The Personal Branding Workbook
I’m trying new things like a new winged eye. I think it’s pretty terrible for my first winged eye. But who cares? I was having fun with it.
Now, here are the five elements of a personal brand.
1) You need to have a defined audience.
The first thing you should realize about a personal brand is that your personal brand is not about you.
At the end of the day, your personal brand has a whole lot more to do with the audience that you’re speaking to. When we are clear on who we’re speaking to, then everything else about our decision regarding our personal brand and what aspects to highlight about ourselves that will resonate with others will rise to the surface and it will become very clear. It’d be easy to pick out and become obvious to us what to focus on and what not to focus on.
This is really important. We need to be clear about who we’re speaking to. A great example of this is moms. If your audience is moms, they may not have time to read a whole blog. Therefore, if you are a good speaker, you’re going to want to lean into videos or podcasts, something they can listen to while they’re doing the dishes or have headphones in while they’re watching it and putting the baby to sleep.
Think about your audience. This is going to tell you what aspects of your personality and your strengths to highlight. Also, it’s going to be a resonant point; what’s resonating between you and your audience. It’s going to compel them to continue listening to you and your personality.
2) A unique value proposition.
Very fancy language. But really, what’s your special sauce? What’s your special spark? What’s your secret sauce?
It is the thing that sets you apart in a saturated industry.
And here’s the thing. If we lean into our personal strengths, no one can imitate us. We are the unique value proposition. That’s a really cool thing.
As a personal brand, we’re not really needing to differentiate a product in the market. We are utilizing ourselves to differentiate in the market and we have total permission.
Actually, it’s an asset to be your goofy, weird self and embrace those quirks that sometimes we’re not-so-confident about and lean into them.
On top of that, what is the problem that you’re solving? Are you solving it in a way that hasn’t been done before? Or maybe you’re solving it the same way, but with a twist.
Maybe you’re doing it in a fun way
Maybe you’re doing it quicker
Maybe speed isn’t as important
Maybe it’s quality that you’re looking at
What is unique about the way you’re solving someone’s pain point or problem and getting them to the benefits and solutions that they’re looking for?
3) Need to have a compelling personality and style (this is where we really get to lean into the personal side of personal branding).
This is where we get to have fun. We get to explore what it is that we like and what it is that we don’t like.
Again, we’re keeping our audience in mind.
What is also going to resonate with them?
What are they going to respond to?
Are they particular about a certain brand?
Are they loyal to a certain brand?
Is that something that you both value?
Lean into that. Maybe it’s an article of clothing. If you’re a beauty guru, is that a makeup brand? Is it hair products? Is it Warby Parker’s that you’re all about? Cause I’ve got some Warby’s.
Figure out what those common denominators are and stand on them. Have fun with this. Use your personality, humor, dry wit, whatever it is that you have.
Lean into it here and then start to capture that – visually start to pull it together.
The very first thing that someone asked me, “What I should do to put my personality and my personal brand out there is a great headshot, right?”
The best way to start developing a personal brand is to figure out how this is best represented on the outside. Whatever’s inside, how do I best represent that on the outside – my values and things – and represent that physically?
With clothing or hairstyle or makeup or how you articulate your words.
You can’t really see that in a picture, but maybe it’s a video. A headshot or a talking head video, introducing yourself. That is a really, really good way to get yourself started. Creating your visuals for your personal brand. You can also develop clarity around your values and your goals.
Maybe your goal is not necessarily to make buku amounts of money. Maybe your goal is to make an impact. Get clear about that and that’s going to shine through in your personality.
The more you get clear on your values, it also helps you to repel those who are not your people and attract those who are. This is really important because we can’t be everybody’s cup of tea. Some people like it black, some people like it green, some people like it sweet.
We have to figure out:
what we’re for
what we’re against
what we’re about
what we’re not
what’s off limits about talking about
There are some people who are much more open in the online space about their personal life and that’s totally fine. That is the decision that they’ve made. There are also families who have said, I’m not going to post any pictures of my little ones and that is a line that I don’t want to cross.
Figure out what is feeling good to you, and what does not feel good to you to present to the world and the online space.This is not hiding anything. This is called boundaries. We should all have them in our lives and our offline relationships. To have them online totally makes sense and you have permission to do that.
