Personal branding – what is it and how does it benefit you and your business?
Personal branding is different to business branding for a lot of different reasons and in this blog I’m going to delve deeper into them for you.
To put it simply, personal branding is when you’re branding yourself and you are your business. People are buying into you, your skills, expertise and experience and it all comes down to the ‘know, like and trust’ factor; which is also great to incorporate across all your marketing.
Typically, a personal brand is someone who has a service based business, such as a coach of some sorts, a photographer, marketing consultant, a freelance graphic designer and so on. This is why I class myself as a personal brand, because my business is focussed around the desirable skill I have. People are buying into me to create them an amazing visual brand for their business, which is a huge honour.
When it comes to determining your brand values, as a personal brand this is a lot easier to do, because more than likely they will cross over with your own personal values. With a business brand, it’s more difficult because you have to give a stand alone entity brand values. Even though they can still cross over with your personal values, your business identity needs to reflect those as if they were it’s own and sometimes this can be harder to do.
Staying true to you, what you stand for and your values will do wonders for you. People will be able to resonate with you on a deeper level and they’ll be rooting for your success as well.
This again, is so easy to do as a personal brand because ‘you are your brand’. I say this all the time to my clients and it is so true. You want to show who you are within your personal branding. This could be by getting your personality out within your copywriting or social media graphics. So for example, if you are a fun, quirky and positive person then your brand needs to reflect this. Just the same if you are sincere, loyal and trustworthy.
Your name also comes into this as usually a personal brand will use their own name for their business name, or incorporate it in… so for example, Sue Todd Photography, or Nichola English – The Wardrobe Provocateur.
With business brands you won’t necessarily see a person at the forefront of a business, such as EE, unless you have a celebrity endorsement like Kevin Bacon to personify what the business is all about. This is because normally business brands have teams of employees and the CEO or Managing Director will be pulled in so many different directions, the last thing they need to be is the face of their business too. This isn’t to say you can’t do this… Richard Branson is proof that you can be a personal brand and still have a huge business/es. It’s all down to the way you want to be seen and how you position yourself as well.
A personal brand means you need to be the face of your business. You can’t hide away and if you’re not feeling confident enough or you have that imposter syndrome, it’s time to work on that. All the well known personal brands out there such as Jenna Kutcher, Jasmine Star, Carrie Green and so on – they are the face of their businesses. People love to get to know others and so showing who you are in professional photographs is a bonus, plus it creates a real connection as well. If you were to meet your customers or social followers in person they will feel like they already know you, which is an amazing feeling!
As a personal brand you need to ensure your photos are professional. This is because they will show you in a genuine and authentic way. Yes you can have highly polished photos, but they won’t show the real you and that’s ideally what you want. I wrote a guest blog with more information about this, which you can read here.
This can be a lot of fun, because ideally your personal style needs to reflect your brand and values. If you go networking or to an event with lots of your potential dream customers, you have about 3 seconds to make an impression and as they say, first impressions really do count. So your clothing style, down to your jewellery and make up can have an impact. If you’re not sure what your personal style is, how to dress for your body type (or what it even is) and what your colours are, I’d highly recommend seeking help from a personal stylist, or even better, take a look at the Branding Boutique!
I got my colours and make up done this year and I have to say it was an amazing experience. I feel much more confident knowing what colours to look out for when I go shopping. It saves a lot of time and it’s a really exhilarating experience.
Personal branding is extremely powerful and Rachel from RJM Photography wrote a guest blog about this, which you can read here. Being a personal brand shows you are genuine, original, authentic and valuable. And if you can master even one of the aspects I’ve written about above, you are one step closer to having an extremely powerful and successful brand.
So let me know in the comments below, which of the three elements above needs the most work for your personal brand and why…