When building a personal brand it’s imperative that you add some personality into the fold. That may sound obvious but you’ll be amazed at how many people retract their personality or portray the wrong personality when creating their own personal brand. They feel that they have to lie to attract their target audience by giving a different impression of themselves, or they haven’t created the right personal brand, most probably because they don’t know what their personal brand really is. I’ve seen it happen and can say from experience that it’s the wrong way to go when creating a personal brand.
People like honest people. It means that they can trust you and buy from you, even if you might have a bad personality. The bottom line is that at least you’re honest about it!
Honesty instantly builds relationships and that’s what branding is all about, creating a relationship with your customers. Honesty is not a selling point though, it should be a morale trait that’s naturally offered socially. The key is to show off your personality honestly to develop your personal brand and engage with your audience?
Step 1: Igniting the flame for your new personal brand?
To create a successful personal brand you need to resemble the future and not the past. Your past might hold a lot of weight with regards to who you are but a personal brand is your personal sales tool, reflecting why people need to know about you today. Past experience may help communicate your expertise but if that experience is not applicable to your new personal brand, why include it at all? More often than not, if you’re creating a personal brand then you’ve probably left your job or have just decided to go self-employed and you need to know that being an employee and developing a personal brand for business are two very different things because they use two very different personalities that you’ve built up. We want to use the right personality, the newer, independent personality, essentially your new personality so we can inject it into your personal branding. To do so you need to remember that:
- You’re not held back by work etiquette anymore
In your old workplace you may have had to dress in a certain way, act in a certain way or carry out only specialist tasks. Now you have a personal brand and are probably self-employed so all of that goes out of the window. You can wear what you want to wear, act however you truly want and job wise you you’ll be doing everything from making the tea to getting your head around marketing your very own business. It’s time to be you!
- You don’t represent your old employers brand anymore
Your old employer may have had a brand and as an employee you become a part of that brand which means you acted and communicated in a specific way that was relative to your industry, job title and your employers brand. Now that you’re developing a personal brand, maybe in an entirely different sector. This means that you don’t have to adhere to your old employer’s brand. You will be creating your own system of thought, action and design to represent you personally as a business brand.
- You shouldn’t be the same you!
Many people leave employment to create their own personal brand but stay fixated with who they were as an employee. They act the same, try and look the same and even try to reach the same audience as their employer did, with the same style. This is a natural thing to do as your previous employment may have had a big impact on your life and it’s become your sole experience of doing business, but when you create a personal brand you have to open your mind and realise that the world is bigger than your own personal experiences.
Your old employer and the old you as an employee both have their place in the business world. Your new personal brand needs to represent a different you that’s reflective of you in the current time. Your branding should be different, your clients should be different, the way you communicate with them should be different and any conceptions of them should also be changed for your personal branding.
All three points above lead to a common pathway to discovering your personal brand. That pathway doesn’t mean forget the past but is making sure that you adapt, evolve and move on from being an employee to developing a new personal brand with personality that’s true to you.
Step 2. Discover your true personal brand
You may think that you know what your true personal business brand is, but how sure are you after you’ve considered step 1 above. Is your new personal brand just a rehash of what you once previously were? If so, is it really a personal brand or just a facade? A personal brand, even for business purposes needs to be honest and it still needs to be a little personal which means it needs to be about you, the new independent you. By discovering your real personal brand you’ll be able to position your business in the market place :
- As a trusted expert
- As something different
- With a clear target audience
Our brand discovery services extract the inner you to find strengths, weaknesses and originality to craft your personal brand and turn it into a marketable solution. The brand will reflect who you truly are and what you have achieved. It will create differentiation in the marketplace so you’re not competition with others but making your own space. Lastly it will reflect upon your business model, determining whether your personal brand is presenting yourself in the right way, to the right audience.
When you create your personal brand, you don’t want you to be just another professional gone solo or just a professional having a career change. You want to be thee professional to turn to for a specific reason. To do that you need to be honest and you need to inject your personality into it.
Your personality may be horrible or you might be a very nice person, it doesn’t really matter as long as you’re honest and use design communication to fine tune it, differentiate yourself and create your own space in the marketplace.
Step 3. Communicating your personal brand
Design communication is where your true personal brand and personality can really come through to engage with clients and win projects. Your brand identity design is there to :
- Reflect your personal brand
- Connect with customers
- Use your personality as a sales tool
Your first interaction with a potential client is not likely to be a face to face meeting, it will probably be your marketing collateral. ie. Your website, logo, flyers, brochure, social media or any design communication. Those elements will be designed to not only reflect you but reflect your audience, confirming to them that you are what you say you are and that you have a personality that they can relate to.
Colour, line, type and shape are all design elements which hold their own personality traits and a combination of them can find the right image to project your personality too.
By defining your brand first, then communicating it with design allows you to use your personality whatever it may be, and create a competitive advantage in the market place to attract the right audience.
What does your brand imagery say about your business? Is it likable? Does it have any personality at all?
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