For this week’s episode, I wanted to dive into all things personal branding.
Even though I have been running a PR agency for the last 10 years, I am the first to admit I have not paid much attention to my personal brand in recent years, as I have worked to build up my company brand and was really focused on building something bigger than me, but personal brand is important too and something I’m trying to hone in on a more intentionally this year.
Personal branding is something that I think is more important than we often give it credit for, and something that I always encourage my clients to think about and build up, yet here I am, not taking my own advice! So I wanted to jump into a few easy ways we can all work on this right now. A few things we can all commit to doing in the next few months to build your personal brand this spring.
In this episode you will learn:
- How to clarify your personal brand and why it matters
- How to choose the direction for your brand
- 6 specific ways to grow your brand this spring
This episode is brought to you by:
Platform by RAW Artists: www.RAWartists.com/platform
Other episodes you’ll enjoy:
3 PR Trends to Implement this Year
Rachael Meyers on the Power of Branding & True Community
‘3 Steps to Success’ Business Strategy
listen to the episode
Let’s talk Personal Brand. It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately, as one of my big focuses this year is amplification, of my business and brand in a way I haven’t really done before. For a PR person I am the first to admit I have not paid much attention to my personal brand in recent years, or ever really, as I have worked to build up my company brand and was really focused on building something bigger than me, but personal brand is important too and something I’m trying to hone in on a more intentionally this year. It’s something that I think is more important than we often give it credit for, and something that I always encourage my clients to think about and build up, yet here I am, not taking my own advice!
So I wanted to jump into a few easy ways we can all work on this right now. A few things we can all commit to doing in the next few months to build your personal brand this spring.
Number one: think about one thing you want to be known for and jot down right now three different kind of topics around that thing that you could share about and talk about and be about. So you know, my main thing I want to be known for could be PR, and my subtopics if you will might be that I want to be seen as an expert in media outreach, relationship building, and podcasts. Create Social media posts relating to those topics for the next couple of weeks– maybe get five posts together around those three topics at least. Write down your main messaging around the main topic, the number one way that you would want to talk about this thing and you want to be known for when it comes to this topic and then Make sure you use some of that same messaging in all of these posts. This will start to solidify you in people’s minds as the expert on this thing in a way that will stand out because it’s consistent.
Number two find a media outlet. Yes you knew I would say it– where it would make sense to talk about this topic. You like how I put the social first even though I’m usually hating on social cuz I think people use it as the be all end all of marketing way too much, but I know it often feels like the ‘easy’ go-to, so I let you start there as we ease into this ha! No it is a quick and easy quick win when it comes to getting your messaging out there to those who are looking. But that’s the key, it’s for those who are looking at you already. Now we want to reach those who may not already be paying attention. So let’s start with drafting a blog post for your website that’s around the same topic and also lets take it a step farther and draft a similar contributed article on the topic of a similar vein that you can submit to this publication. I like this strategy because then you already have content on your website when people come to take a look after seeing your contributed article in another publication– make the blog post go a step further, a bit more nitty gritty into the topic of whatever you’re discussing in the submitted article, so that people can be like oh wow she really knows this stuff and I can learn so much.
