Whether you have an existing personal brand that needs some refining or have no idea how to begin to create one, harnessing who you are and honing a personal brand will help set you apart. Let’s get to it.
Branding is one of the most *personal* processes you can go through and marketing yourself can be very difficult and excruciating. It’s long, it’s iterative, it’s ridden with doubt, but when complete it’s one of your most valuable assets. So why would you need a personal brand? You might be looking to strengthen yourself as a business professional, kickstart your side hustle or even use personal branding to refine what you have to offer - at the end of the day, it’s a way to better position yourself for opportunity.
Personal branding has a way of keeping you always on and polished. It’s a way to showcase what you do and who you are in a way that is appealing to potential clients, business partners, and employers. People remember 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read and 80% of what they see, so pulling everything you offer together with a thoughtful and cohesive visual wrap is critical in building or refining your brand. While I believe in the power of personal branding, I’ll be the first to say, having a personal brand is not the norm in most industries, however, if you work in marketing or are looking to dive into content creation then personal branding is something you really should consider.
So how do you get started? While there are so many avenues to explore, the least overwhelming place to begin is to identify who you are and what you want to be known for, and then turn that into a positioning statement. There are four components of developing the foundation to a personal brand: vision, voice, value, and visual. These four pieces help craft your positioning and help you stay to course as your brand develops and you take on more opportunities.
Vision - Where do you want to go and what do you want to accomplish?
Yes, it’s goal setting, but bigger. Figure out what you want to accomplish 1 year, 3 years and 5 years from now. Understand your category and what you offer within it. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to help you pinpoint where you want to be.
Voice - How do you talk about what you do?
It’s your tone. Your tone is unique to you and gives life to your specialties. It turns your resume bullet points into a narrative. Do you add humor, are you straight-forward, are you friendly?
Value - What do you bring to the table?
The name of the game is whitespace. Almost every market is saturated with people doing something similar to you, so how do you stand out? How can you find and market your niche? You capitalize on what makes your offering unique. What do your clients, coworkers or friends say about your work?
Visual - Where and how are you showing up?
Yes, your visual branding matters, but are you in the right places? It’s more than a logo. Are you thinking about the messages you are pushing out, and the platforms you are on? Think about the experience you want to give your clients, followers and people who don’t yet know who you are.
So how does it all come together?
These four v’s of branding will help you uncover what you want for your brand, and a positioning statement can unite your vision, voice, value, and visual identity to keep you aligned as opportunities arise. Your positioning statement encompasses where you are now and where you want to go, it keeps your work pointed in the same direction as your aspirations.
So now, think about your v’s, what you offer, and what makes your approach unique. This is your positioning statement.
Here’s a formula to help: Who you are (your name or your business name and unique identifier) + What you offer (your skillset) + How your do it (your specialties)
For example, mine is:
I’m Meredith Phillips, a multi-dimensional marketing strategist helping brands drive action through compelling positioning and content.
And just like that, you’ve built a positioning statement that will get you started and help you identify opportunities that align to your niche and vision.
Remember, you’ve got this! And in case you’re looking for more, join my mailing list and follow along on Pinterest.