Personal brand development: A roadmap for professionals
Professionals, boutique brands, public figures, artisans and content creators. Your skills are unique – and your brand needs to reflect that. You are the CEO of your brand. If you don’t shape your authentic story for the world – your story will be defined for you by others. At Vantage, we love exploring your quirks to co-create an immersive brand that evokes strong emotions and makes your audience fall in love with you.
Whether you know it or not, you already have a personal brand.
According to the reports published by LinkedIn 93% of B2B marketers including personal brands and small businesses are using social media platforms for organic social marketing. The statistics clearly show that value-addition, confidence, authenticity and genuine interactions with your audience are the new holy grail for personal branding success both in the workplace and beyond.
With the right brand voice, you can ensure that your brand is relatable and authentic – and convey a message that resounds with your tribe. A powerful brand is about who we believe we are, who we want to be, and how others see us. In a competitive marketplace, maintaining a personal brand is a difficult task. People continuously judge you based on your digital persona!
This begs the question – how can you make audiences fall in love with your brand? Come with us to experience what goes into an immersive personal brand building exercise!
Brand Identity – Who are you?
Creating a personal brand identity is a process akin to defining the face of your brand. A brand is both an emotional and philosophical concept – while brand identity is the visual & tonal component of a brand that represents those larger ideas. Long before people consider your skills or services, they see the broad strokes of the value system you represent. People buy from brands they trust and are sure – the logo, color, typography, messaging, and brand packaging helps you convey your values. However, to make an impact, you have to tie all these elements together into a neat little package that holds meaning for your target audience.
Why should a professional require a brand identity? The answer is simple. Regardless of running your own business or working for someone else, your income increases up to 80% with personal branding.
Often clients come to us with a vague idea of how they want to build their personal brand. However, it is a process of education for us to share with them how their larger personal branding strategy needs to be in place before they decide to invest in vanity objects like fancy business cards or social accounts. You need to know who you are as a brand before you can let your voice shine and tell others about it! Building your brand character and voice comes as a result of figuring out one or more of the following elements.
- Your mission
- Your vision
- Company values
- Brand personality
- Brand message
Once you have figured these out, it is time to build the identity that will bring your brand to life and show who you are to the people who matter most – your customers.
When a new business owner or a professional looking to build a personal brand sets about designing a portfolio, they are full of ideas! What is missing is the branding experience and practical organization to use brand assets in a way that makes an impact on your
audience. See, not everyone needs every marketing gimmick under the sun. Being selective about your branding assets is important.
For example, if you are a creative professional, you may need an aesthetically pleasing website to showcase your work. On the other hand, if you are an accountant, you may want to focus on beefing up your LinkedIn profile and showing your expertise through blog posts.
While your message and approach are important, so is your visual identity. Here is a basic checklist we recommend you think about before considering outreach.
- Visual Brand Identity
- Voice, Tone & Messaging
- Logo, Stationery And Collaterals
- Brand Style Guidelines
- Integrated Brand Strategy
Why manage alone? As cultural translators and brand storytellers, we help people build a brand that evokes emotions. We guide you throughout your journey so you can tell your best story to the world. We can spruce up LinkedIn profiles, help you with your website and even triage content distribution. Contact us to know more about the personal branding services for small businesses.
Business Planning And Value Systems
A personal branding action plan should include your business values. Values should be at the core of every outreach activity for a simple reason. They are what your company stands for, your principles or philosophy, and your reason for being. Knowing your values allows a potential customer or client to relate to you at a deeper level, especially if they share some of the same values.
Brand values define what is important to you and guide choices across your entire business. Ethical brand values influence consumer buying decisions and can directly affect sales and profit margins because people are more likely to buy from a brand whose values are aligned with their own.
When planning to design your business values, you start by making a few statements about what matters to you – and what this means for your customers or shareholders. As personal brand developers, we often coach our clients to understand this – the message you send out into the world will be truly authentic and relatable when you sit down and take an honest look at what matters. Being able to identify your values, learn how these values drive your business and who could relate to these values allows you to craft an authentic, relatable message then. This is a skill too, just like logo design and blog writing!
