Most entrepreneurial professionals and solopreneurs do not take the time to formally define and build their personal brand and just leave it to chance.
BIG, no make that HUGE mistake.
Your personal brand, or basically how you are perceived in your market space by all of your stakeholders, is the core of your marketing, and determines if and how you are able to demand attention in this "Attention Driven Economy". Ultimately impacting your financial success.
I developed the "I BRAND ME" personal branding framework to use when working with my clients. And today I would like to share it with you.
The framework serves two purposes. One is to help guide the personal branding process, and the other is to make sure you are maximizing the ROI on your investment of money and even more importantly time.
If you adopt this framework, or at least parts of it you will be well on your way to effectively and efficiently developing, implementing and marketing your personal brand.
I - Introspection, Inventory, Identification, and Interviews - Inventory what characteristics and unique gifts you bring to the market as an individual. Take a Personality Brand Analysis and the Kolbe A index test. Combined these give you solid base upon which to define and tailor your personal branding communications style.
By having that style captured and defined via these tools it is easier to have other content creators like branding journalists create content on your behalf and in alignment with your personal brand.
I have included my Personality Brand Analysis Report and my Kolbe A Index Test Report here for those curious to what they look like. (Technical note. Because they are .pdf files they will attempt to open in a pop-up window. To see these you will have to allow the pop-up or you can right click and choose to open file in new window or tab.)
Think hard on the big WHY behind what you do and how you got to where you are today. Better yet make a list of questions and have someone interview you to help get the best answers to those questions. This will help develop the personal story that you will share with your audience.
Record the raw interviews to be edited and used later for articles, video segments, blog posts, book content etc. You want to make sure you are making efficient use of the intellectual assets you are producing throughout this process.
Take a hard introspective deep dive into what core human needs your products or services satisfy for your customer. We base our assessment on the 6 human needs defined by Anthony Robbins and his mentor Dr. Cloe Madanes. (Side note: If your product or service satisfies 3 or more of these human needs at the same time it can actually prove addictive)
Define your perfect prospect. You can get started by thinking who you would pick out of your current customers if you were told you could only pick one to keep and the rest were going to taken away.
Do some competitive and market analysis to determine what media channels to prioritize and identify what keywords to consistently include in your branding and marketing communications. This will help build consistency in your message and may get you ranked in the search engines and in front of more people without expending much additional effort.
B - Book - If you are not already an author, publish and market a book that helps you establish your brand and authority in your market place. The main purpose of this book is to help you attract your ideal client and encourage others to stay away..
Don't be overwhelmed by the thought of writing a book. As long as you can answer questions and are passionate about what you do you can hire a journalist to conduct a series of interviews that will bring to the light of day the manuscript that already exists within you. With Amazon's Kindle Digital Publishing and Create Space, it's never been easier and more affordable. Plus via Amazon you book will be available to millions of people.
From the day you publish your book forward you can introduce yourself as an author which is a great conversation starter and credibility builder.
R - Reputation Marketing - Today's best form of self-promotion isn't really self-promotion at all. What other people are saying about you in today's hyper-connected world is much more important than what you are saying about yourself. Put in place a system to help you not only manage and maintain an excellent reputation but to actively market that reputation to attract and convert more clients faster.
A - Authority - Hire a branding journalist who can work with you on an on-going basis to help you generate insightful and meaningful content in the form of interviews, articles, blog posts, guest comments etc to help establish and maintain authority with your clients, potential clients and other stakeholders in your circle of influence. Your goal is to become a readily recognized advocate and educator in your particular market.
N - Newsworthy - Actively seek newsworthy events for you to participate in or even generate yourself. This could be actively positioning yourself through services likeHelp A Reporter Out (HARO) to be an expert commentator in a nationally syndicated article, to appearing on a radio show or television show to provide commentary on trending news stories applicable to your industry. Participating in charity events can be a huge a win for all parties involved.
D - Discipline - Maintain the discipline to consistently execute your branding message as part of a deliberate content marketing plan. This includes maintaining a detailed marketing and publishing schedule to keep your message on track.
M - Multi-cast - Consider every piece of content that you create as a valuable asset that should be leveraged to the greatest extent possible. No matter what form that content is first created in, have your content converted it into all its complimentary forms; audio, video, raw interview transcripts, articles, white papers, slide presentations, etc. Bottom line is you want to make your valuable information available to everyone in the format they are most comfortable consuming.
E - Everywhere - Syndicate your content far and wide with the goal of reaching the whole of your market and keeping the insightful, valuable content you are creating at the top of mind of all your stakeholders. Always be looking for new outlets where you can publish and syndicate your message to make sure your presence continues to expand.
Well, that's the personal branding framework I use when working with my personal branding clients. I hope I have provided you some value.