10 Steps To Creating A Powerful and Authentic Personal Brand

http://www.schoolforstartups.com/personal-branding/

“If you want to stay relevant and competitive in the coming years – I don’t care if you’re in sales, tech, finance, publishing…retail, service, you name it – you need to develop and grow your personal brand. Everyone-EVERYONE-needs to start thinking of themselves as a brand.” Gary Vaynerchuk, Crush It.

If Facebook was a country it would be the 4th largest country in the world. Youtube is the second largest search engine after Google. Twitter, Linkedin, Tumblr, Flickr… What are those social networks all about?

Personal brands.

We live in the era of personal brands.

Your personal brand is what sells your services, gets you hired, helps you develop relationships. Your personal brand is what makes your business recognizable and sets it apart from others.

Here is where a lot of people get stuck. Everyone tells you that you have to create a brand. And you probably have been thinking long and hard what your brand is all about and how you can make it unique and different.

Let me shine the light on this mystery for you.

You don’t need to create a brand. You don’t need to come up with anything unique and different.

Know why?

Because you ARE a brand already.

And this brand of YOU is as unique as it can get. You can try long and hard but you won’t find anything more unique than YOU. You are one of a kind. Don’t look any further.

All you really need to do is embrace your DNA, get clear on your core message and learn to clearly communicate that message to the world.

That’s what authentic branding is all about. And authentic brands are the ones that crush it.

So here are the steps you should follow:

1.  Get clear if the business you are in is really the business that resonates with who you are. Are you passionate about what you do? Is it YOUR business? If unsure or if you are still looking for YOUR business idea, you can use hedgehog principle to help you with that.

2. Get clear on your core message. What is unique about you? What problem do you solve? Come up with a compelling tagline that clearly communicates your message.  Brainstorm for ideas until you find the one that resonates with you.

I’ve just worked with a woman who wants to start a blog and write a book about people and their stories. That’s all she knew when she came to me. After brainstorming we came up with a core message – Life stories and lessons of those who “made it”.

3.  Get clear on your Ideal Customer. The clearer you are on who your Ideal Customer is, the clearer your message is going to be.  Getting clear on your Ideal Customer is a whole blog post in itself, so I’ll write about that later, all I want to say here  – don’t be afraid to narrow down as much as you can.

The same woman who wanted to write a book, after brainstorming,  realized that her Ideal  Customer is a woman 35+ y.o. with two kids, who feels stuck and unsure if there is still time to rediscover and reach the dreams she had when she was younger.

Can you imagine how much more clarity you get by knowing exactly who you write your book or your blog post or even Twitter and Facebook updates for.  Your website copy, your sales pages – everything is going to be transformed once you know exactly who you are writing for.

After you’ve got those basics covered, it’s time to start communicating your brand to the world.

4. Make sure that everything you do communicates your message in one way or another. When people land on your website they should understand within 7 seconds what you are all about. Your blog posts should communicate that message directly or indirectly. Everything you put out there should be put out with your core message and your Ideal Client in mind.

5.  Be consistent. Have the same look and feel on every platform you are on online.

Have the same picture on your Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube etc. accounts. Have the same look and feel in terms of design for your blog, Twitter and YouTube backgrounds. Consistency is the key for people to start recognizing your brand.

6.  Start blogging. I don’t care what business you are in, if you are not blogging yet, start. Blogs show the personal (human) side of you and your business.  Blog tells your story. People want to buy from people. Stories sell.

7.  Tell your story. You have a story. We all do. What’s your story? How did you come to where you are now? Tell us about your failures, about your successes. Why are you qualified to solve the problem that you are solving? Make it personal. Again, people want to buy from people. Put your story on your “About” page.

8.  Don’t write from the third person. We all know you are the one who’ve written your bio.  Your customers will connect with you much quicker when you write from the first person.

9.  Don’t try to please everybody. It won’t lead you anywhere. Speak your message.  Don’t apologize for who you are. There will always be critics, but those who connect with you, will follow you everywhere you go.

