So what is Personal Branding and how does it differ from corporate branding?
Personal Branding is defined basically as how you promote yourself and it is mainly geared toward the individual. “Your personal brand is your reputation.” (Gary Vaynerchuk, 2019)
At first, the Personal Brand was more about getting hired… creating the online persona—so when a potential employer looks at your online profiles, there is a cohesiveness and personality attached to the name.
Corporate, or business, branding is generally faceless. Do you know the CEO of Coke? I don’t! But, I know the red label with the white wave will always yield the same familiar taste behind it. Some big businesses actually take a ‘personal brand’ approach to their business brand—like the ‘hipster’ persona attached to Apple—and as a result lure in very loyal customers.
How does this apply to you and your business?
Individuals that ARE THE FACE of their business are intimately connected with it. Generally speaking, this includes solopreneurs, creative artists, healers, authors, massage therapists, coaches, musicians, freelancers, sole proprietors, and the like. People that are in business for themselves, whose name is most likely their business name—though not necessarily—really need to establish a personal connection with potential clients to build trust and grow their audience or clientele.
A Personal Brand establishes the key components of you and your business that separates you from the rest. It is important when developing your brand to BE AUTHENTIC. This creates a genuine connection with your audience and develops trust. [Perhaps the biggest difference between a corporate brand and a personal brand is the facade a corporate brand has in creating that ‘character’ for you to identify with… it is usually not a real person.]
How do you create a Personal Brand?
This is the hard part! Personal branding is really a reflection of your best self. It is who you aspire to be—and that person exists in you now! Creating your brand image requires deep work and reflection. BUT–It is not enough to know oneself, one must also step outside and view oneself from the audience’s point of view.
It helps to meditate, reflect, journal, list traits and question, question, QUESTION. Gradually, your brand will begin to take shape.
Are you funny or serious?
Are you empathetic?
Spiritual? Logical? Colorful? Minimal?
Are you hip or do you fall into the hip to be square category?
Branding is SO much more than your favorite colors… or the logo you love.
A few tricks of the trade:
- Meditate and Visualize—really take time and sit with yourself. Visualize yourself doing what you love and other people responding to you. What are you doing? Who are you helping or entertaining or talking to? How are they responding?
- Journal—immediately write down your vision and how you felt while in that space.
- List Your Keystone Values—list all your personal values. Categorize them into 7 Keystone Values. These are the pillars of your brand… I always say values are the brand navigators.
- Pinpoint your main personality traits—How do others view you and what can they connect with?
- Connect with your Purpose—Hint: Look back at your Vision.
- Identify your ideal audience member (or avatar)—Who were you servicing in your vision?
- Reflect on Client Benefits–What service or product are you providing? What does your avatar get out of it emotionally?
Consistency is important. Once you settle in to your brand persona and it genuinely reflects YOU, make sure you remain in that persona for all your touch-points. (website, social media, podcast interviews, print media, etc)
Above all–so much it is worth mentioning again–you must be GENUINE! Otherwise people can see right through it… and the result will be the sound of crickets.
Happy Branding! 🙏🏼 ~V~
Curious about my Personal Branding Process?
Read more from Veronica at www.wonderlust.love