Your own Personal Brand can benefit you in ways that you could never imagine. In fact, it gives others an unfair advantage because you are seen and heard across many mediums such as the mainstream media, social media, keynotes and so on. You will receive higher fees and most importantly it creates a higher trust level thanks to the market momentum.
Let’s break down the benefits in further detail so you can grasp the power of investing in your Personal Brand.
The Obvious Benefit – Higher fees are received.
Public speakers such as Gary Vaynerchuk will conduct a 45-minute public broadcast and receive in excess of $25,000+ in speaking fees vs. many other brilliant public speakers receive $2500.
Artists that have a Personal Brand will pull in many times more of a rate than an artist or photographer with no brand. For example, Peter Lynch sells his work for tens of thousands of dollars. Some of his work has been purchased by former President Clinton and also Bono, a famous music star, for $100,000.
Personal Brands such as Beyonce, Madonna, and Kanye West are offered staggering amounts per each show they perform, around $300,000 or higher.
Tony Robbins, a beloved financial speaker has audiences that will each pay thousands of dollars for the right to sit in on one of his lectures. He is not alone in his standing.
Personal Brands receive more public attention than those who are not branded, and the ones who are not branded are very critical when it comes to a fan base that continues to grow, organically and exponentially.
Personal Branding = Credibility
Your Personal Brand continues to grow due to a combination of reasons. It could be through advertising, word of mouth and or social media. The credibility is built by those who continue to recommend your brand. With widespread word of mouth comes popularity and referrals, which ultimately means you will be able to demand a higher price while also saving money on marketing expenses. When a Personal Brand is being quoted in the media, it increases the credibility of your brand and gives it another route of exposure. Also, when being quoted in the media it builds your status as an expert, which also means a high level of trust.
Dr. Oz, for example, has an incredibly high level of trust and level of credibility. His words can alter a whole industry when he points out his concerns over health with a food product or an item seen advertised. An example of this is when Dr. Oz pointed out the levels of arsenic in certain apple juices. After his statements were made public, some colleagues came forward to agree with him. However, many did not agree. The public was swayed and sided with Dr.Oz.
Even some musicians such as Justin Bieber started building a large following using YouTube to showcase his talent before talent manager Scooter Braun discovered his YouTube videos covering songs and was then signed to RBMG Records in 2008. Due to that following of fans, he was able to gain momentum that lead to bigger contracts and endorsements.
YouTube videos created by Mike Chang, a fitness guru, have allowed him to amass a huge fan base online. His fitness videos have been viewed over three billion times and he has a following of over three million people. Oftentimes it is a struggle to gain that first one million, but when that happens, all momentum kicks in at a faster pace. That million number gives legitimacy to the brand, and more people tune in to watch the videos when they see that high of a number.
I want to recap quickly here, brands are different because they can command higher fees, are referred to more often and are quoted more often in the media. They have a high level of trust with their endorsements and can enjoy the market momentum they find themselves in.
Now, the question is: How did they get here? How do they enjoy such a privileged position? What is the magic they used?
Let’s deal with a different question. Is their success due to accident or was it by design? There are some who happen to just fall into notoriety, however, there is a big difference in being popular and being a brand.
Let’s say that someone puts a video on YouTube and it goes viral. They have interviews for the media and this garners them some more attention. Will this burst of popularity help them in the long term?
Branding is done by a well thought out idea and by design. It must be strategic and deliberate. It’s not by chance.
- You do not pick a brand by accident.
- You do not create a well known or popular message by accident.
- You do not advertise on every form of media by accident.
- You do not live your brand values all by accident.
Again, branding is done by design. How did these Personal Brands become popular brands?
Mike Chang’s video on YouTube received over three billion views, followed by three million followers. When people see that ‘million’, it gives legitimacy and more people start following because of that word.
A brand is different not only because they receive higher fees and are referred to more often, but also because they tell a story, they are able to connect with the audience across every communication touchpoint – From their branding colour and image palette, their BIO, their choice of language, logo, product names; it all tells a story and touches different people in different ways. They tell a compelling, consistent and unique story that continues to grow.
