by Brad Stauffer
Oprah has one, and so can you. Branding is not just for talk show hosts and the Fortune 500 anymore. Coaches, authors, speakers, trainers and other solo-entrepreneurs need a brand. Discovering, creating and leveraging your personal brand is key to the success of your business. When you are grounded in an authentic and consistent brand, the rest of your business-building and marketing activities move from being overwhelming and challenging, to ﬂow and ease.
There are many definitions of a personal brand, and here is my own version:
Your personal brand is an innate and designed representation of you, born from your DNA and pulled from your passion; that authentically honors and represents your true essence, which influences and attracts your most perfect client.
Begin with Vision
Having and knowing your vision or dream is fundamental work that is necessary for an effective brand. Knowing your vision will not only ground you in your mission, but will ensure you are in alignment with who you are and what you do. It’s a great way of getting to know your heart’s desire.
So if you haven’t done so yet, take the time to write your vision. It can be as simple as a few sentences or even a few pages, but write it down. It is important to write it in the present tense, as if you already have it…as if you’re smack dab in the middle of your dream business. (It’s easy to skip this step since many of us coach around values, mission and vision a lot, but it’s important to do this regularly.)
Authenticity and Consistency Work
Authenticity plays a major role in your brand. When people get that you are authentic, they’re guaranteed to instantly connect with you. How many people have you met or became acquainted with that just felt a little phony? It’s natural to see and feel the lack of authenticity of some individuals. You’ll probably notice that you don’t connect. You may be intrigued for other reasons, but you probably don’t connect from your heart and would be skeptical about doing business with them. It’s the lack of authenticity.
On the other hand, when you meet someone that is genuine and real, you know it. You probably naturally want to get to know them better, learn more about them; and probably have an easy trust of them also. That’s authenticity and that needs to be the major player in your branding and marketing. People connect with (and do business with) authentic individuals and honest businesses.
The ﬁrst cousin to authenticity is consistency. If you are consistently authentic across the board from your “beingness” to your branding and marketing, you’ve captured your core essence that will attract your perfect target audience. And the good news here is that coming from this truly authentic place, greatly helps keep your branding and marketing efforts easy. There’s no hype to conjure up and no spin to create. You just get to be you, speaking and marketing from your heart in a very natural way. What could be easier?
The great news about discovering and creating your personal brand is that it’s all about the real you. What really works is you get to be yourself 100% with all your talents and skills, and even your quirks. Once you tap into that very real place of authenticity, and step out as the real you, you’ll find, see and experience your brand.
Know your vision and come from a place of true authenticity on a consistent basis, and you’ve got the core pieces of your very own brand.