework, design elements, and photos in place, you’re ready to start implementing your personal brand.
At Peak, we package all of your personal brand details up in a beautiful brand book that you can keep on-hand as a guide. We recommend you have a document of this sort that functions as your brand’s “bible.”
As you create social profiles and posts, your website, and any type of presence for your brand, you will want to base it on your branding guidelines.
Anytime your brand appears, it should be cohesive with all other appearances.
If you want to hire an experienced designer to create professional graphics for you, your personal brand guidelines can ensure they stay in complete alignment with your brand. And, trust me, they will appreciate the context and direction! It streamlines the whole process.
The colors, tone, font (when applicable), design, logo— everything should be uniform.
Blogging presents a unique opportunity for you to go deeper.
Social posts, websites, emails, and even videos limit how much you can say. You have to be strategic to get your message across in a way that catches attention in as little time as possible.
A blog allows you to really slow down and expand on your thoughts and ideas.
In fact, Google actually prefers longer blog and article content. Much of the highest-ranking pages have 2000+ words.
A blog enables you to enrich your website with a great deal of informative, educational content to answer questions related to your line of work.
The amount you can share is really endless, only limited by your time and budget.
If you write blogs to strategically answer questions that your target audience is asking, related to your solution, you can optimize the return on investment of your blog content creation.
In time, with regular monthly posts, you can climb the ranks of Google search results for targeted keywords which drives more people to your website and brand.
Blogging can help you establish authority in your industry, reinforce your brand, build relationships with your customers, position yourself as a thought-leader, and drive targeted traffic to your website.
If you are thinking, “Sounds great, but I don’t want to write, don’t have time, or don’t know what to write about.”
The best route for you may be to hire an SEO strategist who can formulate a blog strategy and a ghostwriter who can take care of the writing. Then, you simply review to ensure they match your personal brand guidelines and publish regularly.
Lastly, another key to a successful personal brand in current times is an ongoing, cohesive social presence.
All brands need to create an ongoing strategy to ensure you post regularly on key platforms and that your posts are on-brand.
It is possible to do this yourself but does take a hefty investment of time for the planning, the writing, the posting, and the engagement after the post.
You can hire any or all of these tasks out as you grow or if you prefer to leave it in the hands of professionals.
Either way, your personal brand guidelines should always be your guide.
Read more: Do You Need Social Media Management?
Accelerate your success with a powerful personal brand
Branding gives you control over how you are perceived by the world.
Sure, it takes an investment of time, effort, and creativity, but it will help you build a powerful presence that more effectively connects your business with those who you can help.
When your brand is inconsistent or unclear, it can be confusing to the audience which slows down your path to success.
Investing in building a clear, purposeful, professional personal brand is like taking the time to lay the proper foundation for a house. It gives you the base you need to build your company, grow quickly, and last.
Want to talk with Peak about building your personal brand? Book a discovery call with our business and brand strategist today!