So what is the story? Their story is what changes the game for them. They started out on the principle of their personal values. They were not afraid to tell the world what they stand for or show what is important to them.
Lady Gaga demonstrates her beliefs about openness, tolerance and creative expression through her music. Millions of her fans resonate with her values. Lady Gaga has not and will not change her values for anyone, and neither should you.
My job now is to help you figure out how to tell your story, so you can climb to the top of your game.
In this article, I will take you step by step to help you tell your story. Together, we will discover what your driving values are and develop a brand promise. Among other things, we will create your brand identity.
Let me reiterate, this article is based on actual practical work that is done in the field. This means direct work, not just ancillary work.
I am speaking of the work I do with many experts across all industries.
So what will happen when you finish reading this article? Will you become a popular brand? I don’t think so. That is because building your brand takes time and massive commitment and it will not happen just because you finish reading this article, nor will it happen overnight.
However, through some activities, we will establish your expertise and be able to make you articulate your brand position so you are ready to position yourself in the media or social media as an authority in just a few weeks. This all depends on the effort you put into it.
Recently, I was able to assist a client command top dollar for her specialisation in the enterprise corporate sector in just a six week period because she was able to articulate her brand position and the problem she could solve with absolute clarity and confidence.
Again, I don’t know if you will see the same results. It will depend on how much you learn, how good you become at what you are doing and mostly, the effort that you put into investing in your brand.
What I do know for sure, is that my approach works. There is no question there. I will be teaching you the same methods that I have used to help build my clients into Personal Brands.
The next logical question you should have, “Is she a good teacher?” That is highly important if you are reading this article. Well, let me just say that you are taking advantage of my 32,000+ hours of expertise building people into Personal Brands in the corporate world and building tech businesses into 7 and 8 figure businesses.
I believe in the results from my personal experiences and those that I have helped.
The point I am making is that this is real. Actual working methods, but I don’t want you to take my word for it. I want you to read what previous clients have stated about my teaching on the testimonials page.
So, enough said about that. It is time for you to start your own climb now.
Why Are We Attracted To Some Personal Brands and Not Others?
What makes us interested in some brands, but not the others? Why does it seem that a person who shows questionable behaviour can be one who attracts so much attention? What makes us follow certain celebrities and not others? Why do we become screaming fans? What makes us cheer those who stand for certain beliefs even if it goes against ours?
- Is there an invisible magnetic force that draws us to certain people?
- Why are millions of people following and attracted to Lady Gaga?
- What makes Tim Ferris so interesting?
- What explains the exponential growth in podcasts?
- What attracts us to the likes of Gary Vaynerchuk and others like him?
In this portion, you will learn how to communicate through actions in a way that automatically draws the right people to you.
Let’s rock and roll!
First, I want you to get a notepad and pen, before you continue reading this article.
Now, I want you to think of someone you truly admire, alive or dead. They can be from any time period, any walk of life; politics, religions, sports, business or even education. Stop reading for a moment and think about this person that has influenced you.
What have or had they done that drew you to them? Were there specific actions? Did they lead some movement as Martin Luther King Jr. did? Did they feed the sick, poor or dying as Mother Teresa did? Were they objective conscientiously like Mohammed Ali? Did they become a famous athlete after surviving some horrendous illness or injury?
Or, did they create a highly successful business after being terminated from a corporate position? Did they stage a protest where they risked their life? Was it their determination that led them to continue after many failures?
What drew you to this person? Think about that and write down in your notepad why you are influenced by this person.
As you study and concentrate on this person (you admire), you will see that it’s their personal values ‘in action’ that you mostly resonate with.
For example, Dr. King was about equal rights. It was obvious by his actions that he was willing to die for what he believed in. There were hundreds of thousands that were willing to stand with him also. They were also attracted to his values and his resolve.
Steve Jobs built a popular brand based on the core value of being different by challenging the status quo.
Values Are All About What You Do, NOT What You Say.
So why are your values so important? When you are building a brand, remembers you will be a stranger to those you come into contact with. The bigger you become, the more strangers will begin to come into your life and will judge you by your actions. Therefore, expressing your values across all your communication touch points is fundamental to making your believable, likeable and trustable.
