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Why you need to be clear on your personal brand

Why you need to be clear on your personal brand

If you only do one thing for your business to make a difference then make it this: get clear on your personal brand

Let me explain why this is important.

Why you need to get clear on your personal brand

I’m nearly at the end of my first full week of school/childcare for what feels like eleventy hundred years and I feel like a new woman! I hadn’t realised how much I’d missed a routine! Wow.

And I’ve been hanging out on Instagram a lot more recently (are we connected there? Come follow me!). I’ve noticed some really amazing content by VAs that truly taps into the pain points their ideal clients will be experiencing.

But do you know what else? I’ve also noticed a whole heap of VAs who are sharing tips and advice for other VAs or, well, no-one in particular. 

You see, the great thing about running a business is that you can treat it like a science experiment.⁠

You can give something a go, see if it works, tweak, adjust and then review its success.⁠ Nothing is set in stone.⁠

But content is one thing you don’t need to experiment with.⁠

  • ALL your social media content needs to speak DIRECTLY to YOUR ideal client. ⁠
  • Niche down as much as you can.⁠
  • The more specific you can be with your language, the better.⁠
  • Tap into those pain points. ⁠
  • Emphasise the transformation.⁠
  • Use the same wording and phrases as your target audience.

Now, it can seem a bit scary to do this at first. Putting yourself out there can be terrifying. But it’s made such a huge difference to my business. So I know it will make a huge difference to your business as well. 


I’ve broken it down for you here:

How to create a personal brand

lipsticks

Creating a personal brand boils down to three key areas:

1. Purpose – being well known for something

Regardless of your role or industry, at its most basic level, we’re all here to be of service (in one way or another).

Our aims and motivations may differ, but we all gain satisfaction and a sense of purpose if we create and nurture relationships with those whose values align with our own. And it’s as true for your personal life as for your work.  

It’s easier to glide through life when you’ve worked out what your core values are. In the world of work, this could fast-track you to feeling content, happy, and fulfilled.

A quick search for ‘how do I work out my core values’, produces heaps of resources that will help you with this soul-searching exercise.

If I relate this to my world, I know what my purpose is (my niche = VAs who want more from their business). And I am acutely aware of my core values; they feed into my broader marketing strategy and sales messaging.

By creating a solid reputation and being known for something, you may be surprised by the reaction. I recently received this LinkedIn connection request from a VA: “I am inspired by your podcast and it would be great to connect.”

2. Character – how you make others feel

Think about how you greet a barista in a coffee shop. Do you get a good level of service if you shout your order while sending a message on your phone? Probably, yes – the barista is there to do their job so you can go about your busy day. Job done, right?

Not quite.

What if you give the barista your full attention when you arrive? Greet them with a smile, ask about their day and then go on to request your order? Sure, the drink may be the same, but you’ve allowed your true character to shine.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

There’s a sandwich chain here in the UK where staff can give away a certain amount of hot drinks and food free every day. It might be because a customer is having a bad day. Or because they’ve been polite. Staff are able to show goodwill to their customers.

There aren’t any stats on the ripple effect from that sandwich chain’s generosity, but I’m sure you’re familiar with ‘paying it forward’. Altruism (and goodwill again) gives us a greater sense of meaning and fulfilment.

3. Reputation – being held in the highest regard at all times

If you want to be the type of person who’s held in the highest regard amongst your peers and even your own clients, the following traits are synonymous with creating a good reputation:

  • Doing what you say you’re going to do
  • Tailoring written/verbal communication to suit the reader/listener
  • Managing expectations (not over-promising and under-delivering)
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Adding value to every single task
  • Avoiding office gossips, Negative Noras and the like

By following the above suggestions, you’ll become known for qualities pivotal to a successful brand:

  • Credible
  • Relatable
  • Reliable
  • Timely
  • Thinks outside the box
  • Authentic and likeable

Let’s put this in context. In the middle of 2016, I became an active member of a Facebook group. It is for aspiring, new and established VAs. I immediately saw that it’s a highly supportive and collaborative group. And my conversations were not with my ‘competition’, but my peers and supporters. I share my thoughts on other people’s challenges, celebrate their successes and generally ‘be of service,’ adding value to others.

Quite out of the blue, the group owner contacted me and to ask if I would become a moderator. Unbeknownst to me, my collaborative approach within the group was recognised.

By adding value to a Facebook group, somewhere I didn’t ever imagine I’d raise my profile or strengthen my personal brand, I have gone on to develop long-lasting friendships and strategic alliances with my fellow VAs. And I have been headhunted as the group owner’s VA. A role I stayed in for almost two years.

Your personal brand

“You are the only you there is and ever will be. I repeat, you are the only you there is and ever will be. Do not deny the world its one and only chance to bask in your brilliance.” – Jen Sincero

The most amazing thing about building your personal brand is that you remain totally authentic and likeable. Life is easier when you don’t have to pretend to be something you’re not. Additionally, you won’t need to resort to boasting or bragging about your achievements because your personal brand will speak volumes for you. And this all leads to further goodwill over time.

Creating a personal brand can open up the doors to opportunities you may not have considered. It’s about everything we do until it becomes totally natural. And can be worked on everywhere we go.

A poem by Nikita Gill, Be That Kind of Person:

“Be the kind of person who isn’t afraid to ask someone if they are okay twice if they say they are, but look like they aren’t.

Be the kind of person who smiles at people even if they don’t smile back.

Be the kind of person you wished for when no one was there for you.

Be the kind of person who is brave enough to stand alone in a crowd for what is right.

Be that person because we need more people like that in the world.

