“People buy from people. That’s what personal branding is all about.” (click to tweet)
Okay, the buying part isn’t what it’s all about, but it sure is a good reason to give your personal brand some thought and attention. Personal branding at it’s core is about genuine confidence. Having a good sense of your personal brand (your voice, your point of view, your style) gives you confidence to put yourself out there in conversations, in the content you write, post, send, and even the way you work with your clients—as a creative with something to say, and as a creative entrepreneur.
Tara here. What really sparked this post is a recent monthly masterclass Kathleen and I held breaking down our personal branding exercises for our Braid ECourse creatives. They had lots of great questions in the live webinar, and a lot it came down to knowing how much or how little to really put out there, and the hesitation we can all feel when it comes to really “owning” our personal brand.
So when we say your personal brand helps people buy from you – as a person – what we’re trying to help creatives understand is you don’t have to be all cold and “businessy” (hide behind stiff or overly-clever businessy language or branding) to get hired, get paid, and grow a legit business of your own. You and your business can (and in most cases, should) convey your own unique personal + professional blend because people buy from people. But finding that special blend isn’t always easy.
If you are creating a business for yourself, most likely you already have a personal brand, but you could be sharing it better… OR you don’t feel like you have a personal brand to share, but know you want to develop yours more intentionally and genuinely.
Most of the creatives we work with are already completely aboard the personal branding train. They are using their own name as their business name, they are trying to get their personality and style across on their website and in their social media “places.” They are ready to start tooting their personal brand horn and chugging down their business vision tracks! But something is stalling them.
If they are just starting out for the first time they may be stuck in the station, or if they’ve been doing this for a while now they may be stuck at a crossing – waiting for something or someone to give them the signal that they’ve got what it takes to make this journey on their own steam and on their own terms.
Don’t get stalled out. It’s not as overwhelming as it seems. Ultimately a personal brand is about:
– recognizing the most inspiring aspects of your personality
– recognizing the most expert or helpful aspects of your personality
– sharing the stories you feel comfortable sharing
– asking yourself ‘how can I be more honest or useful’ in my content?
– sharing the behind-the-scenes of how you do what you do
– using words you really use in real life
– showing your style (not someone else’s) in visual ways
– redefining what “professional” looks like to you
– setting some boundaries of how much you will cross into the personal
– being okay with some people “opting out” if your brand isn’t a fit for them
– being consistent about who you are and what you deliver so people who do “opt in” to your personal brand get what they were drawn to about you… along the way
If you are feeling stalled out or stuck around your personal brand, your business vision, and just putting it out there in a way that feels right to you, then go through this checklist above. See if you can pinpoint the few that are giving you pause. Can you tackle just one of them?
For example, some personal branding actions you can take now:
– get more of your style infused in your portfolio
– let go of some of the stuffy rules of professionalism that are making your emails too stiff
– weed out the language on your website that doesn’t feel genuine to your true voice (a few of the culprits we see are: too generic-robot-strategic, too over-the-top-inspiring-empowering, too lovely-amazing-cutesy-fabulous)
– start sharing more behind-the-scenes of your creative process, expertise, projects or even patterns you see in your profession
Not only will tackling one, or even all, of the above, help you better define and refine your personal brand – they will also help position you as the creative expert you are, or want to become.
Personal Branding is just one of the many lessons in our Braid Method Branding ECourse for Creative Entrepreneurs. The lessons include:
- Get Specific | Define Your Fears and Dreams
- Your Personal Brand | Get YOU Into What You Do
- Your Creative Expertise | Narrow In On Your Specialty
- Your Dream Customers | Make Them Real
- Get Blended | Shape Your Brand Messages
- Get It Out There | Share Your Gifts of Knowledge and Tell People How To Hire You
- Keep The Dream Job Dreamy | How We Get Down to Business Behind The Scenes