5 Top Tips On Creating A Professional Brand
Although branding is normally associated with business and organisations you can use personal branding for whatever stage you are at in your career.
Personal branding is not just for freelancers or CEOs.
Personal branding is all about influencing how people think, and feel about you and your services.
How to Create Your Personal Brand
There three major components of your Personal Brand:
1. Personal Brand Vision
Your vision encompasses what you want to be known for, as well as what you actually do. (Careers have a habit of evolving!)
You can start to build your vision for your personal brand by listing your personal attributes.
These attributes can include your appearance, skills, qualities, strengths and weakness.
Secondly, create a list of keywords from this list. (This list can also include feedback from friends and colleagues.)
From this list of keywords, you will be able to identify core values. It’s advisable to narrow these down to three or four.
If you are an architect for example, your core values may include:
It’s also important to discover what makes you different from everyone else, what makes you unique.
This will help to differentiate your brand from your competitors.
2. Brand Voice
Your brand voice is all about your style of communicating.
For example, if you want to communicate authority and respectability as a financial advisor, your brand voice will be more formal than if you are an interior designer or personal trainer.
Getting crystal clear on your ideal client: who needs your services and can pay for them, will help you determine your brand voice.
Your ideal customers could also include bloggers, influencers, recruiters, and people in your local community who could influence your business or career success.
3. Brand Visuals
After you have identified your core values and your style of communication thinking about your brand colours and visual style sheet is the next step.
If you haven’t worked with visuals before you may find this element of personal branding a challenge.
It’s important to remember that you can always ask for help, and most people actually find this part of personal branding the most fun!
It doesn’t have to take weeks, or months, to create a style sheet for your personal brand.
For more on visual branding – check out my BLOG POST HERE.
However, if you find yourself getting stuck on this part you can always hire a consultant.
Different colours and fonts communicate a lot about your brand visually, and you want to ensure that your style sheets are aligned with your core values.
One way to start a brand mood board is to use Pinterest and extract the basic colours you want from your favourite photographs.
You simply use one colour as your favourite and then create a complimentary colour palette using free online software.
Once you have decided your colour palette you can design a logo in a software design program like CANVA or simply use your own name in a particular font.
This is the one spot in the personal branding process, the designing of your logo, where I hiring a designer really pays dividends.
They don’t have to cost the earth, and designers can be sourced online through platforms like Upwork and Freelancer.
This logo needs to be prominently displayed in all your communication channels including:
- Email Signature
- Social Media
Your personal logo and branding style sheets will also be part of your offline brand assets which might include business cards, stationery, and marketing brochures.
The most important point to note here is that your first attempts at Personal Branding need not be your last. Having a “perfectionist” block at this stage in the process will not be helpful for you at all.
Companies, and people rebrand all the time, so it is important to remember your first attempt does not necessarily need to be set in stone and yours for ever!
4. Communicate from your Personal Voice
Once you have clarified your personal voice you can implement a personal communication plan, for your preferred channels and social media platforms.
Linked In is a great platform for professionals worldwide, whatever your industry. There are multiple ways for you to connect and communicate with other professionals in your industry and you can upload not only your logo, and photo you can also upload video presentations and testimonials of your work.
Professional photos can also help, especially for your website and social media profiles. Here is one example below:
You may find your Ideal Customer prefers different channels and different styles of communication.
For example, podcasts are increasingly popular across most demographics, whilst video channels like You Tube are still most popular with younger age groups.
Your Ideal Client may not fit into any general trends however, so the clearer you are on where they “live” online the easier it will be for you to connect with them.
Whatever channels you choose, it’s helpful to remember the 3 C’s of branding:
We all live busy lives and it will take time for your message to not only reach but impact others on Social Media. This is where persistent branding is key.
5. You Are Your Personal Brand
As you are your brand, how you look and how you speak needs to reflect your core values.
Your wardrobe needs to be consistent with your visual style and, also be reflected in how you network.
The more you consistently act and speak in line with your core values and vision the bigger the impact of your personal brand will be.
A great personal brand will make it easier for you to communicate as it will be, in part, a reflection of your character.
It will also help you to build honest and relaxed relationships with your dream customers, people who you enjoy working with.
Using a strong personal brand also effectively weeds out the people who will never be a good fit for your personality and style and attract the ones who are a perfect fit for you.
It’s important to remember that your personal brand will develop and evolve as you do, and the only mistake possible is one of not defining it!
Enjoy the process!
To get your own personal branding kit for free just tell me where to send it!