Building the brand of YOU
Most entrepreneurs do pretty well with the technical aspects of their business. After all, things like writing blog posts, creating lead magnets, and building an email list are pretty straightforward once you know the mechanics.
And a lot of businesses check these items off their list with regularity.
Unfortunately, on their own, these marketing activities do little to differentiate your business from competitors or to attract premium clients.
There is another crucial component of the success formula that many business owners are missing or avoiding. And that piece is YOU.
Look at people who have millions of social media followers like Tony Robbins, Richard Branson, Oprah, Gary Vee, and Ellen DeGeneris.
Know why they are so popular?
It's because they infuse their company brand with personality.
Your personality is your secret success sauce
Your personal brand is the secret sauce that can set your company apart in your industry.
This is crucial because if you aren't doing something to differentiate your business, you quickly become a commodity.
And whether you are a solo-entrepreneur or a $10-million dollar company, this is not a good place to be as a business.
When your business is a commodity, then you are stuck in a huge dog pile of competitors who basically all look the same to your prospects. You won't be able to charge a premium price.
Plus, you won't have loyal clients who want to work with you again and again - they'll simply jump ship at a whim. Yikes!
Your personality differentiates your business
In contrast, anchoring your business around your personal brand will draw premium clients to you, make your business more memorable, and completely differentiate you from your competitors. Your personal brand is what will showcase your unique and authentic personality.
And when you leverage the brand of YOU, there can be no competition.
So how exactly do you do your build a personal brand?
The first thing is to get really clear on your core purpose. This is the soul of your brand or your Why. It is the very reason that you do what you do. Your vision always reminds you of where you are going, what you are doing, and why you are doing it.
Next, begin to write more personal posts on your blog, create videos, give interviews, record podcasts, and share more photographs of your life. Chat informally on Twitter and Facebook. Tell your audience about your successes and your failures. Tell people about your vision and your purpose.
On the About page of your website, tell people about your core purpose and your backstory. What was your journey to get where you are today? What gets you excited? What are your hobbies?
If you look at the bottom of my About page, you can see how I've included some fun facts about my life.
When you talk to your clients, reveal small things about your life. For instance, did you watch something amazing on Netflix? Did you take your kids somewhere cool recently?
All of these things will magnetically draw people in to you. It will also keep them loyal to your company.
And you can do this whether you are a solopreneur or the CEO of a multi-million dollar company.
By being YOU, you develop a brand that is absolutely unique.
People will get really excited about what you are doing because all of a sudden, you aren't a faceless company. You are a real person with whom they can forge a relationship. They start to see commonalities, discovering that you share similar values and interests.
Once people feel like they know, like, and trust you, they will spread the word to their friends. They will more readily sign up for your services, and they'll take the time to comment on your blog.
And best of all - you are having more fun than ever before because you are in absolute alignment with your Why. You are clear on what drives you and you are attracting clients that share that same belief.
It takes courage to share more about YOU
Yes, I know it's friggin' scary to put yourself out there in this way.
Fear is the number one thing that holds entrepreneurs back from showing more of themselves in their marketing.
I know it feels weird to write or talk about why you dance under the full moon and why you hate the color aqua and why your first Webinar was a total flop.
I understand that you don't want to get on video or do a livestream because you think you're too old, too young, too boring, too pimply, too awkward, too shy, too brassy, too weird, too stuttery, too whatever your latest story/excuse/fear is yelling inside your head right now.
I get all that.
But here's what you don't understand about building the brand of YOU.
You are the only YOU in this whole wide world.
Your collection of knowledge, experiences, skills, reading lists and network, are yours and yours alone. And that makes YOU pretty amazing.
Your audience...your right people want to build a relationship with another person. They want to learn about you. They don't care about a faceless company. They care about you.
In developing your content, you can share a little or you can share a lot. I've seen it work equally well either way - it all depends on how you are shaping your brand and how comfortable you are with telling stories about yourself.
But the key is to infuse YOU into your business.
As author George Orwell said, "The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection."
Show your beautiful, brilliant, awesome, unique self with all of your amazing, fabulous, uniquely perfect quirks, imperfections, weird habits, and imperfections.
When you start doing this, your audience will fall in love with you.
You'll also get noticed by the influencers in your industry and they will ask you to partner with them.
Oh, and you'll sell more of your products and services. Authenticity is a great sales tool. And, that's a pretty great byproduct of infusing your brand with YOU.
Get yourself out there in spite of your fear
Being an entrepreneur is about constantly stepping into the fear. It's about being comfortable with discomfort.
Technology has created so many ways to get your personal brand and story out in front of people allowing them to get a sense of who you are, what you offer, how you add value, and whether they like you.
So stop hiding out of fear and get yourself out there.
It’s this simple: YOU makes your brand unique and special.
You are in charge of building your brand.
Luckily, there is no single road to personal brand success. You get to forge your own path.
And there is no one right way to create the brand called YOU.
Except this: Start today. Begin right now.