“Defining myself, as opposed to being defined by others, is one of the most difficult challenges I face.” – Carol Moseley-Braun, politician and lawyer
When people first hear about personal branding, they often take in lots of surface-level messages about what to do to stay “on-brand” and get recommendations on putting themselves out there. Many hear these messages and act by immediately investing time and money in a shiny new website, logo, or even advertising. This is a huge mistake.
“The most important thing to remember is this: to be ready at any moment to give up what you are for what you might become.” – W.E.B. Du Bois, author, and philosopher
At All You Branding, we tell our clients that beautiful websites are great, but they won’t work if you haven’t defined your core professional identity. Many people confuse branding and marketing. Branding isn’t getting your message out into the world, it’s the process of defining you, your product, and who you are. The clarity of purpose that this discovery brings is what will define the messages you put into the world on your website, in your logo, and on your social media profiles. Keep reading to discover All You Branding’s eight facets of personal branding.
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” – Maya Angelou, author, and poet
- Do one thing exceptionally well. When All You Branding helps people define their personal brand, the first thing we look at is what sets you apart. If you are confused about who you are, what you want, and what assets to emphasize, then potential employers and clients will not get a clear picture of who you are and what you offer. We help you weed through your resumes, values, skill lists, and passions to find the saleable, easily shareable focal point that is you. This may mean letting go of old identities and being brave enough to invest in a new vision of yourself! We’re here to help!
“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception; it is a prevailing attitude.” – Colin Powell, politician and statesman
- Be consistent. Defining your brand doesn’t end with an outline of who you are, a polished LinkedIn profile, and a new website—you must make decisions based on your brand, daily! If you’ve decided to specialize in one area, think twice about taking gigs that bring you back toward areas that don’t fall within your focus. Your decisions about what kind of work to take on, what topics to post about on social media, and how you present yourself must all be in alignment to maximize all the work you put into defining your brand. Putting out a consistent message leads to trust and leadership in your chosen field.
“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”
– Arthur Ashe, tennis star
- Have a strategy. Personal branding works to define overall goals and the action steps needed to achieve them. If you want to be viewed as a leader, how would you go about making that happen? Throwing things at the wall when we think of it may work sometimes, but a planned, consistent approach will lead to more reliable returns, with others viewing you as a genuine, trustworthy, and strategic partner.
“Have a vision. Be demanding.” – Colin Powell
- Have a clear message and positioning. Don’t get it twisted! When you are intentional and consistent, it is easier to be sure that people don’t get confused about who you are and what you are accomplishing in the world.
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” – Frederick Douglass, writer, and abolitionist
- Be authentic. There’s no point in doing all this work if you’re going to impersonate other people’s ideas of success. Be YOU! The market is saturated with messaging, and yours doesn’t stand a chance of breaking through the noise if you aren’t a compelling, fresh voice. The only way to do that is to be the one person no one else can be: you. This may include sharing your vulnerabilities and struggles in a way that makes you relatable to others. Studies have shown people respond well to honest content.
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” – Muhammad Ali, athlete
- Know your audience. Unless you’ve taken the time to figure out what communities you’re participating in and talking to, you’re basically talking in an echo chamber. You need to spend time identifying and then building networks in the specific niche that matters to your goals. When you target your messaging to the right audience, you’ll start connecting with those who want what you offer.
“The worker must work for the glory of his handiwork, not simply for pay; the thinker must think for truth, not for fame.” ― W.E.B. Du Bois
- Add value to make an impact. Garbage in, garbage out. The data-collection axiom holds true for personal branding, too! If the content you’re putting out there isn’t useful, novel, or helpful, you’re not going to make valuable connections. Be sure that the information you share is memorable and consistent with how you want to be seen. Others will regard you as a trusted expert if your content is valuable to them and of the highest quality.
“Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.” – Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African American female astronaut
- Meet an unmet need. Have you wished for a helpful voice that speaks directly to you and your community? You can be that voice. Only 2.3% of American employer firms are Black-owned, while Black people comprise 14.2% of the American population, according to recent studies. Only 9% of CEOs are Black Americans. In positive news, the number of Black-owned businesses jumped 31.2% between 2002 and 2017. There is certainly a long road ahead toward parity, but it’s also a reminder that the needs of minority populations are overlooked by mainstream culture. Your voice can reach the folks who need to hear it! We are a proud, Black-owned business that is happy to support and celebrate the successes of our community.
“Just don’t give up what you’re trying to do. Where there is Love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” – Ella Fitzgerald, jazz vocalist
Excited to get started but not sure how? Book a consultation today!