If people are hiring you as an individual, you are a personal brand.
You’re a “personal brand” if you’re a real estate agent, dentist, physician, chiropractor, attorney, CPA, consultant, veterinarian, architect, political candidate or someone looking to be hired for your expertise.
Business owners who are the “face of the brand” of their company also need to carefully manage their personal brand so it represents the company brand well.
Creating and establishing your personal brand
What is public about your personal brand?
Do a Google search on your name. This is what any potential client or customer will do. What will they find out about you? Now do a search for your competitors’ names.
Aim for your personal brand to stand for 2-3 meaningful adjectives
Yes, this is hard because you want to be known for so much more, but the more you try to stand for generally the less you will stand out. Why? It’s too hard for people to remember all those adjectives.
Think of your own children if you have them. You can describe them to someone else in a few sentences. Now how do you describe their best friend (fewer words). How about a kid who lives down the street that you don’t know very well? (even fewer words).
Messaging research can help you create your positioning.
You might get inspired by reviewing great taglines and great jingles. These are the creative expressions of a brand’s positioning.
Look for examples of leaders in your industry who’ve written books or write popular blogs to see how they describe themselves.
It’s important that the elements of your personal brand are consistent and reinforce each other. In that way, you’ll look like a “safer buy” to a prospect.
LinkedIn is a great place to do some “comparison shopping” to see how people in your industry and profession position themselves. What can you leverage from smart things they do?
For effective personal branding, your photo matters a lot! Get a professional photo taken of yourself.
Dress your marketing for personal branding success
You know how to dress for success. In marketing that’s creating a professional brand image (logo, tagline, colors and typeface). Then consistently using that in all customer touch points (business signs, business cards, PowerPoint slides, advertising, office decor, etc.). If you’ve been in business for many years, it may be time to update (not radically change) your brand image to attract younger clients/customers.