Building your personal brand is about communicating your essence—what makes you, you. Your core values, passions, personality, and desires are at the heart of your business’s brand.
When you’re building an online business, the best way to stand out is to put your whole self out there because the online world is really just an extension of your in-person life. You attract friends by showing up as yourself. Those who want to be in your circle gravitate toward you. Attracting clients, followers and building an audience works the same way. The more clearly you express who you are with a strong personal brand, the more ideal customers you’ll attract.
Having a unique and powerful personal brand can help elevate your business in ways you may not even realize:
- Stand out from your competitors
- Attract your ideal customers
- Be memorable
- Define your offers
- Determine your niche
- Create a business that suits your life and goals
In short, taking the time to develop your personal brand is the differentiator between you and others in your field. It’s what makes your business both memorable and genuinely you.
Define what makes you unique
Your core values are the bedrock of what makes your personal brand memorable. Values not only ground you and keep you focused on building a business that’s aligned with your principles, but they also attract like-minded clients, customers, and network connections who want to work with you. Even the biggest brands out there have legendary founders who connected their personal values to the business’ value system.
- To determine the key values, principles, and behaviors you hold sacred, consider the values that are most important to you and jot them down.
- Consider your greatest accomplishments and why those experiences resonate with you.
- Use your notes to write a vision statement for your business
Understand your goals
The ‘why’ behind your business matters and is a central aspect of your personal brand. It’s what keeps you motivated and passionate about growing your business. To identify your purpose or mission, think about your future goals:
- What do you want to accomplish?
- What problems are you driven to solve, and who do you want to solve them for?
- What and who inspires you?
- What do you want to be known, sought after, and remembered for?
Find your people
Clearly identifying your target audience will help you dial into their pains, issues, and challenges and get crystal clear on the language you’re going to use that helps them identify you as their service provider. The clearer you are on your ideal customer, client, or patient, the more influential your marketing, copywriting, and communication will be
Identifying your competitors is one helpful way to find your target market because the best way to figure out why someone would or should work with you versus someone else is understanding how you differ from them. And the only way to figure that out is to identify your competition and take stock of what makes you the same and what makes you different.
- Start by identifying 3-5 of your top competitors and jot down their names
- Then make a comparison table of their offers, products, and services, and compare them to your own
- Try to spot patterns in your approach that make you different or unique from them
Next, brainstorm a list of companies, industries, or individuals you’d like to work with.
- Look for patterns or overlapping ‘types’ of businesses, and group them. Each will be a target audience.
- Do some research on each target audience and write down as much information as you can about where they hang out on social media, what they talk about, what they read, and who they work with.
- Create an avatar for each, and personalize them as much as you can by age, demographics, hopes, wants, pains, and challenges.
Craft your unique value proposition
Your unique value proposition (UVP) is your personal brand statement or elevator pitch that helps you easily communicate what you do, whom you do it for, and your unique contribution to the marketplace. By creating an appealing message, you’re communicating your brand’s unique promise in a way that connects you to your target audience. This will fill you with confidence and help make your personal brand more memorable to your target audience.
Think of your UVP in three parts:
- The benefits you provide (outcomes, results, problems you solve)
- Who you provide them to (your ideal clients or customers)
- How you provide benefits in a unique way (your approach, process, differentiators, and positioning
What’s your brand persona?
Take the free Personal Branding Quiz and uncover what makes YOUR brand memorable.
Show up consistently online
Finally, once you’ve done the heavy lifting of defining your personal brand, amplify your voice by showing up consistently online, on your website, social media, and in your communication. Create a consistent and cohesive brand ecosystem that reiterates your essence across all customer touchpoints.
Your website is your online destination, the place to show off and highlight your personal brand:
- Use consistent brand messaging, font, and colors across your site
- Use professional, high-quality photos
- Write a friendly and trust-building bio and About page
- Provide clear service offerings that are aligned with your core values and unique differentiators
- List the outcomes of working with you
- Be clear about who you work with and why
- Make it easy to contact you and provide a clear next step on your website
Once you understand that your business brand is your personal brand and vice versa, it becomes easy to build your business around your dreams and what makes you unique.
After all, you’re at the epicenter of your brand—and you’re its biggest differentiator. There is no other Y-O-U doing what you do and how you do it.
About The Author
Rachel Gogos is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for people, the web, and creating strong personal brands. She started her career at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, where she helped create the look and feel for the organization’s first website. Today, in her current role running brandiD, Rachel channels over 15 years of marketing and communications experience into each and every website for brandiD’s clients. Find out more!