I’ve been working in the branding industry for 25 years and as a graphic designer I spend a lot of time helping people create professional business brand identities. Often this means also creating a design element that presents a personal brand built around their own name and visibility, but what does personal branding even mean?
This article provides my summary and top tips of what you should consider when developing a personal brand image to compliment your business and attract your ideal customers!
Social media has a high impact in the way we reach our ideal customers, communicate and engage with our audience to share our message about the benefits of the products or services we offer. It sets a high precedent for personal branding however their are lots of things to consider…
People have so much choice in this day and age and are constantly bombarded with targeted marketing and visual stimuli day in day out so they crave authenticity and personable brands that ‘own’ their unique value. At the end of the day… people buy from people.
So to define the “Personal Branding” label…
Business Branding consists of the logo’s, images and words used to represent your products or services (Business Brand Identity) and the actual experience your customer has when being attracted to, purchasing and using your products or services. It is really important that you have a professional and consistent business image that you feel aligned to as it influences perception of the value of your products or services.
Personal Branding is made up of YOUR NAME being identified as a brand in itself, potentially with complimentary graphic elements (Personal Brand Identity) and how YOU PERSONALLY are represented to and perceived by your audience and customers before, during and after they have been attracted to and purchased your products or services.
Sometimes a personal brand identity can include giving yourself a title such as ‘The Queen of Productivity’ ‘Goddess of Admin’ ‘The Reiki Healing Angel’ and so on, which could also be used as a tag line, business brand name or product/service title lead.
Many business owners have business AND personal brand identities, using their personal brand as an umbrella identity for all the different things they do.
A lot of the business owners I design for are solopreneurs with businesses in which they are offering a personal service such as life coaching, business coaching, love coaching, mentorship and so a personal brand identity works well for them. If you have a business in which you are aligned to be visible, attract and engage your ideal audience, then you may want to consider the following personal branding strategies…
• A website with your photo / lifestyle shots or an introduction video.
• Social Media business pages and groups with you sharing your passion for serving your ideal customers as the focus.
• Sharing social media posts with an image and words, videos or live shares – from the heart.
• Realtime communication with your audience, in person, virtually over a video-call or in live video connections.
The commonalities of these for personal branding are…
- Know Your Audience… If you care about your audience, you want to understand what matters to them and how you can help them most. You are then able to provide them with content that easily engages their attention and supports them in some way. Make sure you know and can clearly represent the benefits of your products or services and how you want to present that message through your personal brand.
- Own Your Unique Brand and Stand Out… #USP What you do and how you do it is UNIQUE and PERFECT for your ideal customers. When you embrace your differences and your own brand style without concern for how others present themselves then YOUR UNIQUENESS will shine bright to attract more of your dream customers. The same goes for picking and choosing which strategies work best for you and your business. Never feel you have to do something just because others are doing it. Find what works and feels right for you and give it your all. This positive energy will shine brightly to attract your new customers.
- Consistent Visibility… This does not mean you need to be presenting yourself in person online ‘all the time’ but more so whenever your brand is seen it should be easily recognised. So embrace your brand, maybe you could show images in which you wear clothes in your branding colours so you ‘match’ your logo and website when people see you on a video, or have a backdrop that is ‘on brand’ to match your theme. This will help raise your visibility.
- Authenticity. Speak from the heart. Be Real. This is so important when it comes to personal branding. As I said before, people buy from people. When it comes to a personal brand presence audiences respect GENUINE over PERFECTION and can feel the powerful energy of someone being authentic in sharing their message by whatever media. Be Yourself. Discover and stick to what works for you… part of owning your powerful personal brand is just embracing the media and formats of communication that you love and can give your audience the best version of you via rather than doing something because others are when it just doesn’t feel like ‘your thing’.Your audience wants to see authenticity and the universe delivers customers abundantly when you are in complete alignment with all the aspects of your business and brand… so only say YES to the things that light you up with joy!
TOP TIP ONE
Spend some time reflecting on how you want to be perceived by your audience. Do you want to present a brand that is caring and welcoming? If you want to be seen, known and liked as YOU – the unique person, with a welcoming, authentic, unique personable business, then it is definitely worth considering a main personal brand identity, or using personal branding as a way to reach out to your audience in addition to professional business branding for your products or services.
TOP TIP TWO
If you decide that you want to present a personal brand image, then create a professional look and feel that you are completely aligned to, one that represents your personality authentically and consistently, portraying your passion for helping others in your unique way via your products or services will help you raise your visibility… remember to do so in only the ways which feel right to you.
There are lots of free resources to help you clarify, develop and expand your brand image on my site.