What is personal branding?
It’s injecting YOU into what you sell. Personal branding is your relationship with and how you connect emotionally with your clients. It’s a promise to your customer. And it’s how you showcase your authentic style, the unique solutions you offer, and how you provide your service. It’s your values.
Your clients choose to do business with you because of you.
Branding is a critical part of building your business for those in direct sales (individual consultants, presenters, and stylists who sell a service or product not from a storefront but directly to the consumer). That’s because when you don’t have the ballast of corporate marketing, well-known products, and the distribution of a brick-and-mortar store to drive product sales, how much you sell depends entirely on you. As someone in direct sales, you have to be the product, which means you must brand yourself, not the company you represent. This business you’re in is personal. You may have your company’s slick marketing materials, but they’re about the company, not you, and besides, all the company’s consultants have them too. As a direct seller, you must have a unique brand that reflects who you are, what you offer, and what problem you solve.
Why? Because people don’t buy things, they buy the people selling them the things. If you are doing a great job of selling yourself, communicating what you do, what makes you unique, and how you enhance a client’s life by buying from you, you will build trust and loyalty so that no matter what you are selling, they will buy.
Building long-term relationships is critical to your success. But you can’t stop there. You must also distinguish yourself from all the other people doing what you’re doing. Your client can buy from any of them, after all. Right? You must highlight your one-of-a-kind selling point and define and showcase what you bring to the mix that others doing the same thing don’t so that folks buy from YOU. That is what creating a personal brand is all about, and it sets you apart immediately.
Why Build Your Personal Brand?
- Many folks think that all you need to create a brand is a logo and color palette. Not true. This is part of your branding, but it’s not your brand. Branding yourself will allow you to stand out confidently and appear more professional and different from everyone else.
- Having a recognizable brand will give you confidence when sharing and selling yourself because it helps you set expectations for others of what you’re all about. People will know what to expect before you have to explain.
- Branding yourself allows you to switch gears if necessary. Should the company you represent go out of business or change its values, or the quality of its product deteriorates, you can pivot more easily. As you pivot, your brand follows you; you’re not reinventing yourself.
- It is easier to grow your team when you brand yourself. Your team has something they can relate to, get behind, and aspire to.
Where to start?
Establish the following:
The heart and soul of your brand. A clear expression of what you’re passionate about. What is your purpose? What are you selling? Remember you’re not just selling products or services. You’re selling more. Determine what that is. Are you selling peace of mind? Do you save your clients time? Are you selling women confidence?
Who do you serve, or are you selling to? How are you helping to change your client’s life? That’s what you’re selling: a solution to their problem. What solution do you provide your audience?
Why do you do this work, and what do you value?
How are you different from anyone else in the same space?
Give some time and thought to why you’re in your business and what it stands for. What do you hope to accomplish? What are your current and future objectives that you’re ultimately working towards? Where do you want to be next year, in five years?
Paint a picture of the results you want to deliver for the people you serve.
A brand promise is the value or experience your clients can expect to receive anytime they interact with you (your business). What can your clients expect from you?
Values are those guiding principles that reflect your core beliefs.
Identifying and defining what you value creates a solid framework for how you show up in the world and how you show up for your clients. A values-driven life and values-driven business will help you create exceptional customer experiences and perpetuate what you want to be known for.
This work will ensure that your brand is an honest representation of who you are. Your clients will choose to do business with you because of your values and who you are.
Your Unique Differentiator
One of the most crucial aspects of your personal brand is how you set yourself apart, what makes you different, and what about working with or buying from you is different from all of the other sellers in your space doing the exact same thing.
Why are you different? What sets you apart? What do you want to be known for?
Identifying your unique differentiator opens the doors for deeper human connection and relevance to your market.
Consider everything from degrees, certifications, years of experience, and breadth of experience to niche knowledge, skill sets, life events, and subject matter expertise.
Your Ideal Client
When establishing your “ideal client,” demographics won’t give you much and psychographics do not paint a complete picture either. You need to go deeper. To really understand your audience, you need to replicate their emotional state when they need your help most. You’ve identified the problem your audience faces in and around the problem you solve; how do these problems impact their emotions?
Remember, you cannot be all things to everyone and anyone.
The narrower your definition of your target customer, the less competition for their attention you’ll have.
When thinking about your ideal customer, focus on what is motivating them to find you now and do business with you. What drives them to make the decisions they do?
Creating a successful brand is about serving a very distinct and receptive market well.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to be completely clear about your ideal client. You’re better able to speak directly to him or her if you’re crystal clear on your ideal client, especially if you can identify them as an actual living, breathing person that you already know. Knowing who the person is will make it easier to develop consistent messaging, website content, and more.
For more information on defining your ideal client, see Defining Your Ideal Client.
As you uncover your authentic self and voice, communicating to your audience is easy. Attracting your ideal clients is effortless. Delivering a clear, concise, and consistent message is a no-brainer, and it will without a doubt attract and engage your ideal clients.
Now, let me be very clear about something, designing a logo and selecting colors and fonts can only begin after everything we’ve discussed above is complete. It may be fun to conceptualize a pretty logo and sketch it out on a cocktail napkin or select colors that you just love for your brand. It is fun, I promise. Designing is my favorite part, too. However, you must know precisely who you’re talking to, who you’re trying to attract, what they’re looking for, their values and desires so that your brand identity design resonates with them so well that there is no other option for them but you.
For more Brand Clarity, head over to my website sueforrest.com and download my Free Gift Finding Brand Clarity Guide. Or feel free to schedule a free call with me for a little more direction. Click my schedule link below for a convenient time.