What’s a personal brand?
September 25, 2018

Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. It’s the ongoing process of establishing a certain image or leaving an impression in the mind of others about an individual. When people come up to me and say, “I want to build a personal brand,” the first thing they usually start to think about is the number of Facebook likes, blog subscribers, and social media followers that they have. These aren’t great metrics for building a meaningful personal brand. Whether they know it or not, pretty much everyone has a unique personal brand. From the stuff that we post online, to the clothes we wear and the conversations that we have, we all represent our own brand in one way or another.


Personal branding has almost become a requirement for anyone looking to grow their business, get a better job, get attention in the media, or simply meet new high quality friends. Most business professionals strive for a visible personal brand that is an online and in-person authentic display of the engaging aspects of your professional and personal activities and interests.


Building a personal brand means providing value in one (or multiple) niche(s) that people begin to associate your name with the idea of what it means to be successful in that industry. You become a thought leader and an influencer. Building a personal brand takes a lot of work but the rewards are plentiful.


Benefits of Personal Branding:


  1. People trust you more


Your personal brand explains the “why” you do what you do. It showcases what drives and motivates you. This usually makes people more comfortable working with you. It’s easy to build trust with others.


  1. Your value is perceived higher


As your personal brand develops, people will start thinking about you (as a brand) on an emotional level and not simply an intellectual level (as your job title). People will connect more deeply with your brand. When this happens and you’re increasing your value to them, it allows you to charge more for your services.


  1. You get to be different.


You are seriously differentiated from the competition. Your personal brand is built upon your own values and goals. It’s also built on your unique skillset and passions. It grows from what you stand for. It’s one hundred percent you and nobody else. You never have to put on a fake persona that isn’t genuinely you. Being totally authentic in all that you do makes life so much easier and more fulfilling. Your work life will revolve around your deepest priorities and take advantage of your talents in a way that brings you joy. This is one of my favorite reasons to love personal branding!


  1. You’re the “go-to” person in your area of expertise for your specific audience


A highly successful personal brand makes you the solution to a certain group’s problems. Word of mouth will propel your brand forward and create enthusiasm for what you do, bringing in referrals, job offers, references and testimonials. It’s fun to be to “go- to” person in your group!


  1. You attract ideal opportunities


Since Your brand is totally authentic and deeply rooted in your search for meaning, it will attract similar-minded people with the same values and goals. Partners, employers and/or even your customers will connect with you on a higher level because they understand why you do what you do. It’s not just what you do.


Here’s what else you need to know:

You can make a living doing what you’re good at.


I don’t know about you but I’m not good at convincing myself to do things that I don’t enjoy or that I don’t feel good about. I’m determined to create a life that I’m proud of and one that feels good to me. I focus on my strengths and what I know I’m good at. I delegate the stuff that I don’t actually enjoy doing. Work smarter. Not harder. You don’t have to do everything. Multitasking is totally overrated too. It can actually take away from your productivity.


Consider becoming a thought leader in the industry that you love serving. Personal brands give people the platform to blaze new trails and create positive change in the world.

Leverage the internet & social media.


Start owning your story and your craft. Provide more and more value to people. Reach and teach others what you know. A website is a must have. The foundation for everything that you create begins with your website. Need a website? Give me a call at 952-652-7070.


Invest in a branding photography session. I personally know several amazing photographers in the Twin Cities like Christine Photography, My Legacy Photography, and The Imagery who can help you reflect yourself at your best game. Telling your story authentically is another great way to connect with others and build a meaningful brand.


Leverage your personal connections and collaborate often.


Build as many relationships as you can with other thought leaders within your niche. This will open so many doors for you and ultimately grow your following. Building relationships with likeminded people is also important. Who you choose to surround yourself with can impact your quality of life. Did you know that one connection could change your life? Think about it for a minute. Don’t limit yourself. Grow your network and don’t be afraid to make new friends. Iron sharpens iron.


Get in the habit of telling others what solutions you can offer to the problems that they face in everyday life, or in business. Every single person that you meet can connect you to at least three other people that they know. Find someone else in your industry who has a good following and creates great content. Invite them to collaborate with you. Make sure that it’s a win/win for both of you. Here’s an example:


Are you into fitness? Do a workout routine together and record it. You can then make a blog (or vlog) about your experience. Put it on your website and then share it via social media. The person that you collaborated with should in return do the same. Link your websites for better SEO. You could even create a YouTube channel or start a podcast. Collaboration is key! Find mutually beneficial ways to support one another.


Create fresh new content together and essentially trade audiences. Everyone wins! Everyone grows! You’ll make some awesome connections and friends in the process. Learn to have fun with your marketing! Please don’t compete– just collaborate! There’s plenty of success available to us all and it’s so much sweeter when shared.


Practice living with an abundant mindset.

Always be building your following, especially your email list and social media following.


Add a signup form on your website so visitors can stay connected with you. A lot of businesses have missed this simple yet effective strategy. I love Constant Contact for email marketing. It integrates well with WordPress. (Click on my link to try it for free today!)


Web visitors love when you offer specialized content in exchange for their email address–like a free download, ebook, a trial code to a program, etc. Work on always providing value to your audience.


When building a brand on social media, be mindful that it doesn’t matter if it’s your personal page or your business page, people are always watching. Do your best to control the content you share. It’s a reflection of you and your professional brand. Your new followers usually lurk around and won’t necessarily tell you that they’re interested in what you have to offer right away. It takes time to build trust and a loyal following of fans and supporters. If you have a personal brand, remember that you’re always on display. This is important for new entrepreneurs and business professionals to know and be aware of. It’s kind of like people are always going to judge you. Showcase your most useful talents and valuable skills when you want people to actually take you seriously and follow your brand.

Launch your own products & services.


It’s always more fun when you’re promoting your own stuff! The main purpose of building a personal brand is to avoid the route of being an affiliate to someone else. If that’s your game, cool. It’s just not mine. I would rather build my own stuff–and pay other people to be my affiliates.


The incentive for launching your own products/services is the credibility it gives you and the untapped income opportunity. Today’s business cards have become books, workshops, courses, and various other products that educate others about what you’re offering. These are intended to open doors to other thought leaders in your industry so that you can continue building your followings, collaborating, and engaging with new influencers and their audiences.

Opportunity finds you.


When your personal brand is attractive, customers, clients, vendors, press and even companies looking to hire will find you and reach out to you.

Take advantage of your networking power.


I intentionally engage with others as much as possible and share aspects of my brand when I’m at live networking events. It usually makes me a bit more interesting than the other guy who walks up to you and says, “Hi, My name is Joe, and I sell credit card processing.” I have many facets to my brand, both professional and personal that make people want to connect with me and do business with me. I demonstrate proficiency and have the online assets to back them up on many topics that I enjoy like personal development, marketing, entrepreneurship, social media, motherhood, blogging, speaking, positive mindset, goal setting, and more.

Now is as good of time as any to get started.

Don’t want to take on creating a personal brand on your own? I would love to talk to you about building your own personal brand together! I’m especially passionate about empowering female brands. If you’re a woman ready to step your game up, please get in touch with me right away. I will work with you where you’re at to get you where you want to be. I promise not to waste your time! I have lots of free resources to share with you. Let’s chat:

Shannon Stapleton

Shannon Stapleton

With a background in marketing and design from DCTC, Shannon considers herself a lifelong learner. She makes investing in herself a priority and prides herself in helping others do the same. She thrives from surrounding herself with good people, good energy, doing good work, and giving back in the community.