On this blog, I share lots of tips on how to create your own blog or business. As part of this process, it’s important to develop a personal brand. A strong personal brand is essential to success if you want to improve your career prospects or make money online.
If you’re not quite ready to implement these tips, go ahead and pin this post and come back to it later. Note – this post contains affiliate links. Keep scrolling for the branding tips!
When you think of the word “branding,” you may think of logos, colors, and well-known name brands. Those elements are an important part of making your brand memorable, but there is more to branding than just design elements and naming.
Why Do You Need a Personal Brand?
In order to stand out from the crowd, you need to develop a personal brand. Whether your goal is to start a successful business, grow your career, or simply to be known for something, you need to have a memorable brand that people can remember and connect with.
Don’t wait until you’re ready to sell something to suddenly build a brand. You want to build trust with people over time by consistently showing up and sharing information or adding value. That way, when you decide to launch a product or service, of if you want a recommendation for a new job, you will already have an established brand.
A strong personal brand is one where people can identify who you are, understand what you offer, and recognize your strengths. A strong personal brand should be built around your values, and your design elements are only a reflection of that.
Your business brand may be separate from your personal brand, with each having shared values. Or, in some cases your personal brand and your business brand may be one in the same. I choose to blog and run my business under my personal brand. But, you may have a separate business brand.
Either way, you want who you are to shine through. The tips below will help you develop your own personal brand and share your values with your clients and supporters.
How to Develop a Personal Brand
Most people wear a lot of different hats. But, not each and every one of these identities is relevant when it comes to your personal brand. As you work to develop your personal brand, you need to select what parts of your life and work history are most relevant when it comes to the ways you plan to serve other people.
Who Are You?
Although I wear many hats in my life (mom, attorney, writer, blogger, sister, friend, sorority sister, and so on), there are certain elements of my life that I choose to emphasize. The elements of my life that I highlight as part of my personal brand are the elements that relate to the ways I choose to help people.
I don’t need to highlight parts of my life that are unrelated to my mission. For example, I really enjoy both cooking and going out to eat. I used to post pictures of food and food places day and night. But, those things weren’t helping me in my business. I’m not a cook, I don’t own a restaurant, and I’m not a food blogger. So, constant pictures of food were taking away from my personal brand.
It takes a lot of restraint, but I’ve cut way back on sharing food pictures, and instead I share information about blogging, branding, and business. I do still share personal information, but I try to make it relate back to my purpose, instead of just sharing random information.
As you work to develop your own unique personal brand, think about what your strengths and areas of expertise are. What are your career and business goals? What do you want people to think of when they think about who you are?
You can include personal parts of yourself in your personal brand. It’s fine if being a mom, or a wife, or a spiritual person, for example, are a part of your branding, but you want these parts of who you are to relate back to how you help other people.
If these areas don’t relate to your blog or brand, or your career goals, you may want to keep some parts of your life private and only share occasional updates.
So who are you? A writer, a baker, a fashionista? The best part of this process is that you get to define who you are, even if you’re not yet where you want to be.
How Will You Serve People?
After you figure out what angle you want to highlight, you need to think about how you plan to serve people. As wonderful as you are, no one will care unless they know what you have to offer, and how you help other people.
Let’s say you’re a writer. That’s great. Now, how do you help people? Do you write entertaining stories that help people heal? Do you teach other people how to write? Do you write resumes for career seekers so that they can stand out from other applicants?
You need to define how you help people, so that you can articulate it as part of your personal brand. You brand isn’t just who you are, it’s also what you have to offer to other people.
Brainstorm all of the ways that you can serve other people through products and services. You should also be able to articulate how whatever it is that you have to offer will improve other people’s lives. If you don’t yet have a product or service, what ways can you add value?
If you’re a food blogger, maybe you can give restaurant reviews and recommendations. If you’re a fitness coach, you can hold a community class or training. Or, you can share fitness tips for beginners. Everyone has something to offer. You just have to thing about what your strengths are and how they can be communicated to other people.
What Are Your Core Values?
As you develop your brand persona, and highlight the ways that you help people, your core values are what will drive the work that you do.
We won’t go in-depth into core values in this post, but keep in mind that your values are what will help to determine what ways you go above and beyond for your customers.
As an example, blogger Pat Flynn believes in service. He serves his readers by providing valuable content, and innovative products and services. But, he goes above and beyond with projects like Pencils of Promise.
As you develop your brand, you’ll find ways to emphasize your values as a part of your work.
Pull It All Together
After you think about what parts of yourself you want to highlight and how you plan to serve people, you should be able to sum this up in one or two sentences. Here’s my highlight sentence:
I’m a working mom and a blogger who helps other women quit their nine to five jobs to pursue non-traditional careers and entrepreneurship.
I can also phrase this in two sentences that will help give people a bit more information about who I am.
I’m an attorney and a writer. I help women pursue their passions and transition from their traditional careers to non-traditional careers and entrepreneurship.
There are a few other ways to phrase this. I can put more information in about myself depending on the medium, or the audience that I’m sharing my story with.
Promote Your Personal Brand
Re-branding across your social media platforms is the fun part, but it’s also the hard part. Since you’ve thought about your brand before you start working on design, you can have a better idea of what design elements will appeal to your target audience.
I’ll go into depth in another post about how to update your social media profiles, create logos and coordinating color schemes, write a new resume, and create a media kit. But there are a few steps that you can take today to start properly promoting your personal brand.
- Clean Up Your Social Media Profiles – Start going through your social media profiles and delete, archive, or change the privacy settings on pictures and posts that no longer represent you. You can always save the picture or post (download or screenshot), if you are worried about losing valuable content. You can save something for yourself without sharing it with others. You also want to start setting up business profiles for your brand. I also recommend getting a professional headshot.
- Craft Your Qualifications – If you’re looking for a job instead of preparing to start a business, you’ll want to begin rewriting your resume. If you are creating a blog or business, you will want to update your media kit. I highly recommend that you use a templates from Creative Market for this.
- Update Your Design Elements – Now, you’re finally going to start DIYing your brand refresh. You can create a new logo, decide on a color scheme, and update your design elements. The design kits from Station Seven are perfect for this, and they are easy to personalize. As tempting as it may be to hire someone, unless you already have a profitable brand, I think you should DIY as much of your branding as possible, not only to save money, but also because your brand vision will change.
There, now you’re done! You have crafted your personal brand. If you’re not 100% sure of this process, don’t worry! You can always change things later. As you grow, your brand will grow and change with you.
I’ll be sharing more tips on how to develop your personal brand and redesign your online persona, with design tips and tutorials. Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter for exclusive content and more tips.