March 26, 2015
BRANDISTAS- What a week, I’m still floating from DreamBig2015, there is no stronger inspiration for me than being surrounded with hundreds of positive, courageous, brandistas who have decided to pursue their dreams.
Every text, email, social media post or call I have received from you has absolutely fueled me to continue on this journey of self-actualization using personal branding as the platform. At DreamBig2015, I mentioned we had two take aways, the first being understanding the fundamentals of personal branding in an effort for you to apply these tips to your personal, as well as, business brands. Giving all the excitement of Saturday, I wanted to share these five fundamentals + I challenge you to implement them as you continue employing the second takeaway: dreaming, pushing forward, creating and continuing the creating cycle.
The Five Fundamentals of Personal Branding
1) Begin with positioning. Define a niche you can own, be specific and descriptive, never generic. Instead of positioning myself as a marketing consultant, I specialize in brand strategies for professional services. Focus allows you to limit the competition.
2) Develop clear and compelling messages. Ensure that you back up your positioning claims with messages that resonate with your target audience. Provide the content of what drives the need for your products or services.
3) Articulate your brand strategy. Merge your rational (talents, strengths, experience) value and your emotional (personality, image) value together in a brand strategy platform. Brand from the inside out, start with your core values and passions- be authentic and true to you. Combine your talents and strengths with your personality and image to direct your brand promise- what others expect from you.
4) Define your network of influencers. For every market segment, there are influencers who are important to your credibility and recognition as a leader. Identify some influencers in your space and “strategically” educate them on your positioning and your brand. Put them in a position to help you with introductions, endorsements and business collaborations. It is what others say about you that drives your reputation, not what you say about yourself. Remember, every thing you do plays a role in the shaping of that perception. Your consistent behaviors are what drives the expectation that others place on you- good or bad.
5) Create your action plan. You should have a brand communication and advancement plan. If your goal is to grow or to obtain leadership in a particular segment- you must have a strong presence and persuasive communication to own that position. It should include how to represent and message your brand. Remember, consistency of words, visuals and reputations (expectation + trust) are the essential keys of successful branding.
Personal branding requires focus on positioning, brand messaging and networking discipline but the rewards are powerful.