Be that person because people like that are rarer than the rarest diamonds and gold.”

How to have more a-ha! moments

How to have more a-ha! moments

If you’re anything like me, running a business can sometimes leave you with too much mental clutter and not enough breathing space.

The day-to-day responsibilities of running a business make it difficult to find time for creative thinking, new ideas and innovation. Even though you’re being productive, you’re missing opportunities for growth and development.

It wasn’t until reading Success Hangover by Kelsey Ramsden that I began to truly understand how mental breathing space allows you to have more of what Kelsey calls ‘aha moments’.

Free your mind

Do you ever wonder why we often have our best thoughts in the shower? When we do monotonous tasks that require little mental effort, our brains go on autopilot. This frees the subconscious to work on something else in the background.

The more deeply you focus on a task, the more likely your brain is to dismiss unconventional or creative ideas. That’s why forcing yourself to be creative on the spot is often a dead end.

Now, I’m not telling you to move your desk into the shower. I’m showing you why giving your brain a bit of freedom helps you to be more creative and spark those aha moments.

Kelsey’s six requirements for innovation

six

You’ll have to read the book for the full explanation (which I thoroughly recommend), but I want to share Kelsey’s six requirements for innovation. These are elements that she believes are essential to let your creativity flow.

1. Trust

You’ll never implement your new ideas if you don’t trust yourself. You need to believe in yourself and your innovations.

2. Freedom

Having the time, space and opportunity to evolve your ideas is essential for them to be fully realised.

3. Intuition

We’re often told to base our business ideas on facts and not to take risks. However, your intuition is an “overlooked secret weapon” that can lead to amazing new opportunities.

4. Training

It’s important to be competent before sharing your ideas with the world.

5. Being Present

Worrying about the past or the future can sometimes be a hindrance to creativity. Kelsey recommends witnessing what’s happening with the idea in an impartial way.

6. Translating

This means taking your idea and sharing it with the world without fear of judgement.

Are you ready to have more a-ha! moments? 

So, how many of the six requirements for innovation have you got covered? My guess is, if you’re being brutally honest, that you’re possibly not ticking them all right now.

If you’re ready to have more a-ha moments then my live training, 8 Weeks to OBM might be right for you. If you’re not sure, take the free quiz below to find out.  And I’ll tell you to save your money if I don’t think it’s a good fit for you.

Don’t fall into this trap

Don’t fall into this trap

I want to shine a light on something I’ve seen a LOT recently.  If you’ve fallen into this trap, it could well be stopping you from achieving the levels of success you deserve.

Before I start, I want to add a disclaimer: if emotions run high after reading this blog, ask yourself what those feelings are telling you. Because believe me, this comes completely from a place of wanting to help you play bigger in your business. 

Are you ready?

Never ASSUME, because when you ASSUME, you make an ASS of U and ME.

Something you’ve heard all too often before, I bet.

But that phrase really hit home for me recently when I wrongly assumed I could hire the right freelancer quicker than most people. I knew the process inside out. I knew a lot of freelancers. And I could do this with speed!

Hiring a freelancer

Hiring a freelancer

Here’s the story.

I thought about what I needed from a freelancer. So, I carefully considered the skills, systems, scope, availability and pricing. Then I started my keyword search on Facebook and LinkedIn.

I found a handful of people who were a potential fit.  I did a bit more digging, and realised they all fell into one of three categories:  

1. Freelancer Type A

Freelance Type A is active on social media and posts her content regularly. This is super useful because I get to see their personality through her tone of voice. It interests me enough to head over to the website. And the website shows me that she’s taking time to market her business and generate leads.

2. Freelancer Type B

Freelancer B is primarily sharing other people’s content and not creating their own. It’s kinda useful. But it doesn’t tell me more about their services. Nor can I get to know their personality from their tone of voice.

3. Freelancer Type C

Poor freelance C. They only have posts from months ago and the page look a bit sad and seriously neglected.

How you look from the outside

Initially, I assume that the freelancers with no posts were fully booked up. There is nothing online to show me they’re spending any time marketing or drumming up business. But I discover that some of these business owners are actually complaining in Facebook groups about not having enough client work.

They did have the capacity to take on another client.

They did want more work.

It’s confusing. Their lack of online presence means I immediately assume they don’t have time to market themselves because they were already fully booked. But the brutal truth is that they don’t have enough work and aren’t taking any action to change that.

If you need more clients then you must do these things

For the love of all things holy, if you need more clients then you absolutely have to:

  • Have a presence on at least one social media platform. And choose the one where your target audience is already hanging out. I hereby give you permission to deactivate accounts which don’t bring sales or you neglect. Closing down the Twitter account I hate (but the experts told me would be a lead-generating machine) was utterly liberating and one less thing clogging up my head.
  • Post your own conversational/inspirational/awareness-raising content and allow your personality to shine through.
  • Make a commitment to post regularly. It doesn’t matter if that’s daily, twice a week or fortnightly. Be unwaveringly consistent so your profile looks loved and nurtured. And make sure there’s something new at least every month.
  • If you have a pinned post, let it showcase your expertise and is no more than a couple of months old. It’s the first post people will see when they view your profile. Do you really want them to clock that it’s dated last year and assume you haven’t created any other pin-worthy content since then?

Do all of the above even when you’re fully booked. Then you’re constantly top of mind when potential clients need your services and you create a steady stream of enquiries.

Tough love

So there’s a little bit of tough love.  Whether you’re a VA or OBM or fall into that Type C category, you are losing out on prospective clients just like me.  We wrongly assume that a lack of online presence means you don’t need to market your business because you have enough work already.