Your Go-To Guide for Building Your Personal Brand

Written by Maura

On June 2, 2020

Did you know that Team Edgar hosts daily Facebook Lives? Join us daily as we chat about social media, marketing, business, and entrepreneurship. Here’s a recent Edgar Live all about building your personal brand.

It’s 2020 and if you don’t have a personal brand yet, no matter if you’re working within a business, or if you have your own business, it’s going to be hard to stick out and to succeed. Even if you don’t own a business, you still need to establish a really strong personal brand that can help your career grow, within the industry that you’re working in.

Personal brands are all about connecting your personality with potential customers and clients, which is what’s going to help build your business or build your role within a business. It’s about the relationships that you have. And it’s all about making sure that the natural gifts that are inside of you are shared in a really unique way. When it comes down to it, there is enough space for everyone to succeed, even with similar business models and this is all because we have different personalities. And that’s about our personal brand.

Think about people like Marie Forleo versus Tony Robbins versus Rachel Hollis versus Oprah. They all do a lot of motivational speaking and vulnerability coaching and have a lot of the same offers, but their own unique spin on these things attract a different clientele to each of them. So there’s enough space in this world for them all to exist. That is because of personal branding. Now, if they all did the exact same thing, it would be a little bit harder in order to have a really strong business for them. But because they have really put a unique spin on how they are going to get that content across, they’re able to find their niche and they’re able to all excel within the same industry.

Create Your USP

That is the power of a personal brand and that is the power of connecting your personal brand either with your job role or with your business and your industry. So what is it all about? It is about aligning your personality traits to your actual job role or your brand. When you’re first starting out making a personal brand, I recommend thinking about what we call your USP, your unique selling proposition.

And this can be done by using this sentence that I’ll lay out for you right here.

I help [insert your target audience] to achieve [insert a sentence about what you’re going to help them achieve] so that [insert the outcome].

Write that down, even if it’s just the role that you’re playing within your business, or if it’s the role that you’re playing when you’re starting a business. Step number one to developing your personal brand is having this unique selling proposition aligned with your personality traits.

The first part of that sentence is all about making sure you’ve developed an audience persona who will resonate with your brand personality, then you need to think about how you resonate with them. How are you like them? Why do you understand their struggles and triumphs?

Once you have this developed, I want you to dig deep into developing a personal brand and going a little deep into your own personality.

Ask yourself: What do you geek out on in real life? What gets you excited? Those things all go into your personal brand, and don’t be afraid to share some of those softer things as well. People like Pat Flynn share a lot about loving Back to the Future. And whenever people see something about Back to the Future, they tag him in posts on social media, because he shares that side of his personality with his followers. Even though he’s a business coach and a podcasting coach, it’s this other side, the more personal and softer side,that are the sticky points of his personal brand and help him stand out and be memorable.

So what do you geek out on, what makes you memorable and how can you make sure that aligns with your personal brand that way? What kind of skills do you have? What kind of core values do you personally have? Establishing these is important to developing a strong personal brand in the business world, especially these days when passion is poured into a business more than anything. We want that more humanized communication, rather than businessy jargony words, having this established ahead of time about what key messages you really want to communicate in your personal style, are really important. So be conversational and use what you geek out on in real life as a part of your personal brand and it’s going to come across much more aligned and much more authentic.

Tell Your Story

One of the places that I really want you to start out on, especially if you own your own business, is creating a really strong about page. Take this example from our own website, MeetEdgar, with the story from Laura, our founder. On our About page, Laura shares her personal journey to becoming a business owner and CEO of a software company. It’s about her unique selling proposition and the fact that she didn’t start as a software owner and her journey to get there.  Stories are what sell your personal brand. We always like to say, facts tell, stories sell. 

personal brand about page

 

Think about people like Michael Jordan. He has a really strong story behind him. He got cut from his JV basketball team. He did not have an easy road to success, but he tried and he tried again, and he eventually became one of the best basketball players of all time. People stinking love his brand, right? They love the Michael Jordan brand. Why? Because we relate to that story, we’re inspired by that story. Think about the ways that even some of your past successes and failures and struggles, all weave into your personal story and tell those because that’s what humanizes you and that’s what makes people resonate so much more.

It is a hundred percent okay to come across as a real person to your followers. Think about the stories that you can tell and the emotions that you can invoke in your personal brand and it’s going to make people remember you as a human and want to do business with an actual human being, especially online.

One easy way to do this? Share a selfie! Studies have shown that a selfie is one of the best ways to bond with people because it’s an intimate photo. If you’ve never tried the strategy of sharing a selfie, even within your business accounts on social media, please try it and go ahead and say hi to your followers, tell your origin story and tell that sort of hero’s journey about why you created this, specifically for them and the outcome that you’re hoping it provides to them. Make sure when you’re telling these stories that it aligns with your personality because people can smell phony on the internet these days.