Be Transparent About Who You Are Now
The only way to answer this is through your actions, your values will tell them who you are. That will tell them if they can trust you based on consistent actions. Your personal values are like doorways, they tell you which to open and which should remain closed. This also pertains to clients, fans and customers. Your actions, aka known as your values, allows them to decided if they want to be in a relationship with you.
If you are someone who places family above all else, all family oriented fans will become attracted to you.
That is what it is all about, VALUES. Knowing your values helps your prospective fans decide if they want to be in a relationship with you, follow you and . spend their money on you. It also helps prospective fans and clients decide if they respect you.
If a controversial political issue came up in an interview, your core values should always guide you in how you answer. If you do not take the stance it could be a difficult personal road ahead of you. How would you live with yourself if you answered ‘not being you’? The nagging feeling that some feel in these cases are your values speaking to you. Make your values the forefront of all decision and content you distribute. Consistency is the keyword you must remember when it comes to values.
In the business world, there are some companies who refuse to sell certain products because of their core values, which brings those with similar values closer to them.
Again, this is how it all works.
There are people who share some very questionable values. Some tax attorneys will walk a very fine line between ethical and unethical, there are clients who look for such tax attorneys, they share those questionable values. Therefore, values dictate what relationships you enter into.
So, ultimately, fans, clients, customers all share your values.
This is why personal values are the first step in building a relationship. But, there is another reason I say that – 99.9% of people do not know their own personal values. When you know yours, you automatically stand out from the crowd. You must first know your values before you can act on them.
Let’s Unearth Your Core Values
Your personal values tell people what you stand for. Such as the bodybuilder who builds muscle by natural means, and not by using performance-enhancing drugs. This athlete will draw people to him or herself who believe that NOT using steroids is the best way.
Remember, personal values tell the audience what you stand for. They tell you which relationships to enter into and which to close the door on.
Your actions make the difference. People cannot read your mind, but they do see what you are doing.
Let’s talk about unearthing your values. It is a simple exercise that will unearth your core values.
Using your notepad, write down 25 personal values that appeal to you the most. Do it without pausing to think about it. Just write and then decide. Write as many as you want that resonate with you.
Now I want you to take that list and narrow it down to 15 personal values. Take your time. Now I want you to take those 15 and narrow it down to 5 core values.
Of your 5 core values, you most likely will work with 3 of these each day. Many people will work with one value at a time, say a week or a month at a time. You pick the number you want, these are your values to decide and work on.
Let’s look at some examples.
First, we have Pat Flynn. Pat Flynn is a very successful podcaster. He has amassed a huge following in a short time. I am convinced that it is his wholesome family values that have attracted so many. He is in the internet marketing space; that is known to have many “shady” people who just exaggerate claims. The trust level for those people has, of course, become narrower over time. It is difficult to trust when some of what those people say is proven to be false. Do not get me wrong, there are many more online marketers that do a great job, and they have great integrity. However, the battle is that early on, many of those people set a negative precedent causing many to not trust internet marketers as much.
Pat Flynn has flipped the whole system over onto its head. Because of his wholesome, family-oriented values, we trust him.
The name badge he wears states: “I am a father and a husband who supports my family with a passive income from online business.”
With this name badge, he is telling you that he values being a father and husband. Notice he is also holding his son. His family values come through on his online podcast. You can ‘feel’ his family values and that attracts many people to him. He also does not allow profanity on his show. This may seem a little odd in today’s world, but he does not falter from his values to gain more followers. The keyword I want you to take away from how Pat shows up in the world is consistency.
Here is how you can start to unpack your personal values.
How To Use Your Values In Real Life & Social?
Now that you have identified your 5 core personal values, it is time to place them into action.
I suggest that you review people you follow and have a large following and ask yourself – how are they conveying their values? You may have to guess what some of their values are. Others will be quite obvious by just looking at their blogs, social media presence, their language and other activities.