Finding Your Customers
After you have designed your brand identity, it is time to reach out to your target audience and make them aware of your brand. Here are some ways to ‘enter’ a market with your new brand identity. While you may hear all types of advice on Instagram and the web, some tried and tested ways can help you build up a pipeline of work using your own personal brand.
Ask for Referrals
Referrals are one of the best ways to get new customers – but if you sit back and wait for your current customers to refer their friends, you could be waiting for a long time. Instead, take charge by implementing a system for soliciting referrals from satisfied customers. You want to build referral-generating activities into the sales process for best results.
Networking the Right Way
To position your brand in the market, focus on attending networking public events related to your industry and customers. Be sure to approach networking with the right attitude. ‘How can I help others?’ rather than ‘How much profit will I get out of this person?’. When thinking about how you can be of service, you will be able to connect better with customers. Another mistake many people make is attending every networking event under the sun and trying to meet everyone. You will burn yourself out if you do not curate the interactions you undertake. Be sure to attend events and meet people with shared interests to build meaningful connections.
Link Your Website
This is 2022. Consumers and B2B buyers alike find new businesses primarily by searching online. That means your website has to do some heavy lifting to attract new customers. Give your website a do-over if needed to ensure that the design, content, graphics, and SEO are up-to-date. If website development is not your vigorous brand pursuit, it is worth enlisting the services of a website design company or SEO expert to help. If you are looking for professional SEO and content development services, follow us on LinkedIn and never miss an update about personal branding strategies from Vantage.
Update Your Resume
If you need to be engaged with your audience repeatedly – an effective LinkedIn presence can help you stay on track.
Personal branding allows you to take charge of how other people perceive you. You get direct control and agency over your reputation. Most importantly, personal branding is a long-term exercise to build an authentic identity with which others can trust and interact.
Generate interest – gain new connections by publicizing your expertise within your industry. Being a thought leader is a great way to get noticed! Participating in industry panel discussions or online webinars, organizing workshops, speaking at industry events or to your target customers directly, or holding educational sessions or workshops will help you establish yourself as an authority in your industry.
Personal Brand Strategy
Developing a strategy is important because it sums up why you do what you do beyond making money. Building a brand strategy will help you articulate and communicate your core values. Here are some things you may want to consider when developing your business strategy.
- What is my current market positioning?
- How urgent is the need for what I am offering?
- What does my prospect, customer or potential employer want?
- Do I have what it takes to meet their needs?
- What can I offer that no one else is currently doing?
When we started out as a branding agency in Toronto, we got a lot of requests from professionals who wanted to update their LinkedIn profiles merely. This is a great way to build authority, make new connections, and get ahead in your professional sphere.
Digital Marketing Roadmap
A digital marketing roadmap allows you to coordinate efforts across different marketing channels to achieve your goals. In a world where the average attention span is 6 seconds, you need much more than a tasteful social profile to have true staying power with anyone you meet.
Conveying qualities such as value-addition, confidence, authenticity and genuinely interacting with your audience will be the new holy grail for personal branding success in the coming decade. Branding your business or professional presence is a powerful vehicle for success in social, professional, and public circles.
At Vantage, we help our customers develop a strategic personal brand. As a personal branding consultant, we do offer a variety of services to help you boost your presence in the public eye. However, we have a free resource on our homepage to help you self-assess your own personal brand. Check out our Brand Health Questionnaire and email us at email@example.com for a 15-minute discovery call. Our first call is free of cost.
Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Brand Development
Effective personal branding will differentiate you from the competition and allow you to build trust with prospective clients and employers. You never get a second chance to make a first impression—make it one that will set you apart, build trust and reflect who you are. Regardless of running your own business or working for someone else, your income increases up to 80% with personal branding.
Here are some of the key elements of a personal brand:-
– Package consistency
– Your story
– Value Proposition
Following are some tips to follow to build a powerful personal brand:-
– Craft your brand vision
– Define your business identity
– Who is your target audience?
– Develop a consistent message
– Be authentic
– Create a social media presence
– Develop a website
Building a personal brand comes down to the following principles:-
– Consistency– Start by defining your brand, products and services with the target audience.
– Frequency– Talk about your products and services frequently with the customers.
– Visibility– Establish your business on a social media platform and promote your brands on the platforms for better engagement.