5 Tips To Build & Manage Your Personal Brand
Personal Branding is about creating the face of your business and promoting yourself. Determining what you want your brand to exude to the public eye through name discovery, logo design, website development and content creation. It also can be identifying your brand with a symbol such as the Nike “swoosh” or McDonald’s “golden arches.” Visual elements are key such as logos, colors, fonts & photos, but also intangibles such as brand voice, tone and overall personality.
Below we’ll talk about what Branding is exactly, plus the top ways to build and manage your brand. Different from PR & Marketing, Marketing is the actions you take to connect with your customers and get them to buy your products or services. Branding, on the other hand, is the marketing practice of actively shaping your brand. Branding is about defining who you are as a company and maintaining that definition and image over time. When it comes to Personal branding, we’re talking about the practice of what actively shapes you as a person. And remember, it’s constant maintenance as the world is ever-changing.
What is PR?
Public Relations (PR)…storytelling, building awareness and shaping a brand’s image through different forms of communication. Fun, right? As Chicago Publicists, we connect with the ultimate gatekeepers, our media friends, to target audiences across the globe and craft newsworthy story angles. We love what we do because it’s about promoting other entrepreneurs like ourselves and we take pride in helping businesses organically grow. We also love it because the Value of PR is real! Part of its superpower is the fact that its earned communication, meaning “not paid” like advertising or sponsored content. It’s the most unbiased, honest depiction a brand can receive, making it the most credible type of coverage! Everybody wants it, but no one has control over it because it is through the eyes of the media. As publicists, we provide as much information as possible, connect the media with our clients and craft the message. But after we’ve delivered and the media personally experiences the service or tries the product, it’s their words. And that’s when the excitement & roller coaster ride begins!
What is Personal Branding?
Personal Branding is how you promote yourself. Understanding what you want to stand for, what story you want to tell, who you want to align yourself with, what organizations you want to support, where you want to be in five or ten years, etc. Personal Branding compared to Branding is the difference between creating an image for yourself and your business. Branding is creation from inception and watching it grow. Creating the face of your business. Determining what you want your brand to exude to the public eye through name discovery, logo design, website development, content creation and giving it a voice, tone and recognizable personality. Personal Branding is about you. All of the decisions you make from working with different businesses to speeches you make, will affect your personal brand for months, maybe even years to come. At the end of the day, how do you want people to think about you?
Tip #1 – Be a Storyteller
The most effective personal branding strategy is to build a true narrative. Tell your story on multiple platforms and multimedia is just that…”multiple” forms of communication to help tell your story. Text. Audio. Imagery. Video. Graphics. These are all digital tools used to visualize your ideas, convey your thoughts and align your personal brand messaging.
Consumers are busy, multi-tasking and “skimming everything.” When you’re relying on potential customers to simply read about your brand, you can get lost in the shuffle. A visual can draw them in from their distractions and help them understand what you’re trying to convey quickly and effectively. As storytellers, why not give them a way to visualize the story instead of just telling them, right? This elevates your personal brand, because people can read about, hear and see you all at the same time. This allows you to make personal connections with your audience, which is the most powerful way to reach someone.
Tip #2 – Consistency is Key
When you stand for something, make sure your thoughts are clear and consistent. Know who you are and make sure no one can skew that message. Sometimes when you focus on two many things at once, the message gets lost. Keep it concise, consistent and clear.
Tip #3 – Be a Leader
Being a leader is doing things in your community, industry, country and world. What a person does locally to support their community is huge. These efforts of being a good samaritan and helping neighbors, other businesses and families in need are what spotlights you. Why? Because it positions you as a human like everyone else – someone with emotions and who cares about their fellow human. People want to do business with people who care. By showing your advocacy for others and causes that are dear to you, your audience will embrace you. By doing so, you’re making yourself approachable, charitable and one that cares and supports their community.
Donating to local non-profit organizations, sponsoring events, giving people in need a voice, volunteering services during times of crisis, giving back to the community and more. These are all different forms of involvement, advocacy and examples of being a leader. Being a leader shapes your personal brand in a very positive way!
Tip #4 – Honesty
It’s all about the truth…period. Being honest and transparent is extremely important when building your personal brand, because trust is #1. If you are not credible and your audience doesn’t trust you, you don’t really have a personal brand. That’s how important honesty is for your overall personal brand.
Tip #5 – Be an Expert
Position yourself as an expert by sharing your knowledge, thoughts, opinions and expertise. Being a thought leader gives yourself and your brand credibility, essentially making people want to listen. Media outlets are always looking for expert sources in anything and everything…doctors, lawyers, philanthropic advocates and beyond…so be one! These thought leaders are trusted sources who provide knowledge, tips, strategies and over time, create a following. Thought leaders inspire people and ultimately lead to exposure. This exposure shapes your personal brand with more credibility.
As a recognized thought leader you will have the power to persuade, the status and authority to move things in a new direction. By positioning your personal brand in such a way, you will be invited to different groups, organizations and affiliations that will further your position as a thought leader. The ultimate goal is to gain more exposure for you and your brand and doing this does so! Raise your profile both locally and nationally by being a leader.
Introduction to Bettie Bomb
Founded in 2005, Bettie Bomb is a Chicago PR Agency offering a suite of services from trusted industry partners under one creative umbrella. PR, Marketing, Social Media and beyond…we work as an extension of your team, creating personalized campaigns, building awareness and telling your story when it matters most.
We are a female-owned Chicago PR Agency specializing in all things lifestyle: food, fashion, hospitality, retail, health & wellness, medical, consumer and philanthropy. Partners Rebecca Kussmann & Laura Collins work closely with businesses & organizations to target key audiences and generate exposure all under the Bettie Bomb umbrella. Work one-on-one or have us build a team. We can be BIG and we can be small…that’s the beauty of it. Small, but mighty with the ability to grow. That’s us in a nutshell.