Creating An Authentic Personal Brand in 7 Easy Steps
Creating a personal brand can seem like a daunting task, with several struggles in the way to having something concrete you can build from. Often times, people view a personal brand as something that is fake, or an image to uphold, however, a personal brand should be authentic and in touch with you. Over the life of your brand, this image can be hard to maintain, so one thing I require from clients is that they are authentic and truthful in their branding. My systems aren't designed to create and uphold fake lifestyles, and outlandish embellishments over time. Instead, I help artists, creatives, and other talented individuals reveal their true selves to the world. It's just more sustainable, and longer-lasting that way. With that said, I've detailed the steps to make a personal brand that reflects my clients in a way that emphasizes qualities that are in touch with who they really are, and can last a lifetime.
1. Determine your authentic qualities
So your authentic qualities are comprised of who you are and what you believe in. Building a foundation of these allows for you to build on them in the later steps of this process, as well as inform your marketing once you're ready to present yourself to the world. This foundation can include your preferred foods/drinks, the clothing you wear, and how you feel about certain issues.
Next, you should audit the existing qualities and assets. Qualities include skills you have (if you want them, go learn them), credentials/education, as well as internal qualities like your values, beliefs. With those dialed in, you can establish your vision (what you want to do), your mission (how you'll do it), your message (what you'll tell people), and your personality (how you convey your message).
2. Choose a target audience
one of the best ways to overcome the struggle of finding your authentic self is by establishing who you want to work with. First, consider the demographic you are trying to reach. This includes creating a customer profile that lays out the age, income, educational history, profession and even relationship status of your ideal customer. By doing this, you can appeal to people you want to work with, and filter out those you don't want to work with.
Once you have your demographic established, you can assess their desired end-state, or what they hope to achieve from working with you. The desired end state is the ideal outcome of using your product or service. An example would be something like this: John needs a brand strategy so he contacts Kevin, and once that engagement is concluded, John is clear on what his brand strategy is, and can now move on to another aspect of his business.
Honing in on customer's desired end state allows you to isolate general obstacle from the ones specifically tied to the solutions you provide, that way you can speak to that audience in a way that is relatable. Often times, we try to solve everyone's problem, but that isn't realistic or sustainable. If you can solve very specific problems that people are willing to pay for, you'll spend less time learning how to solve new problems and provide a much better product or service. You can diversify later on, but do so strategically, and slowly or you risk being perceived as a generalist instead of a specialist (expert).
3. Create an offer that solves a problem
Look back to the previous section and use your product or service to address the obstacles your customers will have to overcome to get into their desired end state. If you have a customer profile, think deeply about the things they struggle with on a regular basis and create a solution for it. This is especially helpful if you offer a product or service no one seems to want. You can quickly see if the problem your product or service solves is something people actually want to solve. Does the value of having that problem solved exceed the cost of your product or service? Maybe a pivot is in line, or maybe your messaging needs to be changed.
Next, you'll want to craft the perfect offer, which is a combination of what you love to do, what you do best, and what your customer wants. Once those are aligned, you can create that customers dream solution, and enjoy the work it takes to get them there. It's a long game, so it's important to do something that excites you over and over again, rather than what you think will make you the most money. In this process, you're creating your value proposition and laying out the steps to execute it.
4. Optimize your internet presence
Start with your website first, and then you can expand these features to other channels/outlets you don't own. your site should have a well-crafted logo, the value proposition you established, and professional photos. Professional photos are important because they show that you are willing to put the effort into your appearance, and will help you stand out from all the lower -end companies that use their cell phones. There's a reason photographers can be expensive, and it shows when you compare websites with amateur photos vs. those with professional photos. Also, include social proof, namely testimonials, or other chatter about your brand from those you have worked with before. Next, a strong call to action (call now, learn more, etc.) help steer your customer through your sales funnel, turning them from browsers to buyers. Some other aspects you'll want to consider for your website are an About page, details about the product and services you provide (discuss features here), and a contact page. Some of these can be tied together, but it's best to have them exist independently for ease of access.
5. Create a manageable content strategy
You'll want to plan out the type of content you make, and how you distribute it to the world. This is a balance between quality and consistency in that you want to create good, valuable content, but you don't want to get hung up on making everything perfect. Choose a time, day or week in each given month to release new content. Give yourself hard deadlines to complete production and schedule distribution (when and where to post), and stick to it. Once again, this is a long game, so over time, you will see that you become better at producing content faster as you become more consistent.
6. Be Visible!
They say your network is your net-worth. That rings true for personal relationships as well as branding because you can't expect people to know who you are starting off, but you can get there faster with a good introduction from a credible source. So see if that blogger in your niche will post a guest article, or if that podcast host needs someone to interview. The more places you can be present (and authentic), the more people you can draw into your channels. Be an option in your niche when your customers need one. Everyone relates to different personalities, and one person cannot take everyone they come across as a customer or client. Be the one that is right (or more appropriate) for their needs, rather than exist in a pool of people that do exactly the same thing. Folks can't call you if they never find out you exist!
7. Build a community
Now that you've identified benefits from the solutions you offer, get them all in one place. Larger-scale would be a facebook group, email list or some other web-based platform (Bonus points if you can sell memberships to be a part of the group). Locally, you can host events and get them to show up in person. When you have your community, you can speak directly to them, their problems, and easily relay how you can help. It is much more efficient than coming across anyone you can and seeing if they are qualified. Consider that you only need about 1,000 people in your community that are willing purchasers of every product or service you offer to generate a significant amount of revenue. If 1,000 people buy a new product for $20 each, that $20,000 dollar made with little spent on marketing.
So I hope this guide helps you on your road to establishing your authentic personal brand. You can use these steps to solidify yourself in a way that is sustainable over the long haul and satisfies the expectations of your past, present, and future customers every time.
If you need assistance in creating your personal brand, email email@example.com We're here to get you dialed in and Successful!