Probably not what you think it is

There are a lot of misconceptions about personal branding. Some people may think personal branding is some sort of “self-serving” concept, a narcissistic-ego trip where the desire to be visible, known, and popular is all that matters.

Some argue that personal branding is about creating an image for people to like you.

Well, hopefully this article will help change your understanding of what personal branding is and why you need to ace your own personal branding to get your message out there, have more impact and grow your business.

Personal branding was not born yesterday

Personal branding has been invented more than 2 decades ago when the market place was experiencing rapid changes and serious downturns. That’s when professionals serious about their careers started to consider personal branding as a useful management tool to enhance their career and for entrepreneurs to reach their goals.

We all have a personal brand

All of us have personal brands, whether we’re aware of it or not, we are constantly influencing those around us. Our words and actions have an impact on people we meet.

As coaches and service-based professionals, we’re the heart and soul of our business, therefore having a compelling personal brand is a must in a crowded coaching market.

“In short, not being clear about your personal branding, not defining your personal brand is a risk  you can’t afford to take otherwise someone else will define it for you and you may stay invisible in an ocean of coaches who are doing the same job as you do”.

So before defining what personal branding actually is,

let’s address what personal branding is not.

It’s not only what you’re known for

It goes well beyond that, it’s not only what people think you are. It’s not only their perception. What people say about you and your business is not necessarily the exact reflection of who you are and what you stand for. You have to show up and show them and demonstrate how much of a difference we can make in their lives.

 “All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called YOU.” – Tom Peters

It’s not about creating a “fake” image

No need to create an image you think people need. All they need is you being authentic as a real person. Which implies that you need to dig into your personality, your values and your story and show up as your authenci self. That’s when people are going to connect with you on a true deeper level.

It’s not about fame

Personal branding is not about being famous and being liked and appreciated by people at all costs. It’s not about trying to please everybody,  it’s about being selective.

You need to have a crystal clear understanding of people you choose to serve and ask yourself : Ask yourself  “Who are those people? Who will benefit from my knowledge and services the most? What are their needs.

Then you need to focus your time and energy on meeting the needs of those people, and those people only.  I personally don’t believe in trying to help everybody. And you’re not for everybody either.

As coaches we need to think of our personal brand as a way to deliver value and serve our clients — our personal brand is the expression of our uniqueness how we contribute in our unique way. Personal branding is a vehicule that allows us  to carry our mission of service to others.

So what is personal branding?

“Personal branding is the conscious and intentional actions to create and influence future clients perception of an individual by positioning them as an authority in their industry, elevating their credibility, and differentiating themselves from the competition, to ultimately advance their career, increase their circle of influence.” Source google.

Those actions can be divided in 3 major steps

Step 1 : Define your identity and positioning = how you want to be seen.

It’s about you unleashing your personality and story, it’s you shaping your future clients’ perceptions of who you are. You set the tone, you are in charge. It’s you saying : “This is who I am, here’s my vision, mission and values. Here’s my promise to you, this is what you can expect from working with me in terms of quality, service, reliability and trustworthiness”.

It’s how you position yourself, how you stand out and differentiate yourself from others. It’s a crucial step that will define all the others.

Step 2 : Define your voice = how you communicate

It’s about how you delivering your message to your target audience, how you talk to your clients and future clients, and more importantly how you create an emotional connection with them. Your own communication style. The more your brand voice feels like you, the more it embodies your values and what you believe in, the stronger and deeper the connection.

You also want to consider the tone in your website copy and on social media. It’s also about the visual expression of your uniqueness, your brand style, your color palette and logo, and the aesthetic of your website and all your communication material.

Step 3 : Nail your visual expression = how you present yourself to the world.

Once you’ve gone through step 1 and step 2 you want to define a visual expression both online and offline. You want to portrait yourself in your best outfit and express your own style and vibe through professional branding photos. You want to create a remarkable impression when you first meet people in real life or on social media. Step 3 is also about setting the tone of your website copy and defining its esthetic, (color palette, logo and general atmosphere).

                                     Logo Marie-France Samba

Your personal branding is your best asset

I shall say, YOU are you best asset. There no denying that self-promotion is at play when you create your personal brand, we can’t deny it. It allows you to stand out in an increasingly competitive world while showcasing your uniqueness and demonstrating what makes you great in what you do. But most importantly your personal branding is about the value you bring to the table and how you demonstrate the genuine desire to transform your clients lives for the better. It’s about your promise and what people can expect from you.

What will make your brand unique is YOU and your ability to show up as your authentic self. From there, you’ll be able to go through the different steps I mentioned above, and create a compelling personal brand to help you to stand out and attract the clients you’ll love to work with.

Feel free to book your free personal brand assessment call where we’ll discuss your uniqueness and how to express it in the most authentic remarkable way for you gain greater visibility and grow a flourishing, fulfilling business.