Personal Brand Building – First Five Steps

April 2, 2009 by  Filed under: Branding 

Are you ready to stand out in today’s overcrowded marketplace? With the millions of messages we are bombarded with on a weekly basis, it’s more imperative than ever to brand your brilliance in order to get noticed and gain visibility. Successful brands reflect the unique authenticity of their creators. They exude their creators’ essence in every way.

In a nutshell, your personal brand is your promise of value. It is your own unique combination of strengths, skills, values and passions – and it is what you alone offer the world. These attributes, coupled with your vision for your life, reveal the core around which you have built your brand.

Here are the first steps to discovering your brand brilliance:

Uncover Your Descriptors: these are adjectives or attributes that best describe you. These are not only the most visible part of your brand, but also what make it memorable. Take some time to come up with 10 adjectives that really resonate with you. Then ask at least 10 friends, family members, co-workers etc. to do the same. The external feedback from other people who know you is important as the key to branding is ultimately what is perceived by others. Make a note of those adjectives that are most frequently repeated. These are the attributes that you’re expressing most consistently and are pivotal to your personal brand.

Identify Your Values: these are your guiding principles, the rudder of your ship and the North Star on your compass. One way to determine if something is a value is to see how you feel if someone were to violate it. For example, as an entrepreneur, one of my greatest values is Freedom. I enjoy setting my own course, being in charge and not answering to anyone in authority. If I were to take a heavily micromanaged corporate position, I would be utterly miserable. Another way to identify a value is to think about what makes you angry. When a value is violated, we often feel angry, resentful or disappointed.

Know Your Target Audience: Who do you want to help? Who would you most like to work with? These are the questions you need to be asking yourself before you begin communicating your brand benefits. It’s important to know the WHO before you can talk about the WHY. You certainly can’t be everything to everybody (nor would you want to as you would be completely exhausted!), so it’s crucial to identify your ideal clients. Start by considering who are your favorite clients right now. What do they have in common? What are their key needs in life?

Identify Your Passions: What is it that gets you out of bed in the morning? What topics could you talk about joyfully for hours on end or activities do you most enjoy participating in? Your passions provide the juice for your brand – the steam that keeps your engine moving, long after you’re ready to give up.

Define Your Vision For Your Life: Not just where you want to be a year from now, or even five years from now, but who do you want to BE in this lifetime. Imagine that you are a ghost at your funeral and everyone there is talking effusively about your wonderful life – a total celebration of you. What are they saying about you? What contributions did you make?

While these are just the first steps to building a powerful personal brand, they are the most important, so it’s worth taking some time with them. In order to make an emotional connection with your target market, it is imperative that your brand brilliance – your unique authenticity – shines through in everything you do. These steps are the foundation of your brand house. Without them, you are merely a house of cards.

© Liz Dennery Sanders 2009

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!


You must be logged in to post a comment.

Prev Post:
Next Post: