Let’s chat about personal brands and brand strategy

Here at WCO, we believe that creating a consistent, cohesive, enjoyable and ease-filled brand starts with strategy. A clear plan for how your brand will be experienced. But knowing your strategy and actually putting it to use can be two very different endeavors. Because there are some key ideas to consider if you’re a service provider that aren’t necessarily relevant if you’re a personal brand. So, throughout the month of May, we’ll be walking through the four main audiences we serve as well as the considerations to take when it comes to creating a brand that truly supports your next level in business. Check out last week’s email for service providers here.

PERSONAL BRANDS

The personal brand is where you’re making money based on your intellectual property – your ideas, thoughts and expertise. Yes, there may be some crossover and/or other revenue streams but the main money-maker is you. Another way to think about it is if you weren’t doing the work (i.e., writing the books, giving the speech, showing up on social media), would you still have a business? 

As a service provider, you may be the one delivering the service but you could train someone to deliver the work and still bring in money. As a personal brand, you can’t train someone to replace you on stage or write your books. Your ideal client is literally paying for you and your ideas versus someone paying for a specific result that you’re delivering as a service. 

Examples:

  • Authors
  • Speakers
  • Content entrepreneurs (aka influencers, but I am really over that term) 

In my experience, the biggest brand opportunity as a personal brand is to determine what core message you want to share – while you may not be selling a product or service, your message is just as powerful and what people are going to ‘buy’ into. 

Who needs to hear your message?

Whether you talk about minimalist living, traveling solo, how to homestead or imposter syndrome, your overarching theme is created for a certain type of person. Just because you aren’t selling a service doesn’t mean you don’t have an ideal client. The goal is to determine who is the best fit to receive the message that you have to share. 

What is the transformation that they’ll experience because of your message?

This is the result, the change, that your ideal client experiences because of being a part of your audience. Whether that’s hearing you speak once or following you on all the social media channels; how can they expect to transform because of your content? 

Why does the message need to be spread?

I know I’ve shared this before but I just love the quote from Simon Sinek so much: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” When you clarify your why, you’re able to build an even stronger connection with your audience and create an even stronger personal brand because you’re standing up for something. You’re creating depth to the message that you’re sharing which enables your audience to connect with more than just the surface-level content that you’re sharing. For example, let’s say your message is helping young girls overcome imposter syndrome. In and of itself, this is a great message to share. But, to make it even stronger, you share your ‘why’ – when you held yourself back from ever going after what you truly wanted in high school because you felt like you didn’t deserve it and you don’t want others to miss opportunities like you did. This creates an even stronger story and allows your message to resonate more deeply with your intended audience. 

How do you want people to feel when they experience your brand? 

This is often the most challenging and most fun, especially as a personal brand. The struggle is deciding how much of you the person becomes part of you the brand. My recommendation is to bring as much of you into the brand as feels aligned, but know that they’re separate. You are not your brand. Your brand is your brand and you are you. Even being a personal brand, I believe there is a distinction. When we identify them as two separate things, it allows us to first put some distance between us and our brand, and create some boundaries in terms of what is aligned with the brand and makes sense to share in our message, and what doesn’t. Think about the five to ten adjectives that you want to embody your personal brand and then bring it to life with messaging and visuals. 

And with that, happy branding!