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
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?
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:
- 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.”