This makes working with partners much easier when you’re really aligned with your personal brand. For example, if you want to be someone who is going to get out there and write a travel blog, you need to make sure that the other brands that you’re aligning with or the other things that you’re actually speaking about have to always do with travel and your unique perspective on it, because there are a million travel blogs out there. So when someone is actually searching for travel advice, why are they going to choose yours over someone else’s? Because they relate to a story that you’ve told on that blog or anything else that you’re actually promoting on that blog, all is aligning with their lifestyle as well.

This is all about niching down and being an expert in one subject area. You’re not trying to please everyone, but trying to please those people who need it the most, who are going to recognize that they are the niche you are speaking to. From there, once you develop a really strong following, you could branch out a little bit, but if you don’t have a really strong community, it’s probably because you haven’t niched enough and you’re not speaking to that one person. So look into that first and foremost, within that USP proposition sentence that we were speaking about before. It makes selling so much easier on social media as well, if you do have this unique selling proposition sentence written out.

Remember: Selling is a Service

You remember when as a kid, you’d start a lemonade stand and you were so excited to sell your lemonade to every passer-by? You didn’t have any sort of doubt about why you should sell it. You weren’t afraid to scream with your personality out there that you’re selling it for 25 cents and you made it yourself and how proud you were of this.

Let’s get back to that vibe of saying your personality and why you’re doing this, that it’s okay to shout it out and be excited to sell it. People are actually attracted to the excitement in that way. If you’ve created a strong and aligned brand, it does not come across salesy at all, because you’re having a conversation with people saying, “Hey, this is what I have to offer. This is my unique spin on things and this is why I think it would be great for you.”

If the person says yes or no to your offer, don’t take it personally because it’s just them opting into the fact that they want to solve a pain point in their life or that they don’t. It has nothing to do with you. If you’ve done the work of actually knowing that you’re putting out a quality piece of content or a quality service or product, selling it becomes such a pleasure because you’re excited to help solve people’s problem, just like that little girl at the lemonade stand, helping to solve people’s thirst and quench their thirst during a hot day.

Don’t be afraid to excitedly, with your personality, shout it from the rooftops to get your personal brand out there in 2020, and know that you’re going to have to have patience. Every industry is a little crowded online these days and that’s another reason your personal brand can help you stand out and help you build momentum. Because the more word of mouth that you get with friends telling their friends about how they, “Oh my gosh, you need to go and check out this brand because it aligns with X, Y, Z in your life so much,” that word of mouth marketing creates trust faster than anything online can.

If one of your friends tells you about something, you’re going to trust it much more than if you randomly find it online, because you have that friend to friend connection, right? It’s important to build relationships and create relationships and conversational content. There are share buttons on social media for a reason, right? It’s so that people who resonate with your content can share it out to their own community. That share button is almost like social media’s way of word of mouth marketing.

And if you’ve done your personal branding in a way that you know exactly what your ideal audience is going to connect with emotionally, it makes it easy to create content for them. If you’ve ever been someone who sat down and said, I don’t know what content to create, it’s likely what you’re actually saying is, “I don’t know my target audience well enough to know what they need to hear right now.”

Map out your target audience‘s day down to the hour. What are they doing when they wake up? When they eat lunch? After work? Know what they’re doing throughout the day and what type of content is going to serve them when they show up at each of these spaces, then schedule it to go out on social media so that you’re meeting people where they are and you’re having that really great connection because your goal needs to be relationships and connection. It needs to be to build a company and a community rather than to build money. That’s not going to inspire anyone to want to be a part of your personal brand.

If they can see that you’re being salesy to get money, they’ll much more want to be a part of your community if you’re building a really strong place where like-minded people can hang out and talk about things that resonate with them. If you want to create a personal brand, it’s ok to start small and grow slow.

Do the work of asking yourself these questions about what you want to be known for, if you could be an expert in anything that you wanted, what would it be? Use what you geek out on in real life, ask your friends and family, what they’ve learned from you. Are people coming to you to actually get specific questions answered a lot? Use that as a way to acknowledge to yourself where you’re the expert. Use that confidence to keep on going and build up that personal brand.

What’s your unique selling proposition? Let us know on social media @MeetEdgar. Remember to follow the format:

I help [insert your target audience] to achieve [insert a sentence about what you’re going to help them achieve] so that [insert the outcome].

So sit down, write it out, take some time to do it and get excited about using that and using that as a lens through every single piece of content you put out there to get your community really recognizing your brand, no matter where you show up and get your community excited to shout from the rooftops about how excited they are to be working with you.

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