Personal branding is all the rage! I'm a brand, you're a brand, there's way too many bland brands!
Thanks to the power and possibilities given by social media, we're starting to focus daily on how we share ourselves with the world. We've seen the influence and impact a personal brand can carry.
How do you create your personal brand?
The first thing I'd advise is not to spend too much time (or money) focusing on yourself. Sure, it's great to know who you are—but that is only one-third of the equation!
I use a "filter" called "one-to-one-to-one" for both large and small brand strategy—from logos down to hashtags. Let's break down those three factors so you can immediately enhance your image!
1. Decide #1 Goal
Start with why! What is your purpose? Why are you here? Once you know the end result you want to achieve, your branding becomes the path to take you there.
You've heard, "Dress for the job you want," right? Create a brand for the life or career you want. Show people how you want to be perceived—the best version of yourself.
2. Decide #1 Audience
In business, you always determine and test the marketplace for commercial viability. You make sure there's a need for your product.
So what do you do when you are the product? How do you stand out in a crowded marketplace? Fine-tune your message.
It's best to speak to one person—and aim for the top. Businesses write ads and sales copy for one dream client. Individuals should make their brand, photos, websites, instagrams, etc. for their #1 dream collaborator.
Who are you trying to reach? Think of your ultimate collaborator. Raise the bar for yourself. As quoted in Mary Poppins, "If you reach for the heavens, you'll get the stars thrown in!"
Set a clear singular target based on your initial goal. Compose for this person—everyone else just gets to listen in.
3. Decide #1 Self
I will admit this is the hardest part. Every single human being is beautifully multi-faceted. How do you blend together all of your awesome sauce, yet maintain all the juicy flavors?
Try finding an umbrella term. For example, instead of an actor, you’re an artist, storyteller or creative. That opens the doors to writing, producing, singing, dancing, etc. A title doesn’t matter to me. The important takeaway here is specificity and consistency.
My advice on determining your clear and consistent brand is to remember that you will always know yourself best. Do not invest too much in others helping you know yourself better!
What makes you special? Realize that some of the personal qualities you may take for granted are actually your unique areas of genius.
I do think the right objective eye (an awesome career coach or brand strategist) can help you expand—versus putting you in a box with a lot of adjective labels. You know the bad personal branding I'm talking about!
Creative Social Media starts with a bit of...life coaching! We work with clients on stretching the potential of what they think is possible. We have to empower the individual to take a global stage before equipping them. You're truly putting yourself out there—tons of doubts, insecurities and fears will need to be conquered.
Finally, realize that your brand will always be evolving. Your goals will shift, your audience will age/change, and you, unfortunately, will age and change, too.
It's best to refresh your brand periodically. Reexamine your goals, audience, brand/voice and online channels. It's about always staying fresh and true.
What are your favorite brands? Comment below!
Tony Howell is a digital strategist dedicated to helping you design your future—creating offline success from your online presence.