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Photo Credit: Alex Greenwood

Business Owners Offer Some Tips on Creating Your Unique Personal Brand

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Creating a unique personal brand can take years to perfectly craft into what you really want. With so many businesses and so many entrepreneurs all racing to have the most unique brand out there, the competition is steep. Some people decide to show off their business with creative sites and humorous PR stunts to attract attention, other business owners do so by adding their personality into the brand. There may be no right or wrong way to create your unique personal brand but having tips on doing so can be helpful in maneuvering down the pathway.

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Photo Credit: James Freemantle

Photo Credit: James Freemantle

Determine how you want to be experienced by your internal and external clients

To build a successful personal brand, you need to determine how you want to be experienced by your internal and external clients, based on your goals, strengths, roles, aspirations and values. Then set about systematically creating that experience through your visual, vocal and verbal communications. This means your emails have the same consistent tone as your water-cooler vocal style and body language in the boardroom. Your brand is your promise of a consistent experience to everyone. (And it doesn’t have to be boring – you can be consistently unpredictable, or positive, or innovative). The ripple effect of these experiences is what creates your reputation. So think about your voice. Is it loud or soft, mumbled or clear, fast or slow? Your body language – is it open or closed, shaky or solid, graceful or blunt? Do you get straight to the point or prefer to start with social niceties? What are three words you’d like others to use to describe you ? Know thyself: and then set your brand aspirations like you set any other goal. Then it’s up to you to create the version of yourself that will optimize your presence in every aspect of your life.

Thanks to James Freemantle, Redgum Communications

 

Having the genius appeal

A personal brand is much more than your unique offering and personality. There’s something I call “Genius Appeal” that is innate to all of us that most entrepreneurs never tap. It’s that intrinsic piece of who we are that effortlessly draws clients to us. In fact — the high-paying, long-term clients will always be attracted to your Genius Appeal, specifically. They don’t simply hire you because they believe you’re the best. The hire you because they know you’re the best and they have a deep affinity or resonance for your “Genius Appeal.” Genius appeal is found inside your Natural Gifts. We are all gifted and inside those gifts are Intrinsic Traits. Those intrinsic traits have a phenomenal power to magnetise your best clients to you. Infuse that into your business activities and promotions and your personal brand shall flourish.

Thanks to Shaune Clarke, Your Big Brand Strategy

 

Photo Credit: Catherine Cervasio

Photo Credit: Catherine Cervasio

Be media savvy

I believe the building of a unique, personal brand is paramount to the longterm success of your business and eventually also, a ‘life after business’. Exploring key points of difference may involve undertaking further study to become more of an ‘expert’ or the ‘go to’ guru in your field. Being media savvy, well presented and articulate can ensure you’re the first choice for any opportunities that arise for radio, tv and print .Keeping up to date with market trends both domestically and abroad, as well as being aware of what your competition is doing, then having an ability to evolve and adapt as required, will ensure you remain at the forefront of your market segment.

Thanks to Catherine Cervasio, Aromababy

 

Look at what your competitors are calling themselves

Creating a unique brand for your new business is paramount, particularly when your portfolio or client-base hasn’t been established yet. It will be your calling card and your champion so make sure you are happy with it. One idea for creating something unique would be to look at what your competitors are calling themselves, and doing the complete opposite. I also believe that brands with a strong personal connection are very strong. Cat and Weasel Films wasn’t just named randomly, it has a very special meaning to me. Be inventive in communicating your brand. Embrace new and old methods of marketing & communication. Do good work. Find your business it’s own voice.

Thanks to Nick Hudson, Cat and Weasel Films

Related Post: Staying Ahead of Competition

 

Photo Credit: Heather Poduska

Photo Credit: Heather Poduska

Recognize the qualities which make you unique

More than ever, it is critical in business to know how to distinguish yourself in the marketplace. With everyone clamoring to be get their voices heard over the internet, via social media and even places like YouTube, it’s hard to stand out. So how do you do it? You must have a powerful personal brand. This means learning how to recognize, embrace and highlight those qualities and attributes which make you unique. For most people, this requires a level of self-awareness and examination they have not experienced before. It is a process of unearthing all the talents, experiences both good and bad, personality traits, beliefs and perceptions that make us who we are and then projecting that bundle of information out into the world in a way that aligns in an intentional way. It is not presenting a shiny veneer to sell ourselves. Rather, it is being deeply authentic so we can fully express ourselves in our businesses and thus attract those who most strongly resonate with our message. Once we are clear about our personal brand core, it is then important to present ourselves and our business in the most compelling and polished way. In a culture where we are often encouraged to “just be ourselves” or “let it all hang out,” the step of attaching a level of sophistication to our personal brand is often overlooked. However, this is a huge mistake as a tarnished brand image belies the value one might have to offer resulting in lost opportunities and profits. The goal is to optimize your authenticity.

