“How do I create a personal brand for myself?”
I get this question all the time. And this one too, “How do I create a personal brand that garners respect and admiration?” These two are one and the same, and we both know why they’re important. Creating a monster personal brand will open you up to more, there’s no denying it. You get access to more things and when you garner a positive name for yourself. Doors just fly open to more money, more pleasurable experiences, and more cool people.
But it’s difficult to know where to start when you’re trying to grow your personal brand. You know deep down it’s imperative to start now, but there’s no clear path to get you to the cool stuff just yet. Here’s the thing, it’s a long road to create a monster brand. And if you want to be a monster, you’re going to have to think like a monster. I want to share with you my secrets on how I grew (and am still growing) my own monster personal brand.
There are a few things you’ll need before you get started. You’re going to need: time and energy. You can grow a personal brand without spending a dime, but you’re going to need to have a lot of patience and a lot of endurance. If these are things that don’t come easily to you, then I suggest you consider doing something else with your career. Regardless if it’s hard to deal with how long this process takes, or how much we’ll have to go through in order to be recognized, it’s your initiation right into becoming a magnetic monster brand.
Figure out what you want to do
For some, this takes far too long. For many, they will never figure this out.
But here you are. It’s a wonderful indicator.
To figure out what it is you want to do is by first looking at what you like to do. If you’re a multi-passionate person, you’re going to want to look all the things you like doing and that gives you joy. When you see how your joy will overlap with what you’re good at and what you can actually get paid for, you can start to see a common thread. If you’re very entrepreneurial, you an start to look at what the world actually needs more of that you can provide. When you start to look at problems like this, you can begin to create solutions that will help many more people out.
But you must ask yourself some very important questions. What are you trying to achieve? What are your goals? If you don’t know what these are, you must take some time to ponder about why you want to insert yourself into these places. It’s alright if you’re doing it for pleasure, but you will go further if you can attach more ways for your brand to be big.
But here’s another thing, you don’t need to make it official to start. It’s not as locked down like a company brand. You can reinvent yourself and pivot and continuously transform yourself as life allows. The moment you feel tied to something is probably the moment you stop creating a monster personal brand, and actually start digging your own grave.
Figure out how to do what you want to do
There’s always a simpler way to do something, and if you haven’t stumbled across it or created it for yourself, then you’re missing out on loads of free time. I always say, a business is just what keeps you busy, so make sure your time is spent doing what you like to do in the most easiest way to do it as possible. This will not only free up your time to focus on other things, but it will simplify and reduce the cost it takes for you to create the value you are looking to create.
As the next wave of the digital transformation will hit us, it’s best to stay ahead of it. You can do this by deconstructing your workflow and optimizing it so you can beat the robots to the punch and create some income along the way. Always remember that how well you do something is only dependent on how well you set up the systems to do that thing.
Something to remember is this: if you are trying to navigate your way to being perfect before you even actually do anything, you’re setting yourself up to get stuck. The most important thing to do in this stage is prototype and iterate with every step. More on this in a couple of steps.
Figure out who likes what you do
This one is also a tough one if you don’t know what you even like to do and if you haven’t figured out how to do what you want to do. But if you know what it is you’re doing, you’ll know how you want to help, and trust me, there are a lot of people who want your help.
Your audience-to-be are people who will be the first followers of you doing what it is you want to do. We are all first followers when we’re guided by our creativity and our inner knowing. If you’re doing what you like to do and you’ve figured out a way to do it, then you’re following your own creativity and inner knowing. This leads to people becoming attracted by it, but first they have to know what it is you are doing.
If you’ve figured out what you want to do and how to do it, mention this to people. Talk to them about what it is you’re doing and how you’re hoping to benefit people’s lives. It doesn’t necessarily have to benefit the person you’re talking to, but ask them if they know one other person that might be a good fit for what they’re providing. Don’t expect anything out of this and allow what will naturally come towards you. If you relax during this process and let it happen organically, you’ll become more assured in the way you’re presenting your value. This only leads to talking with the right people and eventually falling into the right projects.
Learn from your people, patrons, fans
When you’ve had the success of landing your first clients, patrons, or subscribers, this is where the magic starts to happen. Most times you will not have everything go completely perfectly, especially if you’re in a creative business. Take the time to be flexible with yourself and your clients. Learn from them how you can make each moment with them the highest it can be. You might have to get creative and innovate a new way of doing something that gives even more value.
We’ve all heard of the axiom, “leave the room brighter than when you entered it.” This is where it directly applies to growing your personal brand. But not everything will work to leave your people’s lives brighter. You have to allow room to learn and grow. If you ask people what they want, they most likely will tell you, but they won’t be able to tell you what they need. It’s your job if you want to create a monster personal brand to figure this out. It takes a bit of intuitive work because this isn’t rocket science, but it’s harder. If you don’t hit the mark, they will have no problem telling you what they don’t like, and you must take it with stride.
