08 Nov Who do you think you are?
I thrive on being authentic and not having to pretend to be someone I’m not. Pretty much a “What you see is what you get” kind of gal. I don’t do BS and I wear my emotions on my sleeve. Some love me, some hate me and I am completely fine with whichever they choose (took me a while to get to this point, but holy hell, is it freeing!). To that end, I absolutely love people who forego fakeness for realness, and I choose my clients and friends under that lens. I am my client’s biggest cheerleader, and each of them are very clear in the fact that I will always be 100% me, 100% honest and 100% on point in my work with them. Clients often become friends, and when they do, they quickly realize that I am the exact same person both at work and in my personal life. That’s my personal “brand”…..a no-nonsense, tell it like it is strategist and friend, who’s in your corner, helps you grow & who loves to have fun along the way.
Most people don’t give much thought to their personal brand. I didn’t consciously cultivate my personal brand when first launching my firm nearly a decade ago. For many – whether launching a business or working in the corporate world – building a personal brand doesn’t even cross their mind. Yet, whether you like it or not, you have one! It’s how your friends, clients and colleagues view you and describe you. It’s what your digital footprint say about you. People do business with those they know, like & trust…..why not let your brand help with that?
What are you doing to guide and grow your brand? If you don’t build your own brand, someone else is going brand you — and their message may not be the one you’re looking to convey.
Here are five steps to build a killer personal brand:
Determine what message you want your brand to convey
Everything you do, say, produce and put out in the universe for all to see contributes to your personal brand. What message do you want your brand to send? What impact do you want to have on your niche? Most importantly, what is you authentic voice? Take time for self-discovery to determine what you want to be known for and how you want to get your message out there.
Do a quick assessment of your online (& offline) presence
Everything from your website, blog and social media pages, to your business cards and how you dress and act at a networking event make up your personal brand. Your brand needs to be consistent across all platforms and mediums. If you’re not sending the same message and portraying the same image in all that you do, it’s time to make some changes. It is more than fine to be, as Marie Forleo puts it, a “multi-passionate” entrepreneur, or to have multiple side hustles or businesses, but the essence of YOU needs to be consistent. Make sure everyone from your photographer to your graphic designer is clear on your message and your voice.
I chose to go through a rebranding process this year, as I felt my messaging and my online presence was a bit too dry — it didn’t accurately portray the sassy & fun side of me and my business. Sure, it showed the work I do, and the types of clients I work with, yet it didn’t match the way I show up in person. Since updating every-flippin’-thing, from my website and online presence to my business cards and keynote slides, I feel so much more in alignment with the vibe I’m putting out, with my message, and in the value I bring clients. It’s fun & fresh and completely represents me….and guess what — business has grown a TON as a result. Ask yourself — are you in need of a rebrand?
Let people know you exist by adding value
Once your personal brand and everything you are creating is in alignment, you’ve got to let people know you exist. Grow and promote your brand by being present, being engaged, and by always seeking to add value. Get out there….meet people….show up! Whether networking, engaging with your followers online, speaking to an audience, or via the content you produce, use your voice to be a resource to your market.
Don’t be two-faced
Avoid acting one way in person and another online. You can’t be this buttoned-up, cold-hearted callous person at the office and then a warm & fuzzy prankster the second your leave. Admit it, we’ve all see these folks. The second they are away from the office, they’re a totally different person. They’re putting on a mask, and often, people don’t trust them because of it. Ask yourself, am I one of these people? Do I wear two distinctly different hats — a “business hat” vs. a “personal hat?”
Having multiple brand personas isn’t consistent….it’s not authentic. Consistency is key in creating a personal brand others connect to and want to align themselves with. Be you….unapologetically you, and the right people will flock to you.
Let your brand evolve as you do
In business and in life, we grow and mature over time. Just as we evolve, our brands should too. Monitor this to ensure your personal brand is growing just as fast as you are. Often, some of the best judges of whether your personal brand best represents you and your business are your top clients and closest friends. These are people who know the real you and have a vested interest in your success. Seek their input.
Above all, your own gut feel is a great indicator. If you feel like a foreigner in your own skin, or in your online presence, it’s probably time for a brand refresh.
I can’t wait to see the REAL you!