I needed to hear that when I was first coming into the online space. Basically, I didn’t know how much to share. Naturally, I’m not an over-sharer. But it was something that I felt compelled, like I had to share all of my stuff if I was going to be a personal brand. Then I found out that there was a way to be vulnerable, to be transparent in the online space that wasn’t icky or oversharing or felt like I was airing dirty laundry.
I think we’ve all seen people who’ve done it, we’re like, Oh, that doesn’t resonate with me.
I haven’t gotten to number four yet. I’m still number three, two, one. Number three is compelling personality and style. Number two, again, is unique value proposition. And number one is a defined audience.
4) A compelling message, compelling brand message.
Oftentimes, this gets tied up in a neat little box with a bow on top. We call it a tagline. If it is for product, it’s also called a slogan.
You can have one overarching tagline or a jingle or whatever it is that you want it to be. Then, for individual products, you have a slogan for those different products.
Seth Godin has one to just go make something happen. That’s his thing.
See if you can name this slug, and this one’s really easy. This is a giveaway. Just do it. Everybody knows whose tagline that is. Just do it. Another one is finger licking good. We all have heard that. It makes us hungry. It makes us think about going to KFC. Then he keeps going and going and going, going right at the Energizer bunny. Very recognizable taglines, all having to do with a product or company that it represents.
It’s very compelling. It’s very catchy. It’s very recognizable. What’s really important for us is to figure out in a personal brand way to communicate very quickly who we’re serving, what problem we’re solving, and the benefit that we’re bringing to them.
I help online entrepreneurs create captivating brands so they can convert clients. Make sure it’s compelling.
Make sure that it’s clear. It’s OK to play around with this. It’s going to take you a minute to dial this in.
If you’re not really sure what’s landing, try something for 90 days and see how it lands. If it’s not landing well with people or just feels jumbly in your mouth, try something different for the next 90 days. This is something that kind of takes some evolving in the beginning.
For other people it’s very clear and you can just run with it. You have permission to change this. It does take a minute to dial it in for some people. Don’t feel like it has to be the first thing that you come up with.
5) Clean and consistent visuals (I’m going to tell you, don’t start here, though everybody wants to).
This is where you might end up commissioning a professionally designed logo or working with someone to help you decide on a fixed color palette. These are your brand colors that you utilize across all your platforms so that you have that consistency. Then brand fonts, I highly recommend starting with one or two and focusing on your products and being visible and just marketing and not getting too fancy in the beginning, especially if you’re not clear about your audience.
If you’re not super clear about your product or your offering, keep it incredibly simple so that it at a minimum is consistent and clean across all of the platforms. We don’t want to overdo this and make it over complicated and say, ah, this doesn’t actually appeal to my market and I’ve got to change everything around.
Brand visuals should be the last thing that we do. It’s built off of and informed by the defined audience, the unique value proposition, the compelling personality that you want to stand on, and your brand message.
Those are the five elements of a personal brand.
I’d love to hear from you guys, which is one that you feel like is something that you’re working on right now or which one is the one that needs the most work? Because these change, these vary.
As we grow and shift and pivot in our business and say, “Eh that didn’t work” or, “Hey, this is working really well. I should lean more into that,” some of this shifts and tweaks.
Let me know what you guys are thinking – are you needing to work on redefining your audience?
Are you needing to figure out how to stand out more in your saturated industry?
That’s a real thing that we’re all struggling with. Also called your unique value proposition, but how do you stand out?
Are you clear on what aspects of your personality that you want to highlight or that you want to lean into as far as resonance is concerned or your values that you have in common with your audience?
This is a work in process and it is something that should be revisited once in a while, not too frequently.
You should focus on the visibility part and connecting with people. But if these elements of this foundation isn’t here, the rest of the business won’t stand very well.
This is really important to make sure you’re dialed into or you’re at least in tune enough with knowing when something is off with your brand.
You could spend a good amount of time on defining the audience. I mean, within large companies, there’s a whole department dedicated to the defined audience.
Tackle it one at a time.
I want to see below if you are trying to launch your personal brand or you’re already getting ready to launch your product, which of these things sounds like something, an area where you’re going to need to lean into a little bit more strongly. I would love to provide support for you around that.
If you want to drop it into the comments, feel free to do that and I will be happy to point you in the right direction and get you some momentum in some of those areas.
That’s it for today. I hope that you guys found this really helpful and clarifying for you as you guys continue to build your personal brands. It is always a work in progress.