Next, map out how you plan to infuse your personal core values into your life routine. This is what I suggest, pick one value at a time and focus on that for one week. For instance, you are a personal fitness trainer and one of your values is education, how do you make life better through education by being a personal fitness trainer? How do you put action into this value? What you could do is to educate people on how to exercise for 5 minutes each day without leaving their office desk. Perhaps you can educate your audience on what they should look for in a personal fitness trainer. You can post or tweet the top ten important questions to ask a personal fitness trainer before hiring them. You can draw attention by posting one question and an answer at a time. Meaning, ten posts will each have a different question with an answer. Let the followers know that it is a series, so they will follow you in order to get further information.
This would work if you are a life coach, business consultant or any number of other specialisations.
Gary Vaynerchuck posts a lot about entrepreneurship. He lives his values and that is seen in his actions and his words. He writes consistently on his website, across all social media platforms, podcasting, YouTube and many tune in to his posts everyday.
When you are just starting out and building your brand, you should post daily. If not, you are out of sight and out of mind for prospective followers, fans or clients.
Remember, your personal values tell the world what you are willing to fight for.
The Power Of Your Story
What makes a good story a compelling story? Simply, you tell a story to connect with your audience. When you share personal values, you gain attention. No matter what genre you are in, if the audience can connect with you, you have made progress. I am using three stories to show you that a compelling story has the same structure. Whether it is Snow White, The Matrix or Bohemian Rapsody. Let’s break these stories down.
The first step always starts with the main character. In Snow White, she is the main character but the dwarves and evil queen can also be considered main characters. The next step is the setting. Where is the story taking place?
The third element would be the struggle or the problem. In each story, there is a problem, the main character, and the setting.
The main point here is, there is always a personal struggle behind a Personal Brand.
The fourth element is what action is taken. How do you proceed forward? The fifth and final element of your story is the result.
The formula to follow looks like this:
How To Tell Your Story & Be Transparent.
Before you can proceed to tell your story, you must find the story. Grab your list of core values. Now think of an instance in your life where you had some form of a setback. Describe in detail what the problem was, where it was when it happened. Then explain the frustration you felt. Problems arise from one of three places: people, processes or products. You will then explain the specific action that was taken to solve the issue. Finally, write the final outcome of the issue. This essentially is the framework for storytelling across every piece of content you create.
Here is a framework that can help you with unpacking compelling stories so you can use to articulate a message to your target audience:
How To Make Your Branding Stand Out
People do not want to hear magical cures, instant successes or the likes, unless you can connect with them. Unless you are able to solve their immediate issue, you will just be ‘another’ guru trying to sell them something.
So How Does Your Brandvoice stand out above all the rest?
Marketing is the key. It means that you need to position your product and services in the consumer’s minds. You need to find the one aspect that makes you unique, that makes people want to know you.
Own Your Position In The Market
There will always be competition, so you have to position yourself distinctly.
One way to beat the status quo is by being first in the category you want to be known for and being highly beneficial to your target audience. You must be credible in the eyes of your target audience. This is where your specialisation comes in, it shows your target audience that you know your topic inside out and every piece of content you create creates a know, like and trust factor. When you position yourself as a specialist you cut through the noise.
You are NOT a little bit of everything, you are a master at your craft and you must be clear on that specialisation from the word go. When you focus on your specialisation and zone in on all the topics that are related to your specialisation, you are building your authority in that one area and this in return creates your currency.
There needs to be a separation between you and the competition. How do you show your target audience that you are a specialist? You design a process or a methodology and show your prospects that you have a tried and tested process that takes them from problem to promise.
Here is a visual that can get you started with this process. Having a methodology is what will set you apart from your “met too” competitors.
Create Compelling Content On Social
Creating random content on social media will not serve you. Storytelling is not random content. Storytelling is content that has meaning and adds immense value to your target audience. When you create content on social media, which should be a daily practise and commitment, it must be aligned with your area of expertise. In other words, create content that you know inside out. This will make you stand out as an authority on the topics you know for sure and eventually your target audience will start reaching out to you because in their mind they see you as the ‘go to’ person purely because of the value you provide through your content. I suggest, you check out my Linkedin profile to view my content. This will give you an idea of how to approach your content.
I take my clients on an intense content creation process and we create a 90 day content wheel. As a starting point, I suggest you create six content categories and topics underneath each category. For example if your area of expertise is Digital Marketing, one of your categories could be Facebook Advertising. Underneath This category you would talk about metrics, lead generation, cost per lead, audiences and so on.
