The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding

Here’s a personal branding forecast sure to intrigue you in the coming years:

– The world is moving at an extremely high speed, and it’ll take the self-proclaimed “fastest gun alive” to keep up. Think of how quickly things change today compared to 20 years ago. It’s all about the growth mindset & coolness; staying current with what’s trending.

According to Entrepreneur.com, when building a personal brand for business:

  • 561% more reach from employees sharing messaging
  • Content is shared 24X more frequently
  • 8 X more engagement from employees VS brand

– Branding has become more complex due to technology, the internet, and rapidly changing consumer trends. Therefore, understanding how to build a good profile will be crucial for your long term success.

– There’ll be less emphasis on making a quick buck without putting time into building quality relationships so that people know like and trust you for the long term; developing yourself as a person with values, morals and passion – which are ultimately reflected in your personal brand will attract the right sort of people who will want to do business with you.

– It takes hard work and consistency to build, and there’ll be many sleepless nights when you’re trying to get things right. Build your persona authentically from the heart; it will pay off as you won’t have to pretend to be a fake persona that you don’t understand.

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Personal branding is now table stakes

If you as a professional don’t have a budget to contribute personally to creating a personal brand, I suggest you discuss it with your HR department.

The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding

Quality will prevail. In the coming years, there’ll be less emphasis on making a quick buck without putting time into building quality relationships; so that people know like and trust you for the long term. Developing yourself as a person with values, morals and passion – when you get it right, you will attract the right sort of people who will want to do business with you.

Before we dig into the details, I will clear up some myths.

It does not start with a photo, a logo or your physical appearance; personal branding starts with you and your intent and wording:

It starts with intent! What do you want to achieve?

What do you want to be recognised for?

What do you want to do with your career?

Which direction do you want to head?

Who is your audience?

Who will be your prospective clients?

Taking the time to think about what you want to do with your career and tell your story are crucial elements.

The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding
The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding

Researching other people you respect in other industries and the industry you are in is a good idea. So what can you do to self-brand and build professional success?

You may not even want to be visible online as you don’t need to use it to make money, although whether you like it or not, you still have a brand you!

Online presence does not equal personal branding:

Keep in mind it is up to you to decide how you show up in the world, what story are you telling. All people on the internet and in the world are not equal.

You can certainly earn millions of dollars over your lifetime more than someone who is in the exact same role as you, just because you take the right action where it matters.

The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding
The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding

Or do you just want to opt out from the internet altogether?

If you are a very private person, you may not wish to share your entire life online; if you decide you want to be a public figure or industry influencer, then perhaps you will require a beautifully designed YouTube channel and your own site to show off your best self.

You could be a solicitor, accountant or busy CEO and not wish to spend loads of time engaging with people. So brand-you needs to be designed accordingly…if you establish yourself as a thought leader, blogger and someone who lives and breathes personal branding, you may want to have a VA because people will engage with you.

The nature of your personal image is not set in stone

How do you define your audience?

How many social media accounts should I have?

What kind of content will I share on each platform?

Will my visuals show me as being funny, quirky or serious?

The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding
The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding

Does my profile make it clear what the readers can expect from me? What’s my 30 second pitch (the most compelling sentence that describes what you do)? How do I describe myself without bragging to impress potential clients/customers and industry peers?

People must know you, (not necessarily) like you, however they must trust you.

Although people will still see you and follow you along your journey online, they do not know you as a person. It’s like sitting in the stands at a football game; whilst you can see everything happening on the pitch, it does not make you a part of the team. Likewise, people don’t associate with strangers but yourself with other businesses and leaders in your industry.

Personal branding is all about defining what kind of person you are and then communicating that message to the appropriate audience who needs to hear it!

What steps should I take when building my personal brand? Here’s what I recommend:

Before putting together your blueprint document, it is necessary to start some research, and once you do your research on personal branding, you will see many ways people suggest you do it.

If you do not enjoy writing, I recommend you ask a friend to help you. Or you can always choose a strategy consultant who will have some personal brand examples to show you from prior client work.

Pick a personal branding consultant carefully

Some consultants suggest their (untested or badly thought out) ways to build your online presence, they have no experience and no tangible process.

When/if looking for someone to help you with your “individual branding” to build credibility, I would recommend using someone who has over a decade of experience in this business.

The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding
The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding

Pay attention: these are the questions to ask, as there are many different consultants:

How long have they been doing branding?

Where did they learn their process?

Who have they worked with?

Can you speak to them?

Will they offer you a money-back guarantee?

Then the questions will be more specific:

Have you worked with top influencers?

