Personal branding has become a standard for everyone, no matter your title, industry, experience, etc. Personal branding is an opportunity to share your story, values, and principles. When people know who you are, what you value, and principles that guide you, they can quickly see how they relate to you, building a relationship. Not sure where to start? In this article, I share 3 powerful personal branding strategies you can implement right away. Let’s get started!
In late January, I shared the stage at #SpeakersAnnex in NYC on to discuss this very topic. Branding, at it’s core, is about the values, ideals, and worldviews of an individual or an organization. In my work, I help entrepreneurs create unshakable BrandedWorld’s that deeply connect with their ideal audience. The truth is, you can use the same strategies for your personal brand.
As an individual, I’m sure you have many values, ideals, and worldviews that make up who you are and what you believe. When you meet others, these values and ideals come out through the words you use to describe yourself, your work, and through stories, you might tell.
The problem starts with the words you use to describe yourself. Here’s a little secret: you determine who you are and what you stand for – no one else.
People want to connect with messages they believe in. In order to develop a personal brand, you must first understand yourself.
It has to do with how humans are wired. People are drawn to clarity, resist confusion, and prefer groups of like-minded people.
Knowing those three things about people, how do you attract and keep their attention?
It happens through simple storytelling. When you share stories that are relatable, show common values, beliefs, and principles, and encourage meaningful relationships, people feel a connection to you. As you nurture the relationship, you are able to find out more about them, what they like, and how you can offer more value to them.
Here are three powerful personal branding strategies that I shared on stage.
1.Vision – Your Dream
One of the goals of many entrepreneurs I hear often is that they want to build a tribe, a community of like-minded people. In order to build a community, you must first have a vision or a dream. Even, if you aren’t building a community around your brand, you may want to build a community around you – your network is extremely valuable.
For a community to take hold and build roots, people must first understand the vision and then feel that they want the same thing for themselves.
I encourage you to take a few minutes and use your imagination to really discover what it is your dreams are. Think big – so big it might scare you. And don’t worry about the details of how you will accomplish it, focus instead on the why and the what. Once those are in place, and others start to come on board, the how tends to work itself out almost naturally.
Your vision should come down to a short, powerful statement that intrigues others to want to learn more. You can dive into the details of how to craft a vision statement with GroundWork: The Foundation for an Unshakable Brand.
2. Values – What you believe in and how you act towards others
Values are often overlooked until they are crossed. As individuals, we all have personal values we abide by, even if we haven’t bothered to write them down or share them with others. But when something happens, values show up. It’s part of the decision-making process and helps to determine how you might move forward on a matter.
I personally value:
- aloha – treating everyone with respect at all times
- integrity – holding myself accountable for my actions
- honesty – being transparent and open about issues
These three core values make up who I am as a person. I’ve now translated those core values into the culture of BrandedWorld as well. When someone isn’t honest with me, disrespects me or others, or fails to do what they claimed they would, they aren’t holding up to my values. This can cause problems such as miscommunication, arguments, or heated discussions.
This can cause problems such as miscommunication, arguments, or heated discussions. Simply because our values aren’t aligned.
For organizations, it is incredibly important for brands to know their core values and to integrate them into all aspects of communication – both internally and externally. Learn how to craft meaningful core values here.
3. Promise – The essence of what you are known for
The last strategy I shared on stage was the promise. In our personal, everyday lives we make promises to ourselves, friends, and family constantly. What happens when you don’t keep that promise? For one, core values come into play and there may be an argument. You may lose some credibility or trust with your friends or family. It happens.
For brands, making a promise helps your customers to see the outcome, how their lives can improve by using your product or service. Again, when the brand falls short of delivering what they promised, they begin to lose trust and ultimately customers.
Your promise is the essence of what you are known for. And what you are known for is based on your consistent habits. Notice the word ‘consistent.’ You may want to be known for being a podcaster however due to your busy schedule, you only produce an episode every couple of weeks, instead of publishing once per week at a specific time and specific day on a consistent basis. What’s at work is you are underserving your promise.
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Let me know in the comments which you think will help to build your personal brand. What questions do you have about personal branding? Let me know. I’d love to answer them!