Personal Branding is about creating a specific image of yourself in the mind of your ideal client, so they can get to know, like and trust you before they buy from you.

In the same way, big brands create instant recognition, your personal brand makes you stand out from a crowd of competitors.

And standing out is vital because selling services is like selling thin air.

If you want to become the go-to trusted expert, you need to create confidence that you can deliver on your promises.

But personal branding goes far deeper than just choosing a trustworthy brand name, it’s about how you want to make people feel.

The human brain makes decisions based on memory and emotion and a confused mind will never buy.

Personal branding enables you to create a consistent message, a familiar brand voice or instantly recognised style, making it so much easier to promote your services in a way that makes sense to your target audience.

Your personal brand flows over into your business brand, including the brand identity you choose, colours and imagery you use and the content you create to instantly connect with your ideal client.

It creates your brand personality and culture, guiding you to make the right decisions about marketing, promotions, partnerships, sponsorships and which channels to use.

The stand out personal brands we know, also inspire the culture of their business brand.

Oprah Winfrey and her determined and heart centred HARPO & OWN Network, Steve Jobs with innovative, think differently Apple, Richard Branson whose sense of fun infuses the Virgin brand.

Their own personality has cascaded over into the business brand culture, with a distinct and easily recognised brand message and a tone of voice.

Their personal brand speaks for them and keeps the business brand on track.

In this way, your personal brand is like a compass for your business, always pointing you in the direction of your True North, keeping you consistent and avoiding the distraction of “bright-shiny-objectitis”.

Consistency is the key to creating a memorable brand. Cadbury, Nike, Coca-Cola have kept their core brand message the same for many years and now we simply expect them to be the way they are.

If you create marketing and promotion for your business without any set direction, you confuse your customers and run the risk of looking desperate.

That’s why the first step to developing your personal brand is to decide, what you want to become well known, well paid and wanted for.

If you are clear about your own brand, it makes it very easy for others to talk about you,

Word of mouth is by far the best form of marketing to get your personal brand off the ground. It’s free, 3rd party endorsement that lasts forever, but exactly what do you want others to say about you?

What do you want to be recognised for being the best at?

Greek Philosophers coined the phrase “Know Thyself” and before you learn about your market, target audience or make any decisions about how to launch your brand, you need to first understand your natural area of expertise.

Creating a personal brand defines the unique way in which you operate, pulling together all your experience and everything you do, into a single-minded purpose. Then you have a much clearer direction about how you can help others.

If you truly want to be recognised and respected with a solid reputation, your Personal Brand should be created before you begin any sort of media, marketing, PR, promotion, book writing, speaking or creation of a program.

So before you throw yourself into creating target avatars and figuring out your marketing channels, spend some time developing a meaningful personal brand that stands out from the crowd.

Here are some simple steps you can follow to define your personal brand:

1) Go back and find the ‘thread’ that runs throughout your life and knits together your natural skills and talents. Remember what you loved doing as a child and how that innate skill has morphed into the things you do today with ease.

2) If you’ve been doing what you do for 5 years or longer, you are probably in the unconscious competence zone and you’ve forgotten what your speciality is. You probably think everyone knows what you know.
Make a numbered list of the process you use and you’ll be surprised to see exactly how many steps it takes to deliver your service, and how you probably have a different approach to others.

3) If you are really struggling to define what you are naturally good at and how to package together all of your many areas of expertise, grab a pack of post-it notes and a pen, then find a blank wall or clear off the table and do a brain dump. Simply write down something you know on a post-it and keep going until there is nothing left. Then consider what order all that information would have to be in, should you try to teach others what you do.

The most interesting thing I have discovered in the many years I’ve been helping professional service providers to capture and refine their personal brand into something meaningful is that so many very clever people don’t think they have anything different to offer.

If you take the time to reflect on what you do with ease that others do differently, you’ll be delightfully surprised at how unique you really are.