Do you specialise in self-branding?

What industries do you specialise in?

You need to know the answer to these questions before hiring someone to help with your self-branding and help create a personal brand; whilst it is not rocket science the competition has increased in the past 5 years, and everyone thinks they can do it.

Personal branding strategy and your goals must align

It is recommended that when you approach something as important as this, you have a specific purpose and goals.

This will help keep you more focused on what needs to be done and how best to achieve it.

Having no real plan of direction gives you very little chance of achieving a positive outcome for your life and business.

The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding
The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding

1) Start with research: when I ask people about themselves, they say “I don’t know” or “my friends, family & clients know me as…”

In my experience, this is never the case as everyone knows exactly who they are, but not many can articulate those thoughts into something recognised by others as value. So if you’re reading this article and haven’t put your personal branding strategy together, I would take the time to check out the resources included on the page.

Personal brands are becoming ubiquitous and are something that overzealous marketers seem to think are also experts in.

While maybe something they can and do offer as a service, most of them will not be able to show you any examples, as they have never worked with someone like you.

2) Now, list all the things you like about the people you have researched and what they say or do online that make you like them.

With this exercise, YOU get to decide what you will be like moving forwards and not what others want you to be like!

The best way is to begin to build a draft of your blueprint document; if you have no idea, start with the question, “what do I want my audience to think about me when they hear or see my name?” This may seem like a simple question, but it will help guide you in the right direction. By asking yourself this question, it will also make it easier for you to plan how and where exactly you want to show up in the world; if it were easy, everyone would do it successfully!

Building a blueprint document will really help

A blueprint document will save you a lot of time when putting together your CV or Resume. It also saves you a lot of time deciding what to write about yourself on your website and social profiles.

The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding
The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding

Having a process to make you stand out is key

Your process is based on your intent. Therefore, it is important to clarify your expectations and goals and the important things before you start. This helps ensure that you reinforce those qualities with everything else you do, and what you want to do in your specific niche or new direction should come easy.

– The world is moving at an extremely high speed, and it’ll take YOU, the self-proclaimed “EXPERT”, to keep up. It’s all about the credibility and the company that you keep, especially on social media.

– Understanding how to build your own profile will be crucial for your long term success and providing you stay on track and enjoy what you are doing will be fun too!

– There’s less emphasis on making a quick buck and now more about lifelong relationships that support you and your community.

The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding
The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding

How do I brand myself personally?

Starting with a blueprint document, you begin to put your current words or want to be known for. The document contains the four key elements of building a brand blueprint and acts as a precursor to creating any content:

What are your keywords?

What do you do or want to do?

Why are you better and or different?

What gives you authority and credibility?

Once you have begun compiling this document and looking at the people you look up to, you will begin to have something useful for your own personal PR activities. These personal PR activities include but are not limited to:

Elevator pitch

Resume or CV

LinkedIn profile

Twitter profile

Website bio

Author page

Magazine or TV intro

Podcast introduction

Once you have your blueprint you will have easy, consistent communications across all your channels

PR stands for “public relations.” So, this is really building relationships with the people you want to work with, and I think working with you will be mutually beneficial.

– Personal branding should build awareness for your business and elevate it above competitors by creating credibility and authority.

– You can do this by working on a project and maintaining consistent communications within a niche or industry.

A benefit of PR is that professionals in marketing and corporate social responsibility are often using PR tactics to gain exposure for their products or services. For example, companies pay publicists to develop press releases about new products, sponsor coverage of an event, or create content for strategic media placements like news stories, video segments, interviews, blog posts… etc.

Your profile is your online identity. This means that the way you behave on social media or craft your email signature should have a consistent feel. For example, if you want to be perceived as an expert, speak like one; when you craft emails, make sure they are compelling and use proper grammar, spelling and punctuation.

Remember it doesn’t stop here, so checkout the blog on domains and having your own personal domain instead of a gmail address!

9 Reasons You Want a Professional Email Address

– You already have an audience

– Knowledge is power, and so are words

– People will look up to people who are one or two steps ahead

Creating your profile should be easier than ever before with today’s technology:

Although with all these people making noise, you need to craft your wording and your four key elements very carefully and be consistent. Once you have decided what you want to be known for and written your communications brand blueprint, it will be time to move forward.

Keep your hopes, dreams, promises, and intentions front of mind as you craft your story; people will look up to people who are one or two steps ahead.

Personal Brand For Business

Your personal brand is what you do, how you do it, and why. To trust your business, customers need to trust you first!

The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding
The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding

Personal branding or self branding is marketing you!