Here is a visual that can help you understand my approach to content creation.
Brands, like people, have personalities. They can be cool, intelligent, comedic or conservative. Some brands are seductive, some are adventurous and others are the in your face type. Some are even kind. The personality is a critical point of branding. One great way of showing your personality is through imagery and colours.
How To Let Your Personality Shine
Let others help you. We may think that we excel at self-assessment, but we don’t. The process is simple:
- Be authentic.
- Be True to you.
Imagine you are invited to a dinner party and there are 20 people attending. When you arrive at the party, you notice people are chatting in groups. They move from one group to another until they find their tribe. Which group do you join? Enlist a few friends to give you their answer to which table you should sit at. Is that you? If so, you need to be true to you.
Your brand identity is not something you can change daily to suit your mood. It would be like walking into a store to buy an apple, you find the perfect one and buy, eat and enjoy it. The next day you go back and all apples are covered up. How do you know which is the one you like, they all appear the same. Brand Identity is, a way to assist customers in remembering your product. Whether it is a logo, catchy phrase, colours, imagery or anything that they will remember.
How To Create A Killer Identity
Unless you have graphic design experience, I would suggest you spend the money on a professional graphic designer. You give them information about what you want your graphics to mean. They will design based on your guidelines. You can find talented and cost effective designers at Fiverr or 99Designs.
Creating Your Brand Identity
This is a list of questions to help you decide:
- Who is your ideal client?
- Who is your ideal customer?
- What do they look like fashion wise?
- What do they like to do?
- What do they do for a job/career?
- What books do they read?
- Who is their hero?
- What social media platform do they spend most time on?
This gives you the chance to paint your ideal picture of your customer and cater to them. Be what they are looking for and give them what they want.
Next, you need to determine what the biggest obstacles would be that your ideal customer is facing. What issues are they experiencing and trying to get past? Simply put, you ask! Ask what they need, what they are looking for, what they want. Then share that information with the graphic designer. They come up with a design that fits the target. A design to allow the target to interact with you.
Colours are a great way to express feelings. For example, health is usually shown by green, red and blue to show emotions, and the list goes on.
Here is a framework you can follow to unpack your target audience.
I recommend that you keep a journal of all your activities. Constantly be aware of your core values throughout the day. Pay heed to who you speak with, what you are reading and what actions you are taking to help other people become the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Be sure to create content everyday. My preference is video. Whether it be Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube or all, do it daily, and people begin to look for it more and more.
Remind your target about who you are and what you stand for. Be consistent.
Make sure you review your competition and survey the market. This enables you to see what is happening in the market.
Place your identity on each communication touch point you make. Keeping a touch point identity is going to reach a wider targeted audience.
Spread your brand and make sure you strategically and deliberately showcase it everywhere you go, whether it’s online, or you hand out business cards with your logo. Spread it around!
Create a YouTube channel, even if you are nervous and unsure of what to do. Speak plainly, let the target know who you are and what you do. Tell your story, it will connect with others. Make yourself work on a video series once a week, the target will start to expect the next one, and they will likely spread through word of mouth. If you want to learn more about How To Create A Personal Brand, you can head over to my YouTube Channel and learn more.
Remember that crazy, free form of advertising? Yes, that one, word of mouth.
Offer testimonials on the websites of those you admire. Interview p0eople on your podcast because this puts your name in association with that person and also in front of millions of other people’s eyes. When you place a testimonial for someone like Tony Robbins, John Maxwell, Suze Orman or a whole slew of others, you are creating instant recognition with your brand. So put it out there. Do it as wide and as loud as you can. It is your story, your brand, your values. Live them and love them fully.
Anyone can be an entrepreneur, but making yourself a brand that people love, is a whole new level. Elaine Pofeldt wrote an article in Forbes magazine on ‘How to build a Personal Brand without being annoying’ and raised some important points around branding yourself. Its worthwhile a read.
Follow your personal core values, make them what matters and walk your talk.
Anyone can talk a big game, but it is the actions and the follow through of their personal core values that will ensure they have raving fans and keep the eye on them.