Recently, I had an interesting coffee date with my husband. Not that our coffee dates are usually boring but you know… they’re more a couple of hours just to ourselves where we usually wind up discussing our kids… which we are trying to take a small break from… *cue Alanis in the background*
Anyway, back to the interesting part of it. You see, my husband is trying to break into the streaming scene on Twitch. And while he was telling me his plans and bouncing ideas off me, I asked him how he plans to get followers. With a heavy sigh, he admitted he will have to get social on social media and then asked if I could make him a cover for Twitch and for Twitter…. Before dropping his jaw and concluding:
OMG I’M GONNA NEED A BRAND AREN’T I?
Which brings me to the point of this post: anyone attempting to make it online, needs a brand. It doesn’t matter if you are a streamer, a blogger, or a small business owner. Branding is no longer reserved for big names like Coca-Cola, or Sony.
The thing is guys, a personal branding strategy can be the most influential tool for success in your self-marketing toolkit. You can identify, package and sell who you are to build a personal brand that results in blog or business growth, influence, and income.
The problem that most people have with branding though is that they simply have no idea where to start when it comes to developing an effective personal branding strategy. And, unfortunately, most of them equate their brand with a logo.
Please, I urge you, don’t be one of them.Personal branding strategy is much more than having a logo! #branding #smallbusinessClick To Tweet
Having a logo is all fine, cool, and dandy but a logo a brand does not make. A logo is more like a collateral to your overall brand – it should reflect it.
So how do you develop your branding strategy? Where do you even start?
I’m so glad you asked because I’ve got the answer! So, grab a cup of coffee, sit down, get comfy and let’s get to it.
7 Key Elements of Effective Personal Branding Strategy
Forewarning: This is the same process I used and it’s the same process I put my clients through. So let me share 8 key elements you should consider when it comes to defining YOUR personal branding strategy.
1. Define Your What
Get clear on your personal strengths, talents, values, and core area of expertise. What are you good at? What unique experiences do you bring to the table? What guides you in your everyday life? Understand how you connect best with people. Consider what your target audience needs and wants, and then identify the value and the experience that you can deliver to meet those needs and wants.
Communicate in ways that reach into the hearts and minds of your target audience and connect with their core values and deepest desires – in other words, speak their language. Don’t use $100 words just because you know them if your target audience responds better to everyday vocabulary.
2. Establish Your Why
The personal branding process is about having self-awareness of your strengths and talents, and then letting everyone know about your gifts, talents, and experience. It’s about giving a clear impression of who you are, what you value, what you’re committed to, and how you can be counted upon to act.
Your branding statement must provide a clear, concise view of your unique set of strengths and tell why you can do it better than anyone else. You need to be able to state clearly and unequivocally, why you are different than everyone else, and what services you offer that make you unique and set you ahead of your competition. Also, consider why are you doing this. What made you choose that particular topic/business? Why are you so passionate about it?
3. Be Consistent
Consistency is one of the keys to building a strong personal brand. Be aware of being consistent in every interaction you have, both in what you say and how you respond. Establishing a professional brand is absolutely critical to long-term, sustainable growth. In an overcrowded marketplace, if you’re not standing out, then you’re invisible. Branding your products and services will give you an edge over your competition and enhance your value to your target market.
That means if your branding colors are blue and pink, don’t confuse your audience by using orange and green. If your brand voice is sarcastic and snarky, don’t go posting something that sounds depressed and reflective for days on end.
4. Live Your Brand
It’s natural to want a distinction between a personal you and a business you. However, all your hard work on your branding strategy will go the way of the dodo bird if you create two completely opposite images.Tweet me: Your branding strategy will go the way of the dodo bird if you don't live your brand!Click To Tweet
Don’t try to create a vibrant and quirky brand if your personality doesn’t match. You will come off as a fake and people can smell a fake a mile away.
If you have employees, make sure your employees are aware of the personality of your business. Everyone needs to be familiar with and carry out the persona inside the brand. Some great ways to do this are to hire those you believe already possess the desired traits.
5. Be There
When I say be there, I’m referring to the act of exposing your potential audience to your name, logo, tagline, etc. on a frequent basis, and to the extent that people are already aware of you when they are ready to purchase a product or service that you offer.
After all, it makes no sense to create a personal branding strategy if your audience doesn’t even know you exist.Tweet me: It makes no sense to create a personal branding strategy if they don’t know you exist.Click To Tweet
You have to be present where your audience is and in today’s day and age that usually means social media. However, you also don’t want to overdo it, otherwise, you will chase them away. You have to find the perfect balance between getting noticed and drowning in with the rest of the noise.
Start by engaging with your audience on one or two networks; preferably those you are most familiar with. Engage actively with your audience at least three times a week. By running a very strong campaign over the course of a month, you can easily create a very lasting effect on the people you would like to have as your customers.
It is important to maintain continuity through the use of the same logo, business name, or tagline in all your promotions so your targets are receiving the same impression with each exposure, regardless of the exact mode of delivery.
You want to create the awareness of your name, logo, or tagline and associate it with your products and services well before they even need what you have to offer.
6. Reward Loyalty
Have you already found a tribe of your raving fans? Then reward them for their awesomeness! They’ve already gone out of their way to spread the word about you by writing about you, driving their friends crazy with their stories about you, and in essence, they are your brand ambassadors. If you reward them for their loyalty, you will enter a magical circle of repeat customers which brings more profit. Pssst, I use the term profit loosely here – whether that’s more readers, more viewers, more actual paying customers… you get the picture.
How do you reward them? Sometimes, just a thank you is all that’s needed. Other times, it’s better to go over the top. Write them a personalized letter. Send them a custom t-shirt or a coffee mug. Give them a shout out on social media. Feature them on your website. Drop a balloon with their name from the top of the building. Use your imagination here.
And you know what’s the best part about cultivating loyalty? It creates a positive image of your relationship between you and your clients/readers/viewers. At the end of the day, we’re all much more likely to adopt a brand if we can see they treat their customers with respect.Tweet this: We’re more likely to adopt a brand if we see they treat their customers with respect.Click To Tweet
7. Embrace the Competition
I hate to break this to you but chances are there is someone out there with the same/eerily similar business model/blog as you. But you know what? It’s not the end of the world. Competition is actually healthy because it can challenge you to be better.Competition is actually healthy because it can challenge you to be better. Tweet This!Click To Tweet
So instead of crying in your pillow and allowing paranoia to set in, use competition to your advantage. How? Watch what they do. Take notes and learn what you can do to improve and how you can bring greater value. What are they successful at? Which strategies failed? Use that information to bring out the awesome in you.
Now let’s make one thing clear. Being aware of your competition and knowing what they are doing is important but please for Pete’s sake (… who is Pete by the way?) don’t get so caught up in it that you turn into a stalker. Or worse – a copycat stalker. That’s just creepy. So don’t do it mmkay?
Remember, you are UNIQUE, your story is UNIQUE, and that is what sets you apart.
Their target audience might be the same as yours but I guarantee you, they won’t attract every single one of them. Just like Playstation and XBox.
Did you like this? Do me a favor would you and spread the word – I’ll lub you forever!
P.S. Are you ready to create your own totally awesome personal branding strategy? Get the cheat-sheet here!