Building your brand is the process by which you market yourself to others. It’s not just pretty colours and logos. At a deeper level, it’s you as your best self. It is the story of why you exist, what you want to create, the difference you want to make and the legacy you want to leave behind – your footprints in the sand.
You already have a personal brand whether you want one or not – simply by being you, you have a brand. Developing a personal brand is partly about discovering the things that bring us joy and fulfilment and then envisioning how those things can be translated into creating meaning for you and others.
Your personal brand exists in the minds of others in the way they perceive, think, and feel about you. It’s important to remember that your personal brand is not what you think it is, but it’s what others perceive it to be. However, it is up to you to understand what makes you, you.
Your personal brand is built 24/7 and 365 days per year through what you say, what you do, how you do it, what you look like, and the impression you leave. It’s important to be consistent in how you communicate your brand. If you were trying to sell yourself as a product, the consistency of your message is what will get you noticed.
Start with a self-branding audit which will help you to identify your most urgent branding challenges. It can be a time-consuming operation, but the information gained can be invaluable to your personal development. It is your discovery stage. If you know yourself, you can grow yourself.
When you undertake an audit, what often comes up, at least for the people that talk with me, is that they want something else beyond social media and their website to show off who they are.
Although not everyone who wants to write a book will, it’s a great opportunity to get your ideas out and into an outline. Because even if the book is never written and published, you will get clarity about your processes and messages and could use it for other things.
Some steps to think about
Become clear about who you are
It is vital that you get to know who the real you is and what you want. We often try to be what we think others want us to be. Personal branding is about getting in touch with who you are, your values, passion, purpose and vision and remaining authentic.
There are some tests that you can take that will help you to reflect on this step.
There are others, such as the Clifton Strengths Finder (which I love) and Human Design (which intrigues me). Then, of course, you could explore your values…
Take a look at the Ignite Your Purpose Ebook. This has some great purpose questions to help you to reflect on what that might be, which is all part of who you are and what are you here to create process.
Who do you want to be?
This may look and feel like a difficult question, but it isn’t really. Becoming you is iterative because you find out a bit more about yourself every time you go through personal transformation. Also, because we lose ourselves behind layers of rubbish. It can feel like someone has dressed you up for bad weather, and you can’t get back into the house because you have too much stuff on. In reality, you need to take off the layers and walk into who you want to be. You can, and it does take time.
Ask yourself who you want to be.
It could be a shining light to your children and someone who inspires them and other young people to follow their dreams. You may want to change the face of natural healing for a particular illness. You may want to help people to overcome anxiety or imposter syndrome. What is it that calls to your heart? If you could rediscover yourself, who would you find?
Writing a book will help you to position yourself for this journey forwards with your brand.
What do you want to create?
Creation is about envisioning. Think about your perfect day and what it would look and feel like. Now ask, what do I want to create? Often if you can’t see it, you can’t create it. Think about how it will make you feel when you have what you want.
This is a question I ask all of my clients when we start working together because it gives me an idea of what is in their hearts and their calling. It starts them wondering what is possible for them to create.
Build your confidence and banish fear
The lack of trust in our own abilities can be damaging to our potential, as it can stop us from doing the things that we are really capable of doing. Find out what it is you fear and work to find ways to build your confidence. Think about what your confident self would look like, might be saying or doing and consider what steps you need to talk to walk into that person.
This is a big one for many people when they come to plan their books – overwhelm and feeling like an imposter is natural when you first start on this journey.
I always ask how would it feel if you never shared your message. These are some great questions to explore:
- How can my unique story help someone?
- How does my transformational process help others to grow?
- What do I know now that I didn’t know when I first started?
- What are my talents, and how can I use them to support others?
- What different perspectives do I bring to the table?
Write a book and build your brand with it
Writing a book is a great way to position ‘you’ as a credible expert and to reach out to the world with your story, transformational process and message.
It allows you to demonstrate your expertise, skills, knowledge, experiences, passion, purpose and values. It is a part of your brand-building awareness process.
How on earth, you may ask, can you create a unique book when so many people have been ill, got divorced, climbed a mountain, been abused, travelled the world, built businesses, and are experts in your domain……?
What makes it unique is your take on it, your inner vision and wisdom, the way that you did what you did, and how you convey your messages and purpose to the reader.
Ask yourself what you want to feel when you hold your book in your hand and see it on places like Amazon. What do you want others to feel? Excitement, passion, and the familiarity of sipping tea with an old friend, and then energised into action.
A book can support your workshops, help you to develop other products and services and be used as a highly effective marketing tool.
The business benefits to you could include a raised profile, more speaking engagements, opportunities to collaborate with others and options for you to productise your book into, for example, online courses. All designed to give your marketing and personal brand a huge boost and fill your sales pipeline.
Start by researching and collating your information before you get to the BIG write. This will help you find the right book, outline it well, and find your voice. Planning will help you write the one that will get your tribe/audience/ readers /fans turning the pages and panting for more.
Start with a plan and reflect on where you want to take it.
Take a look at 101 questions to ask before you write a book and book in for a Power Hour.
What does having and building a personal brand mean to you?
And finally… Reflect on the meaning and purpose of personal for you.
- Personal branding. What does it mean to you?
- Goals: How do you think that personal branding will help you achieve your goals? If writing a book is not a part of it, what is?
- Benefits: What do you think are the benefits of working on your personal brand?
Consider what you do and how you do it when showing up and delivering your personal branding promise.