Number three: find an event you can go to that makes sense for you– a business focused or networking event, or somewhere you’ll get in front of people who would be somewhat relevant to you, your business, your topic or just you know, networking in general where you can talk about what you do. And practice talking about your topic –so part of this is number one just getting out there and actually talking to people about your thing and starting to become more known for that thing, but number two is actuallypracticing strategically developing ways to bring it up in conversation– because we all know we’ve been in those situations where maybe we go through a whole networking event, or a whole night or a whole conversation with someone and like the main thing that we really want to be known for really just never comes up in the conversation, sometimes you have to Really make sure it comes up, you have to find ways to make it make sense and bring it up and sometimes I think people are a little bit shy to do that- to just be like OK like by the way here’s the thing I’m really passionate about and I really care about and it can just be a matter of getting used to doing that or finding those ways that you can build it into conversation. Like there are ways that you can kind of come up with like OK so if we talk about this or if they ask me like what I do I’ll say that, and then segue into like this one specific piece of it that I want to go into more and even just having a sense of ways to do that, mapped out in advance, and having that in your mind, can make it much easier to actually pull it off in real life, and to pull it off like in a natural way. But also you have some talking points of how you want to bring it up how you want to talk about it especially if this is something that’s new to you even if your business is not new to you, but this specific kind of building this personal brand and these this topic that you want to be known for is not something you’ve talked about a lot personally in this way. Personally, I found that in real life conversations I tend to majorly downplay my business and the things I do, for some reason when I’m talking to someone I’ve just met, especially if it’s NOT a business situation so I don’t even feel as like in the business mindset or I don’t even know what it is, but I just downplay and sort of come across not nearly as confident in my business and what I do as I normally feel like I am and as I think I sound in other instances, and it’s something I noticed and don’t really like, so I find that just having some talking points, and even just having an intention about the way you want it to come across, like I want to sound more bold and powerful, can be really helpful to practice if that makes sense. Just getting used to it, having a sense of what those talking points are what you want someone to take away from their conversation with you to be can be really helpful– and I know that can feel a little bit funny you don’t wanna feel you were over preparing for like a natural authentic conversation but it’s not like that. It’s totally fine to make sure that you’re setting your conversation up to have Clear outcomes and make sure you’re getting your points across in a clear way that’s sounds smart and concise, and for some of us, it doesn’t always roll off your tongue naturally all the time, I think we’re so used to typing and thinking about what we’re saying sometimes too that it’s just different in real life, or if it’s something you haven’t talked about a lot in an off the cuff way you can sometimes run into like having it not not feel super natural or you can sound less confident in it then you really are and so just thinking it through beforehand can be really helpful to make sure you come across as confident as you want to.
Ok Four: This ones easy. Keeping in mind that a personal brand– building any brand really- is a certain amount whatever it is that you want to be known for and a certain amount clarity– so going through and actually cleaning up your personal footprint- anything that’s out there online, check your social media check your website for all the blog posts or even regular pages on your website do you have any outdated text on there or copy that’s unclear, is your bio up-to-date in the way that you wanted to is there a single sentence that you could tweak to make Something to do with your personal brand stronger something you can take out or something you can add, some individual words you can add in or tweak, and take a look at those things and clean it up. Make sure it is clear and make sure that when someone comes to see anything related to you it will make sense. They will get a sense of your personal brand and will feel like what you want to feel like, not an amalgamation of every somewhat random content you’ve ever felt moved to put up in the last 5 years including offers and messaging you no longer use.
OK lastly, this one might not be for everyone because this is something I don’t really recommend you doing unless it’s something you like to do, you enjoy doing and you think you can begood at, so take this one with a grain of salt, but if it feels good to you, find a speaking opportunity to put your hat in the ring for and this could be something as big as a conference, or like a local event that might need panelists or a speaker or it could be something like an online summit, or some thing where you speaking in someone’s membership group I feel like I see that all the time these days people who want you to maybe it’s only gonna be five for 10 people and it’s online so it’s not like you have to go somewhere in person, but you can give a 30 minute long workshop or talk on a certain topic. Doing that can be a great way to build your personal brand because it obviously gets your topic out there and gives you an opportunity to speak about something, but also it gives you a chance to share about being a part of it– even if it’s not even like a membership group, where only the people who are part of it can watch or go to it, you can still share in advance that you’re going to be a part of it. You can still share that day that you’re putting your workshop together or that you’ve just finished speaking on it even if it’s not saying that other people can come to an attend, it still starts making you look like an expert in your field because someone else has asked you to teach on it. It’s obviously great to go in front of that group because it’s people that had some reason to be interested in you and your topic for some reason so that’s great but also I’m thinking about the ways that you can share that you have been a part of this because part of building your personal brand is being known for something, and if somebody has asked you to speak on the topic then That means that you’re starting to get known for that and the more you can share with other peoples that you’ve been known for it the better and then they’ll start to associate you with an event and topic even if they didn’t go to the event or see you speak they see you sharing about being a speaker on that topic and that can just start building up those subconscious associations between you and the topic within other peoples minds so that could be a really powerful one if you’re up for it and you think you can do a great job. I don’t recommend you doing something like that if you aren’t confident that you can do a great job with it because that can actually undermine the whole thing and I know you can know your topic so well inside and out and just not enjoy speaking or not enjoy teaching or not know how to teach and that doesn’t mean that you’re not good and that you can’t build a personal brand around this topic, but just not everybody is meant to be teaching and that’s totally fine, so if thats you then this is one you could skip. But I know a lot of the people listening to this are interested and open and good at speaking and teaching so I think that’s gonna be a great option for a lot of you.