Personal branding is marketing yourself as a professional or self-branded to make sure your self brand stands out from the pack. It doesn’t mean you are someone else; it just means you create a personal brand for things you want to be known for.

Your personal brand is what you do, how you do it, and why.

But first, your personal brand needs to be baked into all aspects of the business: from marketing, logos and websites, to packing materials and customer service strategy. And if done right? Your corporation will benefit hugely!

First things first, though – what is a personal brand for business anyway? It’s marketing yourself as a professional or self-branded to make sure your self-brand stands out from the pack. Marketing departments can certainly assist here, at least when writing blogs and social media; some marketing people understand branding, and some marketing people don’t!

Successful businesses are looking for people that align with their values, so they know they’ll stay invested in their customers’ success long term. With your own authentic voice at the helm (and not someone else telling them who to be), prospects will see the true colours, whatever marketing efforts are deployed.

Personal branding begins with research and consists of some or all of these steps:

  • Personal branding and marketing research
  • Look at personal brand examples
  • Brand blueprint creation once researched
  • Sharpening your physical appearance if applicable
  • Getting a professional photo for profiles
  • Personal website research and design
  • Marketing with articles, blog post(s), guest blog(s),
  • Write a new Twitter bio, LinkedIn profile, CV/Resume
  • Grow social networks and target your desired audience
  • Use social media tools to share content and build further
  • Get interviews on podcasts and television or webinars
  • Get interviews on Youtube channels (s) or television
  • Build a Youtube channel or build a podcast show
  • Write a book that is focused on pain of your audience

Below is a more detailed list of the important things to focus on when personal branding yourself for work:

When you look at the industry you are in or wish to enter, the personal brands you see can often be intimidating, especially if you enter a new industry or new role.

Here are 7 tips that might help you when personal branding yourself for success:

1) Think deeply about the industry you are in or trying to get into and what personal brands you see. You may want to emulate or at least take the things you like from these where appropriate.

2) Do your research! Research the industry, read up on successful personal brands in that industry, and keep your eyes peeled for success stories in the news and media.

3) Once you have some ideas of who/what you want to be, begin to create your blueprint. This will be what comprises the basis of your personal brand and what differentiates it from others.

4) Decide on what makes up your ‘brand story and purpose’. This is the larger concept behind your brand. What is your purpose? How do you want to help the world?

Expand on your purpose to create your brand story. What made you want to start this personal branding for your career journey?

Where are you now, and where do you hope to take it?

What is the essence of being an expert in your field? What makes you unique in your field, and what is your “ah-ha” moment?

How can you empower others by telling your personal brand story?

5) Next, think about the type of person you want to communicate with regarding this brand – Do they have a high energy level or low-key presence? Are they friendly and easygoing, or are they serious and efficient? Based on these qualities, decide whether it’s important for them to be involved in social media. If so, see if any specific platforms make sense for them. This will require some experimentation!

Once you have your core values decided on, figure out how much time and effort you can spare to investing in all of this.

6) Make sure you have consistency with your brand across all channels. This means making sure that your social media profiles match and any other profiles or platforms people can find you on!

7) Start using social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin (etc.) to build upon your online footprint and profile. If possible, consider starting a blog to further expand upon who you are and what drives/motivates/inspires you. If you feel like it and enjoy being on camera, you could also build a youtube channel and provide a different perspective on something industry-related.

Check out some personal brand examples

Research – oftentimes, you will find that there are people who have been in your shoes and faced the same challenges. This research will help you identify key messages that are not only relevant to your target audience but an area where you can shine. It’s also important to network with others by exchanging ideas and social media posts.

Building your Brand Blueprint is the Most Important Task

Brand Blueprint Creation – A brand blueprint includes defining your values, what you stand for, what sets you apart from other companies or individuals, why people should care about what you do, and how it connects with your ideal audience. You want to be authentic and genuine and be careful not to be fake; if you write articles, then make sure you either write them yourself or brief your ghostwriter correctly as to your tone of voice etc.

Building Your Brand is a Huge Asset

You are the product and brand you are your marketing for selling that product. Your brand helps you reach more people with your message about giving them through your products and services.

Building a personal brand

Building your brand is based on values, skills and interests. You don’t have to be the world’s best at anything; just be good enough for one thing that’s unique to you and know it inside out and then share it with people who care.

– Get more customers, get a promotion or new job

– Stay in charge of your online brand

– Gain trust with prospects, clients and executives

How to Leverage Your Personal Brand

How to Create Your Authentic Personal Brand for Success?