Give yourself time to figure it out. Know what makes something a 5-star experience to you and your people versus ones that are only 1-star. This step makes all the difference because you’re giving your official stamp of approval. What are all the things you’d want to give your stamp on? If you get into the act of doing this, you create higher value for everyone that comes into contact with you and then you can begin to really optimize everything you do and give that monster personal brand influence.
Curate your personal brand experiences
Since you’ve taken the time to experiment and learn from the people who are following you, it’s time you curate your personal brand experiences. Take a moment to assess all the ways people interact with you. Do they interact with you on digital, in person, or some combination of the two? Do those experiences match up? You must be willing to make sure these things align because the consistency this brings to your personal brand is everything. This is where the juiciness and value of brands starts to get made because as they show up consistently, they are living and breathing the value they provide.
Really take some time to see what connects with you and the value you provide. There’s got to be so many things that relate to what it is you do and how you want to do it. This showcases who you really are and it’s an invaluable thing. This is the basis of internal marketing for a one person show, but now you are showcasing it externally and representing yourself to the rest of the world.
Be mindful of what kind of a world that is and how large your market is. This means if you’re well known locally but not regionally, you’ll have to do some work to represent your people. Location matters when it comes to talking to people as you scale. It matters a great deal to who they are and what they do and how they see certain things. Your aesthetic and vibe might change overtime as you make it more tasteful, and that’s not a bad thing.
Map every step of the journey you help your audience with
Once you have a style and aesthetic that matches who you are and the value your provide, it’s time to look at the whole journey of how someone interacts with you. Do they get to know you through ads, social media, articles, videos, podcasts, landing pages, email, direct mail, text messaging? The list of channels is endless, but it’s yours to figure out in which ways to communicate.
Where are the people you want to talk to? Can you give value to them where they are? In what ways can you do that so that you gain their attention? Once you have their attention, do you have somewhere to direct them so they can interact with you even more? Do you have something to offer them that they weren’t expecting and is completely irresistible? Do you have the systems in place to deliver on what you promised?
The answers to these questions will lead you to understand the journey your audience is on and how you can help them down their journey. Since you know who they are and you solve a problem they have, now you can insert yourself in the middle offering them a relief to their pain. If you know what your 5-star curated experiences will be, you can input that into every touchpoint that your audience will trail down with you.
Maintain the course with systems to fall back on and start measuring
If you’ve been mapping out each step of the journey, it’s time to build the systems that you can always use to communicate with new audience members. To achieve growth in your personal brand you will want to keep doing the little things that adds up to the big things. These require understanding the basic systems of strategic communications you can control.
Knowing these systems will allow you to fall back on them time and again and not worry about whether your inbound lead generation strategy is working. And the way you do this is by measuring. Start by tracking the posts you put out. Next look at the impressions you get. Report the engagement you received. Count the followers and subscribers on your channels. Learn more about the traffic that lands on your webpage. Visualize the conversions that come from purchasing your value, etc.
Measuring these values will allow you to know where there are bottlenecks what you need to change to keep the flow of new leads coming in. If something doesn’t work, then it will show up in the numbers so that you can optimizing.
Think about what you don’t know
There will a come a time when you’ve worked so hard to get your systems set up in place and you will start to see growth in your personal brand like you never have seen before. But there will be times where you will notice that not much of what you do will change what your current system base is. It will seem like you’ve reached a ceiling of what’s possible. Don’t lose hope. This is a time where you take a moment to reflect on what you might not know.
The wisest person will know that what they don’t know that much And this doesn’t hinder you, it actually gives you the opportunity to get creative and reinvent yourself and your personal brand. The times we think we know everything can actually make us worse off since we’re exiting a place of vision and working from what we know. When things seem to get stale you can always rework something and resell it for something new and improved.
Don’t confuse what’s working at steady rate with something that might be going stale. What might have once been a star and has turned into a cash cow is not a bad thing. It just means you need to acknowledge that its vision is different and sell it as such.
Don’t lose sight of your personal brand dreams
Regardless of where you are on your journey, don’t ever lose sight of your vision. If you want it and believe you can achieve it, it can be yours with a lot of hard work. Personal brands are a dime a dozen, but if you work on making yours unique and different, you will get more opportunities. Personal brands create awareness and relevance for ourselves as well as making us distinct and remarkable.
But here’s the thing, you don’t need a personal brand to already have those things. They’re there inside of you whether or not you know it. And the fact that they’re there means you can tap into it at any time and turn that diamond inside into value outside.
Keep a strong image of your future, and reverse engineer what it will take to get there. But keep your vision wide and focused. You don’t want to have too much of a one-track mind where you don’t allow amazing opportunities to come to you. You never know what other monster personal brands are lurking in the shadows willing to help you grow your own with more value than you can imagine.