10.  Be YOU. Don’t be afraid to show your personality. Tell people what you like.

I like color red, I wear it on all of my pictures online. I am introvert. I hate small talk.  I am vegetarian.  I am from Russia and I speak with cute accent. I sometimes make mistakes when I write blog posts (minor)  and I don’t ask anyone to check them before I publish (don’t make mistakes if you are a native speaker, it’s not cool). It’s me. Raw and unrefined.

What about you? Your customers want to know YOU.

“Be yourself, everyone else is taken” Oscar Wilde

For more on how to get clear on your authentic Vision and how to communicate that Vision to the world, visit my blog at http://daringclarity.com

Note: This is a guest post by Lana Kravtsova from Daring Clarity.

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Author: Lana Kravtsova

15 Responses to '10 Steps To Creating A Powerful and Authentic Personal Brand'

JB King
March 25, 2010, 10:33 am

I have pride and passion in what I do as a Web Developer. While am I am employee within a company, I like the company’s culture and think that both the company and myself are at about the same point in terms of doing things in a professional proper way. Thus, I am where I want to be in lots of ways. During my university years, the web started to take off so it seemed like a natural thing for me to get into “How do they do that?” sort of thing and I worked at a couple of dot-coms to give me my footing in the world to some extent.

Course that was before I knew my values, but it was still quite educational and useful to me. I’m not sure where exactly I see my career going as I would like to get more into planning and will have to see where that leads me. 20+ years ago I remember my grandma saying how I’d be an engineer someday, which is another way to describe what I do is to say I’m a Software Engineer. I’m still connecting to the world, so I suppose part of my presence in things like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. is to see what is out there and how do I fit into that. I think I’m taking from this the idea that I should just keep on plugging along and see what happens. Who knows what will happen once I let the world in to see myself how I see myself, as a fellow introvert.

March 25, 2010, 11:16 am

I think that getting clear on who you are and what you have to offer is the best way to create any type of product or service. When it is time to market your product it will be much easier to do so with something you truly believe in. If you do not believe in yourself as an awesome brand then why should anyone else believe in you?
Thanks for a great article Lana. You are a perfect example of authentic branding!

March 25, 2010, 11:24 am

Hi JB, yes, keep plugging along! Thanks for commenting.

P.S.introverts are cool:)

March 25, 2010, 11:54 am

Love it! “Be yourself, everyone else is taken”
What a great post you have here! Thank you so much for sharing!

March 25, 2010, 12:19 pm

@Anastasiya, thank you, dear! I think I am far from perfect example, but I am getting there:)

@Luke, thank you, I love that quote too!

March 25, 2010, 1:10 pm

Great post Lana. If your business doesn’t represent who you are, then you should get out of it. Your mission, vision and goals need to be aligned to your work.

March 25, 2010, 1:28 pm

Lana this is absolutely wonderful advice. It rings so true. Staying true to who you are is the most important realization you can have. Sure not everyone will like you, but perhaps being an example will inspire others. It’s not always easy for the introverts I agree. I feel the same way you do! Thank you for the encouragement! :)

March 25, 2010, 3:57 pm

@Dan, thanks for stopping by, I love your articles!

@Lori, you are very welcome:) It is the best realization, I wish I came to it earlier.

March 25, 2010, 7:43 pm

One of my fave reads on Personal Branding. You hit the nail on this one Lana. I always appreciate the value you bring! Thanks a lot sweetie ;)

March 25, 2010, 8:52 pm

Being true to yourself and others will see you. Thank you for sharing such an inspiring topic on branding. This is a very encouraging topic for me, since I’m an introvert. Yes, we introverts are cool.

Crystal T. Terrell
REALTOR®
http://www.pennsylvaniafirsthome.com

March 25, 2010, 10:13 pm

@Therese, thanks, my dear friend, I appreciate YOU and your support:)

@Crystal, so happy I could encourage you!

March 26, 2010, 12:00 am

LOVE this blog. Thank you for the fantastic information, Lana!

Xavi
March 26, 2010, 9:00 pm

Awesome post Lana!. Very clear and helpful!. : )

March 28, 2010, 3:11 pm

Martha and Xavi, I am really glad you liked it, thanks for letting me know!

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