If your business has not been differentiated and isn’t getting the kind of attention it deserves, or if you’re attracting all the wrong people into your life, the reason is simple: You Have not Properly Defined or Demonstrated your Personal Brand.
You are a unique individual. There is no one else just like you. And yet, you have spent too much time trying to be like someone else, too much time trying to blend in…too much time not being YOU.
What is a Personal Brand? Your personal brand is your unique value proposition, consistently messaged across all media and types of communication, to establish expertise, trust, reputation, and position in your market and in life.
Sounds complicated? It doesn’t have to be. To simplify it, I would say that your Personal Brand is your uniqueness, packaged in a way that is not only sellable, but attractive to those who share your values. Your personal brand will make you and your business magnetic—and the people it attracts will be the kind of people you’ve been dreaming of doing business (and life) with.
When you have a clearly defined and demonstrated a Personal Brand, your life starts to improve. It really is that simple. Why? Because you will be living out what is special about you, and attracting more of the same. You’ll notice as people age, they tend to start hanging out with people who are most like them. The bikers plan road trips. The artists get together for wine at the gallery. The athletes meet for football in the park. And people who have a need for the unique thing you’re offering will want to spend time (and money) with you.
Maybe by now you’re wondering how you can start to develop and exercise your Personal Brand. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Ask close friends and colleagues what they think sets you apart from the rest. Ask them what they see as your greatest gifts. Focus on highlighting these things, because they have attracted quality people to your life and business so far.
- Forget about blending in or doing what everyone else in the industry is doing. Instead, use what is unique about you to find a better way to do what others are struggling with.
- Be 100% authentic in everything you say, write and do. Talk is necessary to connect; however, when not supported by action, it will work against you. The best way to approach this is to be yourself in all areas—then you’ll never have to wonder if you’re being genuine or consistent. Everything will be rooted in (and come directly from) the real YOU.
- Take opportunities to demonstrate your expertise. This doesn’t mean spouting off random facts or aimlessly bragging about your skills. What it does mean is getting in there, with your ideal customers and social groups, and using your expertise to help them solve problems and make their lives better.
- Inject your personality into all things, business and pleasure. Consumers don’t want to do business with a faceless entity; and people don’t want to be friends with a cardboard cutout. Trust is essential to all types of relationships, and in order to gain trust you must be a real, honest-to-goodness human.
- Create a personal counterpart for your professional website or social media page. I have a business Facebook page as well as a personal one, a business website and a personal LinkedIn account, and more. This allows for me to share business stuff with my personal friends, but more importantly, it gives me the chance to show my personality to an even greater degree than I normally might on an all-business page.
- Ensure that everything you share and do can be associated with your Personal Brand message. This will build your credibility, cause people to trust in you and reinforce all the things your Personal Brand says that it is.
- Don’t forget to tell your story. People want to know how you got to where you are, what has influenced your most pivotal decisions and what has shaped the person you’ve become. Share these stories, to endear your brand to the people who will mean the most to it.
- Network and make valuable associations. Who else has personal brands that complement yours? Who else is connected to your ideal customers and friends? Make these associations, offer all the value you can, and watch your business and your life thrive.
Can you now start to imagine how cultivating and expressing your Personal Brand will bring about positive changes in your life and in your business? All business owners, at times, struggle with how to position themselves in the market—with how to differentiate their companies from the competition. Some even struggle with finding the right friends. When all the time, the answer has been inside themselves.
Now is the time to find your answer to these challenges. It’s all in you. It’s your Personal Brand.