Prior to joining Embryo as a Content Executive, I took on various projects as a marketing freelancer. In my role, I wanted to create a clear brand that would help me to define my values and my mission, to attract my ideal clients. As I embarked on this journey, I read The Little Black Book by Otegha Uwagba, which inspired me to focus on creating a personal brand. With the advice from this book and some further reading, I built a strong personal brand, whilst helping others to build theirs within my role as a content writer and social media manager.
However, building a personal brand isn’t just a necessity for business owners. The process is beneficial to professionals, business coaches, influencers or anybody that wants to figure out what they stand for and what they truly want in life.
In this blog, I’ll discuss what a personal brand is and how you can create one that is clear, effective and easy to incorporate into your wider marketing strategy if you’re a business owner. In the second part of this guide, coming soon, I’ll discuss why building a brand of this kind is so important, both personally and professionally, and how you can implement it into your marketing strategy.
What Is A Personal Brand?
Your personal brand is simply how you want others to perceive you. It’s a combination of your personality, your knowledge and your experience. Ask yourself – what exactly do you want to be known for? What do you want your legacy to be? What is your mission in life, personally or professionally? Creating a strong personal brand can help you to achieve whatever your answers are.
Sometimes, people often consider a personal brand to be something that is exclusive to social media. For example, key industry figures on social media platforms – such as LinkedIn – may have strong values or a clear mission that then informs their posts and the key messages they share with their followers.
However, a personal brand doesn’t have to be a concept that is confined to just social media posts – it is much bigger than that. Yes, social media can be a part of your broader marketing strategy and how you showcase your brand, but your personal brand is whatever you make it. Whilst personal branding can be as simple or as complex as you like, for me, the main parts of the formula are to understand your audience and industry before considering your values and your passions.
Whilst personal brands are completely unique to each individual (and rightly so, as it helps you to stand out amongst competitors), every brand should be built on the same principles and foundations of consistency, positivity and authenticity. These factors will help you to target the right audience, whether that’s potential clients and customers or key industry names for your professional network.
How To Create A Personal Brand
Understand your audience and industry
Understanding your target audience and your industry or niche is an important first step for business owners that are building a brand. This step is also crucial when creating a successful marketing strategy. You need to have a sound understanding of what problems you are solving for your customers, using your industry knowledge and experience. Based on this, put yourself in the position of your target audience. When you’re looking for somebody, or a business, that can solve your problem, what particular values would stand out to you and resonate with you?
Whilst this understanding can aid the growth of your personal brand, it is important to stay true to yourself. There’s a fine balance between understanding your target audience and creating a brand that you are truly happy with too. Whilst grasping what issues you can solve for your audience and understanding what can help you to stand out amongst industry competitors is important, make sure that you are truly passionate about your brand and your mission. Passion goes a long way on the path to success.
Consider your values
Our personal values are beliefs and principles that are important to us. Our values inform our behaviours and our decisions, guiding us through our careers and our lives more generally. In the same way that businesses – such as Embryo – often have a set of values that they work in line with, you should consider your most important personal values. This will inform your mission – whether that’s a personal goal, your business mission statement or your career pathway.
Considering your values can be as simple as making a list of what matters to you. Asking yourself questions to prompt your responses is useful too. What’s important to you in life? What problem do you want to solve for your audience, or what do you want to change in the world? Are there any particular actions or behaviours that you have seen and find inspiring? Keep a record of all your thoughts and ideas, no matter how small they may seem. Group and order these thoughts, considering what the most important values are to you. Is it reliability? Honesty? Knowledge? Then, prioritise them – which are the most important values to you? These will help to inform your choices, such as the narrative within your marketing or the service you wish to offer to clients.
Carefully considering your values will help to keep you grounded and keep your brand genuine. By making it clear what you stand for, you’ll also invite the right people into your personal circle, your network or your client base, as those that resonate with and appreciate your values will be drawn to you.
Consider your passions
Creating a personal brand isn’t just about impressing your audience. Infact, the process can bring positive benefits to you personally. By focusing on your own personal values and your passions before factoring these into key decisions such as your career pathway, you will be considerably happier. After all, if you do what you love, you will enjoy it. If you enjoy it, you will do your best. If you’re a business owner, not only is this a win for you, but for your clients or customers that are receiving your services or products. Ultimately, your passions should help you to meet your mission and uphold your values.
As mentioned though, taking some time to consider what you’re passionate about is crucial for your own happiness. You don’t want to spend time doing something that doesn’t bring you joy or positivity. Using myself and my previous freelancing business as an example, I started off by offering a range of services that varied from branding packages to copywriting and social media management. Whilst the detailed list of services may have been impressive to outsiders looking in, I didn’t really enjoy taking on all of these aspects by myself – it was a lot for one person to balance.
After taking some time out to consider what I was truly passionate about, I decided to niche down, focusing primarily on content writing. Despite then offering fewer services, I enjoyed my work more. As a result, I created quality work that delivered results. I received great reviews and, subsequently, more interest in my services.
Want To Build Your Brand With An Effective Marketing Strategy? Get In Touch With Us!
Using this blog as a guide, hopefully you feel inspired to create an effective personal brand. If you’re a business owner looking to grow your brand online, our teams here at Embryo can create effective digital campaigns that will increase your visibility and your online presence. To find out more, get in touch with us at [email protected] or by calling 0161 327 2635.