What a Personal Brand is, and What It’s Not
So, you need “branding” for your Instagram or LinkedIn posts? Maybe a logo, resume, header image, or the whole kit and caboodle?
Sorry, that’s not branding.
K, technically, yes, all those things are part of your business or personal brand and you’ll often see them sold together as “branding” on many designers’ websites. But it’s still not branding. You are missing some key ingredients to a successful brand for a thought leader.
Branding is, as my celebrity crush, Seth Godin puts it, is, “the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
In no part of that definition did you see the words logo, fonts, or even design.
Personal branding is building stories, memories and relationships.
Personal branding is adding consistent intuitive value.
You used to be able to get away with slapping your resume on LinkedIn, adding a profile picture and occasionally posting an article or two that you like (but probably didn’t read, and neither will anyone else). Or maybe you found a fancy logo in a scripty for business cards. Nowadays a brand encompasses, and requires, so much more.
Today, in order to create a successful personal brand experience you have to show up on purpose, with purpose.
You need to take a stand, and you have to do it on every brand touch point.
A brand touchpoint includes any platform you touch your customers, clients or potential employers like your LinkedIn page, personal website, social media channels, a thank you note, email signature, and oftentimes your leadership. Literally everything people come into contact with.
Because a crafting a successful personal brand or a thought leadership platform is a series of ongoing conversations, both visual and verbal, which come together to create a brand experience.
That means you can’t treat branding like it’s a line item on your days to-do list.
It’s a way of being. It’s who you are being.
I was having a conversation with someone last week and they told me that I have an “intuitive way” of being on social media. She said how I show up online is how I am in real life. “Both of me” were in alignment. I was thrilled! This way of being creates a sense of ease that I’ve been working towards for years.
My social media hasn’t always been this way, I definitely struggled with what to share, what was “too much” and trying to impress others. All of which left me drained and attracting the wrong clients. Once I realized the “answer” to social media comes from a deep sense of knowing who I am and what I want, then I was able to show up on social media and attract my ideal clients.
You’re probably like, “That’s great Lisa, now what? How do I do that for me?”
First 3 Steps to Create a Magnetic Personal Brand Experience
1.) Approach your brand holistically
“Approaching your brand from a holistic perspective means your entire emotional, visual, and verbal identity is in alignment with who you are being.” Lisa Guillot
Pause: Who you are Being? That’s the big deal.
Social Media has created a constant conversation between you and your audience. This is also true for people who are making a career change. Your personal brand is alive and kicking on LinkedIn, Google, and all of your social media. Google yourself. See what life your personal brand has taken on if you haven’t been tending to it.
A positive and long-lasting brand experience needs to be holistically drawn from your true authentic being if you want it to resonate and create those memories Seth talks about and be a business you can feel good about showing up in every day.
2.) Continually gut-check and knock out your fears
As a mindset coach for high-performing women who value intuition, empathy, flow, receiving – qualities that are innately part of their Divine Design as a woman of power, I don’t put life and business in their own neat and separate boxes, because that’s not how life works for women.
Nope. Who I am being is the same in a personal or business conversation. I bring my intuitive self to the table.
Life and your life’s work are intertwined and continually play off one another, and chances are, I’m telling you something you already know.
What you may not know is that your fears, your overwhelm, those draining ways of being will show up in your brand or personal brand experience if you’re not connected to your Divine Design.
Are you disorganized, living in a constant state of overwhelm, or you fear you don’t have enough time? Those ways of being will bleed into your brand experience in a heartbeat (been there, done that).
3.) Consistently know-up and show-up
So far, almost everything I’ve talked about here has all been about you, you, you. Now it’s time to talk about them. “Them” being your audience.
In addition to coming from your intuitive self, crafting a personal brand experience your audience will fall in love with means you have to consistently be learning about them.
Here’s a practice for you this week: write down 10 places your audience likes to hangout online: go to them, get involved, comment, research.
- Employers in search of the perfect candidate? LinkedIn and industry groups
- Customers in search of wellness products? Instagram
- Clients in search of life coaches? Google and they are asking their friends
- Customers in search of fitness classes? Facebook
Get curious and inquisitive everywhere. Listen more than you talk, ask questions, follow-up, be present. After every group coaching program I host like my Power Pack, or Be Bright Personal Branding Masterclass I send out a Google Form to gather feedback on what went well and what didn’t.
Get curious, ask people what they want.
There’s a lot more work that goes into creating a magnetic personal brand experience, but these 3 pillars are the starting point.
Now I want to know: Are you approaching your brand or personal brand from a holistic perspective? Are you purposefully ignoring one (or more) of these practices because it feels massively and overwhelmingly uncomfortable?
I’d love to help you break through those barriers. Join me for an introductory session or sign up for my next Power Pack, or Be Bright Personal Branding Masterclass.