Building a personal brand is an incredibly unique opportunity. Many try to build their personal brands, but the truth is, most fail.
If you think becoming “Instagram famous” is the making of a strong personal brand, you’re barking up the wrong tree.
Personal branding is not about building followers. Personal branding is about developing thought leadership. Social media is just a conduit and one of many, many tools to deliver your value to your audience.
Contrary to popular opinion, building a personal brand is less about being respected and “known” and more about providing value and inspiration. This is both an art and a science. You cannot shortcut your story, and you certainly cannot shortcut your audience, which, if you hadn’t noticed, is your single most valuable commodity.
Here’s the biggest secret about that ever-important and holy audience of yours: They don’t care about you.
They care about how you make them feel and what you can bring to their lives. People are inherently self-involved. (Ain’t no shame in that game; it’s just human nature.) So remember that at its core, great personal branding is actually an act of service.
See? You’re not as selfish as you thought.
When crafting your Personal Brand, think less about your signature hashtags, your 12-tile Instagram layout, the Twitter contests, the fun stickers of Snapchat and quirky blog titles. No one cares about any of that if it’s not providing value.
You have to play a bigger game and have a more holistic mindset.
Go deeper. (Who are you?)
Start from the inside out. (What do you have to offer?)
Get real. (What experiences can I share that can help others?)
Get raw. (How can others learn from my mistakes?)
Get honest with yourself. (Who do I really want to be?)
All of the aforementioned bells and whistles don’t mean a thing unless you’re coming from a place of authenticity.
“I had no idea being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I would have done it a lot earlier.” – Oprah Winfrey
At SimplyBe, we unpack what makes you decidedly you to help define your particular offering, your personal brand style, your distinction from the competition, your digital place in this world and how you can uniquely contribute to it. We deep dive into the pieces of your story, your essence and your uniqueness in order to extract the diagnostic value needed for growing an engaged audience, or what I like to call your tribe.
Here are a few things to digest as you ruminate over what your Personal Brand journey could look like:
Play the long game. Your personal brand is the single most valuable asset you can build. I always say that you most likely won’t be Senior Manager of Marketing at X Company forever, or you probably won’t be running your startup for the next three decades...but you will always be you. For the rest of your life. So build equity in you. Don’t invest in short-term tactics. Write your narrative. Make it epic. Think about your branding in terms of goals. Where would you like to be a year from now with your business? Two years? Five years? Ten years? What do you want people to remember about your brand? Work from that space, and then figure out the concrete steps to get there.
Leave a legacy. Get in touch with why you’re on this planet and what you’re here to do with the time you’ve been given. Do people constantly tell you that you have a gift? Have you always been good at something in particular? Is there a specialized skillset that you possess that is uniquely yours? If you could do one thing passionately and make a living doing it, what would that be? While we all love to live in the space of ideas, stop talking about what you’ve always wanted to do, what you will do or what you have done, and just turn your best ideas into things.
SimplyBe You. There is no such thing as competition. I repeat: There is no such thing as competition. No one shares your unique experience or can offer the exact same perspective on life, business, love and everything in between. Stop comparing where someone else is with where you want to be. Start where you are today, with what you’ve got, and continue to build. Don’t magnify areas of your life that don’t speak to your authenticity. Use your experience, your failures, your successes and what you have learned to provide value to others.
*“Don’t fake it till you make it. Be real, be transparent, be authentic and be yourself.” – Darren Hardy *
The first step to maintaining your personal brand is getting clear about who you are. Before you build an audience. Before you start to sell. Before you share what you love with the world.
Define yourself first. Get clear about your value and the value you bring to the table.
Remember that it starts with you, but in service of your tribe.
It’s the only way to create a brand that has staying power.