People want to work with someone they know, like, and trust, although the like bit isn’t necessarily needed for people to work with you.

You build your target audience based on your content and attitude, your professional success and showing up as your best self help you tell your story and build friends and connections who know, like and trust you.

As you define your audience, keep in mind that some prospective clients will be watching you from afar; you may not even know that they are there.

You could hire a PR firm or freelance writer to build your presence

To build a strong brand, you can either hire a PR firm or a freelance writer to build your online presence, and many different opportunities exist to get going with self-promotion. Guest posts, writing a blog post for your LinkedIn profile.

Self-branding and building your credibility will change your life

Once you begin to build credibility, you will transform your professional life for the better! People will begin to pay attention to you; they will notice when you have become a public figure; your written content, elevator pitch, and “top influencer” status may push you slightly out of your comfort zone.

You can build a personal brand no matter who you are

Whether you are a graphic designer in New York, a dentist in Hereford, or a technology firm’s CEO. When your name shows up in the search results on LinkedIn or Google, and a beautifully designed brand such as yours shows up amongst the other top influencers is the time when you will realise it was worth investing the time and effort in creating yours.

When you build a personal brand, your career may take a new direction; you may want to obtain a better job or get a new job or even create a new career trajectory.

Wherever you are here in your career, understanding building a successful personal brand is now not just important; it is critical to be taken seriously by recruiters and by the market or industry you and your executive leadership team.

Now set up your website or blog and social channels

The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding

After you have crafted your personal brand blueprint, you should start by setting up a website and make sure to create content, perhaps include Youtube videos or get your Instagram account or your own website site where you can really showcase the key points you want to make about the expertise in your specific niche. This brings us to social media, which can help you make personal connections and build your brand online by putting out valuable content that is authentic to the real you.

For more information about building a brand, please read some of my other articles on my website.

To keep me from procrastinating, I make sure to interact with interesting people. There are lots of cool people on IM that I can talk to. In addition, Twitter and Facebook are great places to find people who share the same interests as me.

Having a personal branding strategy for corporate leaders is one of the most powerful ways to build your business if you are not sure how, please read some of my other articles on my website.

Preparing your personal brand for success involves interacting with important people in your industry who are doing interesting things to get started on your quest for thought-leadership status.

I like Facebook and Twitter, but I think that LinkedIn is the best social media for personal branding for work. If you are not sure about this or anything else related online, please read some of my other articles on my website to help you achieve your goals faster than you ever imagined possible!

Checkout some more tips below from the time I worked with IBM and Garin to create this infographic.

Personal Branding Infographic With Ibm

Once you have a target audience, like any brand, you’ll want to keep them engaged. That can be accomplished by including videos on blogs, webinars or useful educational information pieces.

Personal branding is a chance for you to flex your creative muscles, so have fun with it as this is like playtime for grown adults!

I have loads of other articles and free resources around this important topic, which I’ll be linking into this article in the coming weeks.

If you are not sure how to get started or exactly what steps to take in the process of building your personal brand for success, then please read some of my other articles on my website, there are masses of them, and this is just an outline of what steps are needed for individual branding.

How to use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter very effectively for your personal branding project! Collaboration; Personal Brand For Success – Meaningful Networking – Making Connections In Person Or Online With Powerful People Who Can Help You Get Ahead Faster Than Ever Before.

Get cracking today, and if you need help with this, then please email nat@natschooler.com

You can establish trust by showing them who you are, what you’re working on and why you get out of bed.

Here’s how to build a personal brand for success:-

#1 Focus on yourself. Don’t be so self-centred that it frightens people away but make sure they understand they’re not just dealing with incorporation, a name or logo – they’re doing biz with a real person.

#2 Build relationships beyond the transaction. Make each customer feel like a VIP (significant person) and match that service as often as possible, even if this means going over and above what is expected to achieve results. Create value more than anything else!

#3 Create a consistent user experience. Many corporate leaders and small entrepreneurs speak to have heard the words ‘Build Your Brand’ or ‘Branding’ or ‘Personal Branding!’

But many don’t yet realize personal branding is the most powerful way to build their businesses!

Since I began helping professionals to stand out, personal branding for business use has become a thing!

Nat Schooler

You can build your corporate brand and then build your personal brand alongside it, or you can do it in reverse; it just depends on which one will deliver you the right amount of traction.

Solidifying your personal message can attract new clients and grow your corporation.

Your personal brand must be authentic! 

Social media is for conversations, and building your personal brand for business authentically is key. Don’t be afraid to use your own voice and opinions to express yourself and share ideas.

