Say you’ve got 24 hours before a big potential client Googles your name, your brand. You’re faced with the frightening prospect of having nothing unique to say — and no idea how to project a solid ‘professional you’… without losing the ‘personal you’. This is where personal branding for business reasons comes in.
Leading with your personal brand first starts off a little uncomfortable, but it is soon rewarding.
My author blog became a testing ground for ‘personal brand’ style marketing because of all the marketing methods available, I preferred to write blogs. I also think it’s more powerful to put yourself in the spotlight instead of a company name. Think of Virgin; it would be far less compelling without the vivacious Richard Branson.
Getting to the point… A vibrant personal brand with personal values, graphic style, colours, and a clear message will form the foundation. Add a dash of personality and a small piece of your soul and you’ll be on your way.
Here is the Cheat Sheet for a Fast Personal Brand
- Come up with your origin story.
- Become confident in speaking from the heart, including writing out key points.
- Elevate your Profile with pizzazzful social media backgrounds, action photos and consistent colours.
- Be different from peers – create waves with your opinions, bring in personal passions and creativity.
- Show up on your personal YT channel or LinkedIn videos, and be prepared for media interviews.
I also have an Author Brand Cheat Sheet article.
My main message is to create a personable online presence that people can relate to. And people usually relate to confidence, not perfection! Once you are practised in speaking from memory, creating two or three key audience takeaways, you will be more likely to get a welcome reception from people watching.
An origin story is how you got started, and this is explained in full in my new book, My Personal Brand. This might take you time to reflect and draft.
But what about your website – isn’t that supposed to be a polished version of you and your offerings?
What’s in it for me? That’s what they’re thinking!
This should be thought through, yes. But when businesspeople sit down to write their ‘about us’ or home page, they usually talk about their experience, not their audience. To create a connection with anyone, you first must investigate the hidden desires and needs of the target persona. Get on the same page and don’t be all high and mighty. A personal approach means being real about the concerns and problems… but also being confident in what you offer.
How do I Gain their Immediate Trust and Respect?
We need to gain attention and at the same time, be authoritative in our area. That’s why you should mention either your book on this area… or a keynote speech on it. When I say ‘this area’, I mean not just boring stuff but a whole methodical strategy or insider point of view. If your book or speech is based on research and passion, that’s okay too, as you can make the message stand out with a hook.
This hook is often a fact that is not well-known, it comes as a surprise or shock. Importantly, the hook must be true and not an empty promise. This is taught in my Book Creation Self-Publish course.
Create your Design Style
When you have just 24 hours to set up a personal brand for business reasons, you’ll want to get onto Canva.com and establish a brand style – with the help of their Brand Kit, magic designs, and pre-made colour combinations. Pick a nice, legible font there too. (Magic Designs allows you to get designs simply from one brand-colours-containing photograph).
Most people can’t read a book title inside a banner on a mobile phone, due to the tiny size, so you could take creative licence and use the top half only.
Hopefully, you already have a professional or light-filled portrait of yourself. You now upload this portrait, replace the background with transparency, and place it into the banner. This banner can also double as your LinkedIn background banner. (You have to shift the middle elements over for LinkedIn).
Long Term Blogging Works for Personal Branding
From my experience, writing up my ‘fortnightly insight into book publishing’ seemed an easy thing to do. Little did I know that basic SEO work and blogging over ten years would eventually lead to good page rankings and a steady flow of enquiries. Have faith!
I held off spending thousands on getting designers for my personal brand website, and it didn’t matter a whit. Good function and providing relevant, useful information is more important.
This article was written by Jennifer Lancaster, without the aid of AI. Learn how to use your creativity to write books with her course, Book Creation Self-Publish.