Before branding was just for companies. Now we all have a story to tell, goals to share, and expertise to give. In today's world, a personal brand is no longer "nice to have", it is expected of you. Branding yourself is more than cute colors, fonts, and graphics you post on your social media. It is a the lasting impression you want to leave with anyone who interacts with you in any type of way. Who you are and who you portray to be will quickly open doors for you. Those doors can also quickly be shut and locked if you don't have it together. Building a solid brand is very important no matter where you are in your life and career. You want to be able to leave a positive mark wherever you go.
Here are 6 tips for building a brand that can boost your business and career.
1. Figure who you are.
In order to build any type of brand, personal or professional, you have to do a little digging. Before you share who you are with the entire world, you must know who you truly are for yourself. For awhile I struggled with this. I found myself trying to be someone I wasn't and fit into this persona without even realizing it or doing it with any intention. It showed. My brand was all over the place. It was hard to keep up with everything because it wasn't living my vision. You brand has to reflect your identity. The key principle in developing your identity is to be authentic. There is often a misconception of branding. Many people think branding means to present a persona or facade to the world. " Maybe if I do this like everyone else everyone will support me." You're wrong! People may support you in the beginning, but once they realize you are like everyone else, you will lose their attention. Branding is not about positioning yourself as something that you are not. It’s about purposefully and strategically showcasing your authentic self to your audience. Your personal brand should be a true reflection of your skills, passions, values, and beliefs. It is okay to be inspired by others but don't try to replicate someone's brand. People want to support YOU.
While figuring out who you are, ask yourself:
* In which areas of work do I excel?
* What motivates me?
* What characteristics have others complimented me on?
* What industries and topics interest me the most?
* what makes you happy?
* What challenges do/did you face?
* What are your core values? What do you believe in?
*How can others learn from you?
If you get a little stuck answering or finding an answer try asking your close family and friends. Keep in mind that many people struggle to choose a specific niche because they don’t want to limit themselves. Realize that your personal brand, like many corporate brands, will change as your career grows and as you grow personally. The best strategy is to choose a particular area you’d like to focus on and let it evolve over time. As you will blossom and evolve too.
2. Determine what you want to be known for
Now that you know who you are, it is time to figure out where do you want to go. Your brand is more than a reflection of you are, but a road map of what is to come in the future. Understand your strengths, weaknesses and skills because they directly relate to what will be your next move in life. By doing this you will uncover the skills and traits that make you unique and also what you will need to work on to advance. I recommend creating a 5 or 10 year forecast of where you want to be, including the attributes you want to be known for. After creating your forecast, you need then need to think about what steps you need to take in order to get there. Remember, steps not elevator.
3. Define Your Audience
Before you start to promote your new brand, you need to know who you are trying to reach. YOUR BRAND IS NOT FOR EVERYONE! The sooner you define your audience the easier it will be to create the story you want to tell and decide where you want to tell it. Maybe your audience is on Pinterest or Youtube instead of Instagram and Facebook. Maybe your audience watches a specific tv show or visits a particular area of town. Either way, you should define this early so you won't find yourself talking to a brick wall.
4. Be Ready to Sell Yourself
No matter if you're in an interview for your dream job or meeting with an investor you need to be able to sell/pitch yourself. Always be prepared to give a 30-to-60-second story about who you are what you do, where are you headed in the future, and how can that person benefit from being in your presence. NEVER DOWN PLAY YOURSELF!!! You'd be surprised that I use to be afraid to tell people about myself, what I've accomplished, and my future goals. All my life I was always viewed as stuck up so when I got older I never wanted to seem like I was bragging or conceited. It wasn't until one of my close friends got me ALLLL the way together and said, "Chea, quit being so modest. You are the Sh*t, act like it!" Ever since then I hold my head high, especially when I talk about myself. We all have something to be proud of and there is nothing wrong with sharing that with the world. Closed mouths DO NOT get fed. I always remember that when I find myself thinking about going "mute". Think about all of the opportunities that you could come across just by being you and letting other people know who you are. No one can read your mind. If you have something to offer speak up! Embrace networking regularly and strive to grow your professional circle. The more connections you make the more likely you and your brand will be recognized.
5. Grow your presence both online and offline
This is self explanatory. Your reputation is everything. Work on fostering those relationships both online and offline. Facebook and Instagram are cool but try using Linkedin as well. Twitter is great for engagement and providing your industry expertise. Create a personal website or portfolio that gives a visual representation of who you are and helps highlight your work. Volunteer in your community and help with projects. Assert yourself as a leader when you can. The more opportunities you have to work with others, the more you can elevate your brand.
6. Download the Bossy Babe Launch Checklist
If you are ready to turn your brand into a business, this is the perfect resource for you! This step-by-step checklist will give you all the tools you need to get started! Did I mention, it's free! To download now, click here!
Here is a little inspo from Tyler Perry!