Thanks to Heather Poduska, Clear Voice Branding LLC

 

Photo Credit: Alex Greenwood

Photo Credit: Alex Greenwood

It starts with honesty

Building a unique personal brand starts with honesty. Be yourself. You’re not Richard Branson, Steve Jobs or Marissa Mayer, so don’t try to be. Sharing candid aspects of your personality, perspective and views via blogs, speeches, in-person meetings or social media establishes your unique personal brand. Just remember: everyone is unique–but not everyone is interesting. The real trick in building a unique personal brand is balancing the positive aspects of who you are and what you think with the negative.

Thanks to Alex Greenwood, AlexanderG Public Relations of Kansas City

Related Post: Ethics in Business

 

Photo Credit: Brennen Byrne

Photo Credit: Brennen Byrne

Communicate your passion

Building a brand is all about communicating a passion, not about building a resume. Once you’ve been successful, your actions will inform your audience, but until you’ve made it, the only compelling way to reach them is through a shared passion. This means being vocal about the issues you care about and making your opinions public, something a lot of entrepreneurs shy away from early in their careers because they’re afraid of offending someone. For me, the problems of personal privacy and the lack of women in technology are immediately obvious every day. I fight these issues every day and that shows up on my blog, in my Twitter feed, and in my conversations with other people in the industry. Putting my passions on display has engaged an audience and built my brand far more than any positioning statements or press releases possibly could.

Thanks to Brennen Byrne, Clef

 

Photo Credit: Kit Campbell

Photo Credit: Kit Campbell

Figure out what you can do to get the media interested

A new business has no brand value at all and building that value is a very slow process, especially when you have a limited budget. Many businesses embrace advertising to build their brand which causes them to spend a lot of money to get a return – money that they can’t afford to spend. Therefore, figure out what you can do to get the media interested in your business. My first business, a recording studio, had no money to do anything, let alone advertise. One day while sitting at the studio trying to telepathically cause the phone to ring we decided to write a song about the crappy economic climate called “The Recession Rap.” A well-known music company, EMI, loved it and released it for us where it hit the Top 40 hit charts in Australia. This gave us great media coverage, a reason to talk to clients and made the phone start ringing. To this day, 20 years later, I use this style of marketing of building my personal brand.

Thanks to Troy Hazard

Related Post: Ways to Use Email Marketing

 

Photo Credit: Alicia Richmond

Photo Credit: Alicia Richmond

Allow it to happen organically

The best way to develop a unique company is to allow it to happen organically. I started off as a professional wardrobe stylist but I didn’t like the industry’s narrow opinion of the “ideal” woman. I discovered that my passion was teaching the everyday woman to recognize the assets in her body then how to dress to flatter those strengths. So I started to focus on REAL Women with REAL Bodies and REAL Budgets and not just the Hollywood elite. As an entrepreneur you have to stay open-minded and recognize (and accept) that it’s often Plan B or C that takes off. Recognize when Plan A isn’t your passion and move on.

Thanks to Alicia Richmond, Chic on a Shoestring

 

Photo Credit: Lida Citroen

Photo Credit: Lida Citroen

Be yourself

Your personal brand is your reputation, your legacy. It is how others know you, introduce you, refer you … or not. Others assign us value based on how they perceive our value to them. When you develop and promote your unique authentic personal brand, you are directing the legacy you will leave behind and the reputation you can enjoy today. Building a unique personal brand starts with a strategy. To develop your strategy, start by asking yourself the following questions: How are you known today? (What perception have you created with the people around you?) How would you like to be known? Who is your target audience? Knowing these things can help you understand what your current brand is, what your desired brand is and the difference between the two. The most important part of building any personal brand is to be authentic (genuine). Be yourself. Show excitement for the things you are passionate about, show praise and celebrate the success of others and represent yourself authentically.

Thanks to Lida Citroen, LIDA360

About Gresham Harkless Jr.

Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.
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