If you're like me, from time to time, you think about how others might describe you. (I'm not the only person who wonders how my eulogy will read, am I?)
The way that others describe you (and how you strive to be described) is your personal brand. At the core, your personal brand is what makes you you; it is what sets you apart from your competitors.
Why You Need a Personal Brand
Person A and Person B work in the same niche within the same industry. Their services and pricing are similar, but Person A has developed what we call their “personal brand.” He has made a name for himself and his qualities precede him. Now, which of the two do you think gets more customers?
When people know of you, they will be more compelled to work with you. You may charge the same as others in your industry, and perhaps even more, but you've found a way to market yourself and set yourself apart from competitors.
Once you know what you're good at and what sets you apart from your competitors, you can begin to envision your target audience. These are clients who you want to work with, and not just because they will pay you. But because they care about the unique angle you offer them and the experience they will get by working with you.
Developing Your Personal Brand
Now you're thinking: “Okay, I know why I need a personal brand. But how in the heck do I develop it??!”
Everyone already has a personal brand—some people are just better at honing-in on it and using it as a marketing tool than others. And that is the difference between an awesome business owner and a not-so-awesome one.
So how do you decide what qualities to further develop? Look to your coworkers and clients for help!
Personal Brand Development Tip: If you have customer testimonies, read through them and take the time to find underlying patterns. Why do people enjoy working with you, and what do they get out of the experience? Does this make you unique in your industry?
Check out this post at Forbes to learn how to develop a personal mantra (i.e. the statement that tells people who you are, what you do, and what makes you special).
Using It to Your Advantage
The awesome thing about a personal brand is that no one can take it from you. No one can waltz into your industry, decide that they like what you do and how you do it, and then take what you're known for and transfer it to themselves.
Your personal brand is a powerful marketing tool. And while your personal branding won't make you a success overnight, it can definitely lend itself to your business' growth.
Find the clients you want to work with. Make your business the business you want it to be. And inspire others to do the same.
What's your personal brand? Let me know in the comments down below!