Personal branding is your way to show the world who you are, what you know, and what you stand for. You use it to communicate all you bring to the table so ideal clients will buy from you and perfect opportunities come to you.
A lot of people start on the outside when working on their personal brands: they get a new headshot, buy new business cards, get their websites redesigned.
Personal Branding: Where To Start
The place to start for personal branding is not on the outside. It’s INSIDE, and giving yourself a bit of time to go within will help you develop a personal brand that is compelling, clear, and attractive to your ideal clients, prospects, employers, referral partners and other opportunities. It will also help you feel more confident because you’ll be showcasing your strengths and Deep Genius™.
Being self-aware is the first step to both developing your personal brand and really owning it. The more you understand yourself and what makes you tick, the better you can understand your personal branding and bring it to the forefront to build your business, grow trust, and advance your career.
The place to start is to look at who you are and what drives you. These four questions guide you through the basics and give you solid place to launch your personal branding from. After you reach clarity on these four points, you’ll have a starting point to create your message, visual brand and more.
1. What Are Your Values?
Your values are the beliefs you operate under and are a big factor for your personal branding. They guide your decisions by determining what matters most to you. Think about situations, behaviors, or trends that drive you crazy and make you angry. There’s a good chance these irk you because they trample over your values. Your dislike of trolls on social media flies in the face of your value of RESPECT. Seeing people hoodwink others steps on your value of HONESTY.
Think about your values and identify your top 5-10. Observe yourself and how you see these values showing up in your life and work. Because your personal branding reflects who you are, it will reflect your values whether you’re consciously doing that or not. Be sure you are highlighting the values you stand for, not someone else’s.
Here are a few to get you started: integrity, honesty, advocacy, beauty, luxury, elegance, freedom, individualism, self-determination, community, togetherness, service, education, creativity, artistry, fairness, justice, equality, religion, spirituality, order, neatness, simplicity.
2. What’s Your Big Why?
Personal branding is an expression to state what drives you. What’s the big reason fueling you in life? What’s your purpose? What’s your mission?
Are you here to bring peace, love, and understanding? Are you here to poke holes through paradigms and get people to look at the world differently? Will you be the first to do or be something? What is your dream? Where do you feel called to serve?
When you find your Big Why, work no longer feels like work. It’s your passion. Time collapses and bends when you’re immersed in your Big Why, and even working long hours can feel like five minutes because you’re so inspired and motivated.
When you recognize your WHY and how it works in your life, you can highlight it as part of what makes you unique… ie, your personal brand.
3. What’s Your Deep Genius™ ?
The dictionary defines genius as “exceptional intellectual or creative power or natural ability”. Combining that with your learned skills and strengths gained through life experience, you have your Deep Genius™. It’s a key differentiation in the way I approach personal branding with my clients. It’s your unique imprint on the world, the invisible force inside you that drives innovation and potential. It’s your secret stamp.
Think of the things that come easily and effortlessly to you. These are your natural strengths- the things that make up your genius. You may have a natural gift with people, children, animals, difficult situations, mathematical problems, logistical challenges, spatial relationships, making money, business, selling, marketing, language… the possibilities are endless. Look at your own skills and spot the things that come second nature to you. That’s the first step of finding your Deep Genius™.
4. Why Does It All Matter?
You’re here to make an impact. You stand for something. You have a voice. Why does that matter?
A key part of your personal brand is knowing what you’re an advocate for. An advocate is here to stand up and be the voice that’s heard.
You can be an advocate for kindness, and that shows up in your work around customer service, working with the elderly or in the field of diversity and inclusion. You can be an advocate for financial freedom and teach people ways to make their money work for them. You can be an advocate for longevity and work in the area of health and wellness. No matter what you do or who you work for, you are an advocate for something. Look at your values and your Big Why and you’ll see the clues there. Knowing this gives depth to your personal brand and lets you speak passionately about what you do.
By answering these four questions, you now have the basis for your personal brand. From this point, you’ll build out by aligning this with your precise skills, competency, personality, and expertise. You’ll feel more clear when creating visual branding such as a website, logo, or photos.
Starting from the inside is the strongest way to land on your true, unique personal brand. By taking a few moments to look at who you really are, you’ll find that your personal branding is nothing more than you stating the truth of who you are, proudly and confidently.
Ready to Uncover Your Deep Genius™ Personal Brand?
The fastest results happen when you have a dedicated professional guiding you every step of the way. That’s what I do and it’s my Deep Genius™. Working together, we discover hidden assets that help you make more money, advance your career, get known in your industry and make a bigger impact.