Support your business on social media

Promoting news about your company alongside you expands both your influence. Such promotions may help you gain clout at industry events and even attract job offers from competitors.

Refine your profiles

Polishing your profiles are a great branding exercise to start with. Pick a bold header image, a clear profile photo, and select a piece of content to sit at the top of your profiles, representative of what’s most important to you. Also, include a link to a personal website in your bio.

Explain what you do simply, so people understand

Personal branding helps you explain what you do simply and can be used for LinkedIn, your website, CV, Resume, podcast episodes, public speaking…

It helps you build authority, credibility and trust

It helps you show off why you are different and better than anyone else.

Build brand you for career and business success

The main problem is most people and businesses have no idea they are sitting on a goldmine; all they need to do is to take the time to build effective wording around what they do.

Brand Yourself, so People Understand

It helps you to use the right words, so people understand the “Why You?”

  1. What do you do in words everyone understands?
  2. What gives you credibility and authority?
  3. Why are you different and better than anyone else?
  4. What cornerstone words represent you authentically?
Personal Branding And Marketing Training
The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding

Once the wording has been put together explaining these key elements, you can begin building your image and crafting your social media presence.

What is a personal brand strategy?

Developing a personal branding strategy brings your image from obscurity to something highly relevant. It provides you with a detailed blueprint on what is needed and the strategies for overcoming it.

What is a personal brand blueprint?

The careful preparation of your personal brand blueprint makes up an element of your personal branding strategy; it takes out the uncertainty from your communications, both written and verbal.

A brand blueprint document takes out the guesswork

The brand blueprint document covers everything YOU need to know when briefing journalists, writing blogs or being interviewed on podcasts and television.

A visual stylist is not a personal brand expert

Hiring a personal stylist and a visual branding expert is different from an executive personal branding expert

The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding
The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding

A powerful personal branding strategy takes time

And is a combination of:

  • Brand blueprint for PR
  • Headshots for profile optimisation
  • Profile writing for CV and Websites
  • Speech writing and interview planning
  • Social media consultancy and management
  • Content planning and correct content placement

Share your story with the world —

It’s not how one says it’s about everything. It is about how you said it. You have to make the appearance appealing. Use a consistent voice everywhere you’re active.

Along with your words and actions, these are the words you use to convey your personality and to recreate an image of who you are. So get your own brand voice and create a consistent impression that shows off your personality.

As you manage your own presence across social platforms, so should you be managing these aspects of the personal brand. It is not something tangible that exists independently from you – it is part of who you are and an extension of your personality.

Reinvent your personal brand as you grow

As long as you are staying relatively focused, it is ok to reinvent yourself. Providing you do it in the right way it can be an asset. People will see the progression you have made and why you are working in that space. They can look back at your old material and gain a much better insight into how you work and what is important.

You will grow with your business brand

As your business grows, so must your personal brand grow. The key is not to forget where you came from or else it becomes awkward; one of the biggest examples I’ve seen was someone who started as an entertainer then became a magician with his own show. He reinvented himself when he went into corporate speaking, becoming quite arrogant because of his newfound career success until people began comparing him to the way he used to be – which was someone they really liked before he changed!

You must be authentic in your approach

Building a personal brand around our own values and goals can help us define exactly what makes up who we are, why our audience might care about us, and how we deliver value to them via content.

The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding
The Ultimate Guide To Personal Branding

Personal Brand Strategy for Business Leaders

Many business leaders and small business owners speak to have heard the words ‘Build Your Brand’ or ‘Branding’ or ‘Personal Branding!’ However, many don’t yet realize personal branding is the most powerful way to build their businesses!

Since I began helping business owners and serious professionals, focusing on building a personal brand for business use has become a thing. Instead, personal branding helps you explain what you do simply and can be used for LinkedIn, your website, CV, Resume, podcast episodes, public speaking…

The main problem is most people and businesses have no idea they are sitting on a goldmine.

What is a Personal Brand Statement?

Your personal brand statement is a short phrase that clearly defines who you are and what you want people to think of when they read your name or see your byline. Crafting your own personal brand statement will help you figure out exactly what it is about you that makes you unique and how and where this quality can be best expressed for you to achieve success both personally and professionally. Define yourself with one strong sentence!

Developing an effective personal brand involves defining what kind of professional image will attract business clients or customers.

Most of the skills described in this plan are components of content marketing and apply not just to create a personal brand; they are also applied in posting pictures, content, and interactions online.

Currently, we are in the process of building a database of personal branding consultants. If you would like to be featured, then please let me know. Email nat@natschooler.com or fill out the Google Form below.

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