In a world full of influencers and experts, it can be difficult to get your own brand noticed and recognised. Entrepreneurs like Richard Branson and Arianna Huffington have all lived through their rags to riches tale to achieve their hugely successful companies, but how did they get there? There are many ways in which you can build your personal brand, so I’ve put together a couple of top-tips that have been particularly effective in developing my own brands, Little Bird and Rise Up!, into the successes they have been up until today.
A key thing to keep in mind is that our personal brand needs to be congruous across everything that we do, and that includes how we present ourselves in person and through the internet. Remember that in order to encourage and stimulate emotional connections with others, we need to be emotionally connected to our brand and purpose. This is driven by our belief, our passion and overall mission and should exude in everything that we do. What else can we include in our strategy to help develop our personal brand?
Hone your uniqueness
A quote I like to recall sometimes is ‘’be yourself, everyone else is already taken’’ by Oscar Wilde, because I believe there is so much truth in it! Having an authentic brand separates you from the rest of the competition – what is unique about you that no one else can offer? What qualities can you provide that gives a bespoke service to your potential clients? Whatever they are, shout about them in every way you can! Focussing on your best qualities and putting a spotlight on them not only gives your brand purpose and offers insight, but it also connotes you’re confident in what you do.
What’s the story?
A strong personal brand is partnered with a strong narrative, or in other words, the story. If we have a passion for what we do, then a narrative becomes even more crucial to reflect a unified theme – supporting my point about keeping our brand congruous with everything we do. As a child, I was adopted into a white family in the 70’s and felt different to everyone else, but by embracing my unique experiences and encouraging others to do the same, I have found my life purpose of empowering people to live their dreams. Now a motivational speaker, author of Little Chick Has Lunch on The Moon, and founder of Little Bird People Development, I believe that my passion and my story adds purpose to my brand and gives my clients a clear understanding of why I do what I do!
Consider your digital footprint
Having an online presence in this day and age is pretty much conventional. It would almost be strange not to have some sort of social media footprint for our brand. The convenience of the digital age means that people meet you before they meet you! What we post, the language we use is there for everyone to see, so we must keep in mind how this might influence someone approaching us for business. I work with young people and children, so it would be incongruous for me to be posting inappropriate content that contradicts my purpose or what I believe. I think of being online like having to paint a digital image of my brand. I started from scratch, sharing the basics of who I am, the difference I make, and my brand developed from there.
Networking and collaborating is key
We might not have considered just how beneficial networking is with people within the same industry, as well as cross sector networking! Building relationships, which is what ‘networking’ is, offers a plethora of benefits for everyone involved. These include personal development, increased self-confidence and self-esteem, opens up potential work and/or social relationships, as well as enhancing our brand and profile. I believe in the notion that we can only succeed if we support, collaborate and work with others. Recognising that leaving our ego at the door opens up opportunity for personal and business growth.
Giving something back
One final thing to think about is what else you can give to the communities you serve? Have you considered corporate social responsibility? Giving back is at the heart of my personal brand - volunteering my time and experience, or supporting purposeful initiatives that really make a difference is at the core of who I am. With my brand, Little Bird Products, I published a self-penned book about a little chick who flies to the moon after being empowered to believe in his dreams. Because I believe in every child having the opportunity to read, I pledged that for every book sold, I would donate another one to a child in a less fortunate circumstance. How we give back is a reflection of our core values, brand, and the legacy we leave to the next generation.