Do you have a personal brand strategy in place for your personal brand? As the primary marketer for your business, you are responsible for showing up consistently. However, does your story produce the results you want regularly? Are you emotionally connecting to your audience?
A solid brand strategy allows you to always share the right message to your followers that work. Whether you're a corporate leader or an entrepreneur, people are interested in your story as much as what you're selling. Your network wants to know who you are behind the scenes. This is how they evaluate if you're worth hiring.
Creating a strategy is knowing the story of your brand. The goal is to create a blueprint that emotionally connects you to your potential clients. Do you know what your audience should be thinking about you? Knowing this feeling is key to making your personal brand strategy effective.
Below are five ways to start creating a strategy that resonates with your ideal client.
Define the values your brand stands behind.
A brand is not just a face or a logo. It is the experience their customers have when doing business with their company. This includes the benefits they claim to deliver and the promises they make and keep. The meaning behind the brand becomes subjective and unconscious, but outwardly, it is the "voice" of that brand that shines through.
With a personal brand, it may be one's face that becomes the symbol for that brand. My favorite example is Oprah Winfrey. You don't even need to see her face and yet you're envisioning it right now. Her image has become the essence of her brand. In an instant, you know what experience you'll have when you interact with it. A brand's persona is strengthened by the values they hold.
To begin, you must define and know what your brand stands for. If you don't, then your audience will define it for you. Take the time to know what values you stand behind and sync them with the values your clients will appreciate in you.
Create a detailed client/audience profile.
Knowing your audience is a huge step in brand development. Besides the general demographics, refining all of their unique needs, characteristics, and values is so important for making your strategy work. The more detail you know, the more likely your brand "voice" will talk directly to them.
Generate a profile of one person or a company, that is highly detailed and comprehensive. One way you can do this is to identify the best traits and characteristics of clients you have already worked with. Itemize not only their level of education and their income, but what their goals are, habits, where they hang out, and most importantly, what frustrates them the most. Knowing their emotional pain is key to your messaging. This allows you to highlight the solutions they desire the most in your marketing copy.
I have taken the extra step to help some of my clients with this process by creating a Client Profile Template. If you need additional help, you can download it free HERE.
Your uniqueness is what positions your brand.
If you've ever searched for a company or product to hire then you've noticed that each one is unique. State Farm Insurance is a great neighbor and has your back. Geico saves you money and is funny. Being seen as different means you must discover the characteristics that set you apart from your competition by creating your own Brand Persona.
Begin by researching your competitors. Find as many businesses that do what you do to understand how you'll be different. Caution! Don't be tempted to similarly, not exactly, copy what they are doing. A brilliant brand is authentic. Your brand showcases how you show up for your customers in a genuine way.
Having a distinctive brand persona is developed with having a deep understanding of yourself. This step requires asking your clients, professional associates, and personal social circles what they find unique about you. What is the first thing they notice about you when you walk into a room? Why did they hire you? What are your strengths? Lastly, your goals matter. Explore what you want to be known for.
Write out what you promise to deliver.
Now that you have created a brand persona you should have a list of key values and characteristics that position your brand. Defining your brand promise summarizes, not only what you stand for, but also shares the experience you'll give your customers. If you can deliver on your brand promise consistently, the stronger your brand value gets with new and potential customers. Make sure you know you can deliver on that promise.
A brand promise can also become the tagline used consistently in messaging. However, it doesn't have to be. Nike, for example, uses the tagline "Just Do It" but their brand promise is stated elsewhere.
Showcase the essence of your brand.
Grabbing people's attention is Critical! Graphics and photographs are an effective way to get you noticed in an instant. Imagery is also emotional. People are going to see the images and feel something before they even read your message. The goal is to communicate your message instantly.
Now that you've gone through the steps above it's much easier to create the visual brand. Values, characteristics, and your brand promise can all be illustrated in some way.
• Create an Online Presence:
If you're a business owner, a website is a necessary tool to show potential clients that you are a legitimate business. A website is your storefront where most people who visit convert into clients. In my opinion, this is a mandatory step to being a business owner. Dress your website with the right copy that shares your value and how you serve your audience, and then illustrate it with great imagery.
• Invest in high-quality graphics and photographs:
Portraits of your brand and your business are going to communicate to your audience your level of professionalism. A headshot will show what you look like as well as your essence. Product photography showcases your products. Editorial photography demonstrates how you work with clients and what it might feel like to work with you.
The precise editorial will communicate the right message quite rapidly. My client, Angel Cottrell, with Apollo Consulting Group, is a business coach whose primary value is Success. Her tagline is "Aim, Commit, Grow - To experience significant change, you must be willing to change significantly." Because strategy is a big part of helping businesses go from destruction to progress we needed to communicate the seriousness of the Aim part. So, we captured her aiming a bow and arrow directly into the camera. This photograph, along with her tagline, is a pretty powerful message to anyone whose business is growing too fast and feels like they're sinking.
• Tell your brand story socially or with content marketing.
If you're doing social media, know where your ideal audience hangs out. Brand storytelling is an excellent way to develop brand awareness and outreach. Creating posts about your products and services, special offers, as well as your brand value and who you are as a person is desirable. In this case, you're being real. Consumers are finding it harder to trust brands they are unfamiliar with. However, they trust people. The people they trust are the ones that get hired.
Writing blogs, podcasts, email marketing, and even YouTube is another great way to share bits of content relevant to a specific audience.
• Be consistent to make your strategy work.
Once you have created your brand strategy and are implementing it, be consistent. Verify in advance, that the logo, tagline, and color scheme, are coherent on your website and all other profiles. In addition, your graphics and photography should be consistent throughout all platforms as well.
Your face is a consistent brand for those who use social media regularly. Showcasing yourself in multiple situations and scenarios is fine to keep things fresh. The average Instagram influencer with 1K-250K followers posts 14 or 20 times per week.
Finally, when you are persistent with your message, your brand voice becomes second nature. Not only on the internet but anywhere you are in person is an opportunity to share your brand voice. Make it awesome!
If you'd like help to strategize your brand or would like to schedule your own brand photoshoot, give us a call at (805) 440-3655 or CONTACT US.
We also offer a complimentary Brand Strategy Session to help you on your path to creating a brilliant brand.