Determine some words and phrases that you like to use. This might sound like a funny one, but it all comes back to that clarity piece again I think that having certain ways that you talk about things can be really helpful in helping people understand what it is you do and most people don’t know and don’t see everything you talk about so simplifying anywhere you can is usually the best bet, especially when it comes to marketing and all of the ways that you’re gonna be kind of marketing your personal brand in certain words or phrases or tone of voice that people can know you for and this might not necessarily even have to do with your main topic or your main you know thing that you are an expert in, but this is why it’s called personal brand- you as a person too- are there, certain words, or phrases, or ways of talking about things that you associate with yourself like that you use a lot or that you’ve been known to use? And if there aren’t, think if there are any that make sense to you- is there anything you particularly like, or don’t like in terms of words and phrases, or certain kinds of words that you would never use or certain kinds of words that you would like to use more of? Sometimes consciously thinking about that can be really interesting and you’ll find that there are certain words that maybe you do use a lot but you just hadn’t really noticed and you really could play it up a little bit more or you might find that you kind of switch your phrasing around a lot when you talk about one certain thing, and you actually could really tighten it up by simplifying it and talking about it in the same way in most of your different instances. It doesn’t mean to make your writing like super boring by always using the same phrases over and over again but there are certain things that I bet if you think about this, you can picture some people who do have certain ways that they talk about things or certain phrases that they use a lot and it’s really just a way of like you kind of associate them with that now and it’s just that’s part of building a personal brand it’s part of their personal brand if they always use a certain kind of word, or or never use a certain kind of word. So come up with some things that you think you do so often it could be different ways that you greet people or you leave people with or certain way that you phrase what you do, or how you talk about different things like that– think about it. I think if you think about it you’ll know what I mean. You’ll have a sense of a couple things that will come to mind– jot down like two or three things or a few more, it doesn’t have to be a ton and I mean it shouldn’t be a ton but it could be a few phrases or words that you feel like you want to use more and be known for. And then just be a little conscious of them like when you’re putting together your social media posts work those into the captions sometimes or if you’re gonna do a video or talk to somebody or do a podcast. Maybe there are certain phrases that you want to make sure to use maybe there’s a certain way you sign off every time and you can also use that sometimes when you sign off a social post or get off the phone call, they could just be a little ways like that to build them in.
And you might when you really think about it, realize that you use words or phrases you don’t love– like for me how I mentioned before that I don’t think I always come across as confident in person, so I need to eliminate some of the unsure phrases from my vocab, and that works too.
So ok those are 6 quick things you can do this spring to build or strengthen your personal brand. I think if we all do these things, or even if you just pick a few, and implement them into your week, we’ll all strengthen how we come across and have a stronger personal brand, which will really help strengthen our overall brand and set you up for more media opportunities, stronger marketing, stronger relationships, and really all the good things! Find me on social and let me know if you do these, or which ones you’re going to focus on this month or this spring! I’d love to hear and cheer you on!
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