I get it! You want to be established already. You have all the skills and experience, you know what you’re talking about, you’ve got a CV or resume to showcase your credentials, but now you’re entering the world of business and you need to create a solid brand for yourself.
When you are only just getting started, this can seems like an uphill battle. I’m talking imposter syndrome, lack of confidence and whatever your friends and family are going to think about you?
I understand this because I’ve been there too and I’m here to let you know that you’ve got this. It might take a bit of time, but hopefully, you've started your business because you are up for playing the long game; and you're going to be happy when all of your efforts compound over time.
This is a marathon after all.
Here are 7 ways to develop your personal brand (overtime) when you're just starting online.
1. Can you articulate what you do in a few short sentences?
I know this sounds basic, but when you have come out of a corporate 9 to 5, or when you have had a career spanning multiple sectors where you have amassed a ton of skills and experience, it’s difficult to articulate what it is that you do. After all, you have so much you want to be sharing with the world.
I struggled with this a lot. I didn’t want to shoehorn myself into one niche and concentrate on just one thing, because I felt like I had so much more to offer the world, but this also seemed to be against the whole, ‘know your audience’, ‘find your niche’ and ‘understand your message to market match’. Urgh.
Think of it like this. If you went to a networking event and someone asked you what it is you do for a living. Would you reel off the last 20 years of your work experience? Ideally not, right! ~ If only not to bore the pants off them. Instead, you’d probably want a tight, brief couple of sentences that encompasses what it is you actually do.
Something like this…
“Hey, I’m Beth. I’m a performance coach, and I support people to pivot in their careers, I help them to package their skills and experience and teach them how to promote their unique personal brand so they can make a profit online! what is that you do? “
If someone asked you what you do tomorrow, could you answer them quickly and easily and feel completely in alignment with what you are saying?
2. Create a Brand Toolkit that Rocks like You.
I’m assuming you are going to have a website and some social media platforms to help market yourself online and a main area online where you plan to create consistent content. It could be a blog, podcast, YouTube channel, or somewhere else.
In all of these places and even on things like your business cards, email signatures, letterheads, email newsletters and so on, there should be some level of consistency – pulling everything together.
Wherever you choose to start with your branding, think about the colour pallet that you will use and the fonts that you will utilise. A perfect place to start if you have no idea what colours might work well together is coolors. Coolors allows you to mix and match complementary colours and provides you with the relevant hex numbers you will need to use when developing your site or using sites like Canva.
3. Create Consistent Content – Like there's no tomorrow.
This kind of goes without saying, but with so many platforms and so much you want to say, you might find yourself doing nothing! That whole analysis, paralysis kicks in.
The good news is… once you create one piece of content, it will naturally give you sparks of inspiration for newer pieces of content. There is a special magic that happens when you create content consistently.
The trick here is to leverage your time and repurpose content as many times as you can. For example, you might create a video or podcast, that you could take the transcript for and spin into a blog post, ten different Facebook and twitter updates and which will give you enough content to write your weekly newsletter. – Whoop!
4. Guest like the amazing boss you are!
As you start to get your business foundations down, you must begin to put yourself in front of new audiences. While this can seem like a daunting task when you are new and don’t yet feel like you have as much credibility as you might like, it won't be long until you do so it's best just to get going.
You’ll find groups on Facebook that welcome collaborating. One area right now that is taking off is being a guest speaker on someone else’s podcast. But if you don’t feel quite ready for that, you can turn the tables and invite people to collaborate with you. The benefits of doing this will be that the other person will likely share it with their existing audience, which means fresh people will come in to contact with your brand. Yippie!
You can use this strategy for blog posts, webinars, YouTube interviews, the list goes on.
5. Shout about your success ~ You're Worth It!
Every time you have a win, let your friends and followers know. This might feel icky if you’re not one for blowing your own trumpet, but it’s really powerful to build up your credibility with any new potential customers.
Get into the habit of asking for testimonials every time you work with a new client. If you are brand spanking new, don’t be afraid to use existing LinkedIn testimonials from past employers or associates that know you and would be happy to support you in your new venture.
6. Inspire others ~ It's time to show others what you've got!
As you start to build up your following, think about all the different ways you could continue to offer value to your audience. Can you create a mini-challenge to generate new leads? Could you deliver a webinar on a specific challenge that your target audience is struggling with? Could you create a more comprehensive package and create a course in your niche. Stand out and become that thought leader, you know you are.
7. Start a Community – A beautiful place to call your own.
As you start to diversify your product and services offering, you might want to add a community into the mix. Remember if you do build a community you will need to be committed to continuously contributing in there and providing value. This takes time, but a happy, engaged community will be one of your most significant assets, especially as you have new people join and follow you.
These are just a few ways you could help your brand to get started. If you take anything away from this, I want you to know that building a personal brand is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s an evolutionary process. Think about some of the more prominent brands out there. How many times, for example, has Facebook changed its platform or rules! But you still always knew it was Facebook!
Be kind to yourself. Your brand will emerge over time, by being consistent, true to yourself and showcasing what you’ve got!
Let me know in the comments, if you are just starting as a new business and what's working for you or not.