What is a Personal Brand?
“Personal brand” is one of those catch phrases that sounds magical and hopeful when it comes to making an impact in the marketplace. It could be the mystical elixir that finally launches you and your business into profitability and success, right?
If you can only learn how to brand yourself, all your social media marketing problems would evaporate into thin air. People would flock to your website and hang on your every blog phrase. Your social media accounts would blow up and your podcast would get a gazillion downloads.
Because of your brand…and how personal it is.
But what exactly is the unicorn factor of figuring out your personal brand? If you are honest maybe you are still trying to figure out exactly who you are and what your business does? And what if you want to change your personal brand? What if you aren’t ready for that kind of online commitment? What if you sell your business and want to launch another business? What then? Does your personal brand travel with you?
According to Jessica Zweig, Founder and CEO of Simply Be. Agency, a personal branding company, it does. You can relax. Figuring out your personal brand is about getting clarity on who you are. She should know. She has worked with top companies including Blackstone, Nike, EQ Office, Mars, Mindvalley, and Bank of America, helping them get clear on exactly who they are. She gets it. She has been through the process herself.
After developing a hugely successful online magazine with a readership of 150,000 in the larger Chicago area, Jessica left to launch her own branding agency. With a simple Facebook post about her new business launch, she found herself with more money in her personal consulting pipeline than she had ever experienced in the course of her career. Why?
She realized that she was her own personal brand. Her integrity, her drive, and her position as a thought leader, were travelling with her as her career was shifting. She began to recognize that “the equity of her reputation” set the tone for her new business. She had a lightbulb moment. People connect with people. Her followers and clients weren’t connecting with her new agency – they were connecting with her.
The unicorn factor of your personal brand is – surprise – you!
There are things that make you and your business, uniquely you. Your personal brand is made up of all who you are: your personality, your talents, your story, your vision for the future.
In her podcast interview with Casual Friday’s Brian Anderson, Jessica puts it this way, “How do we brand ourselves in a way that is authentic? That is of service? That’s sustainable? That makes people feel something in a way that brand can’t do?”
So now that you know that you are your brand, how do you let your customers and clients know who you are and what you have to offer?
Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.
Margaret Meade, anthropologist
Developing Your Authentic Personal Brand
Developing your personal brand is more than just marketing yourself. It is allowing yourself to be known in an authentic way. Four clarifying questions to ask yourself as you map out your personal brand are:
What’s Your Story? If you are an open book to your customers, they are getting to know you mid-book. A lot has gone into your journey before they began reading. How did you get to where you are? What struggles and triumphs have defined you along the way? Owning your story is the first step to bold authenticity.
What Motivates You? Every morning you wake up with a drive to succeed. What is it about what you do that gets your heart pounding? What are you passionate about? Your drive and energy for your work help define who you are.
Who Are Your People? If it’s been said once, it’s been said a million times. You can’t be all things to all people. So, who exactly are the customers you are trying to reach? Who is your audience? Young moms who need a break? Balding businessmen with a passion for crunching numbers? Graffiti artists with a heart for social justice? Figuring out who your people are shows a reflection of who you are, defines your mission, and reveals who you need to connect with to move your business forward.
What Do You Have to Offer the World? Your gifts, your passions, your personality, and your talents are yours and yours alone. No one else can connect with your customers like you can. No one else can share the hopes and dreams that you have for impacting the world in the same way. You are made for this moment in time. Don’t keep all that goodness to yourself. Share the wealth of who you are and all that you know. The world will be better because of it.
The Power of Being You
You and your business have so much to offer. CCB would love to partner with you in discovering your personal brand and telling your story. Our mission is to help you move forward in the marketplace with bold authenticity. Connect with us to discover all the ways that we can help you on your personal branding quest.
Check out Brian Anderson’s entire Casual Fridays podcast interview with Jessica Zweig: