The journey to building my personal brand took A Million Little Clicks, no joke.
It took a lot of research and learning how to take all my knowledge about marketing products and translate that into marketing a person rather than a product or company. But I soon developed a plan that broke everything down into 3 steps to beat the overwhelm. I wanted to create the step-by-step system that I wish I had when I started. Breaking down your personal brand creation into these 3 steps makes everything so much clearer and more strategic. Think of this as a roadmap to help you on your journey with me in the passenger’s seat cheering you on.
Here are the 3 steps in my strategy:
- Brand Vision
- Brand Story
- Brand Tactics
Here is a graphic from my book where I go into a lot more detail but let’s break it down quickly…
If you do not have a vision for your brand then you do not know where you are going and why. Or even where you are coming from. It means you are lost. It is tempting to skip this step and get into the tactics but don’t. It is so very important to be clear on who you are and what your brand stands for. This seeps into everything else you do from here on out including your messaging and the look and feel of your brand.
Your brand vision is about where you are now but also where you are going in the future and what you aspire to achieve. Think about your ideals and where you see your brand going and the goals you have. Establishing yourself as a thought leader is for a purpose. Sharing and helping others while supporting your own goals.
For your brand, you will want to develop your purpose and strategy. This is where you get clear on your value position, what makes your brand unique, and what makes you stand out. Learn and figure how to make it about your audience not just about you.
You can break it down by:
- Strategic planning
- Mission & Vision
- Values & Principles
All the work you do going forward needs to be in line with what you come up with here. Keep it as a reference to make sure you stay true to your positioning and values as you grow your brand.
A brand story is another crucial part of being strategic about your personal brand setting yourself up as a thought leader. Your story is being told all the time so it will adapt and grow with you as you grow. So do not get stuck here trying to get it perfect the first time but do not skip this step either. Your story is what will help set you apart from the other brands out there, build your community, and connect you with your audience. It requires authenticity but you also have some freedom to tell your story your way. You are the CEO of the Brand called You after all.
Why are you starting your brand? What do you have to offer? Where have you been and where are you going?
Think about brands like Apple. People love the products and they are forward-focused with innovation but you have to love how some guys in a garage playing around with technology created such an epic brand. It is not just the future but the past that makes a brand stand out.
In this step, it is time to uncover your messaging and verbal expression through:
- Personality & Archetyping
- Voice & Tone Profile
- Messaging Framework
- Storytelling Framework
- Content Pillars
- Strategic Verbal Identity
Remember your reputation online and off is your brand. So, develop your story in an authentic way and learn to share it well. In my book, I walk you through story pillars to make this process easy.
Last but not least is getting to the actual tactics of building your brand. This is where you will decide how to visually represent your brand because you only get to make a first impression once. This will include the traditional things we think about when we think about a brand- the logo, color palette, style for your graphics, etc. You want your audience to not only get you but know you get them.
A great way to start is with a digital brand audit which we talked about in our last post here: How To Do A Personal Brand Audit
Then think about your:
- Brand elements & how to apply them
- Logo + variations for different uses
- Color palette
- Graphics style
- Brand Style: look and feel
- Brand assets
- Brand Book & Guidelines
Having these elements from the start will not only help you stay on point but it will make it so much easier to hand tasks off to a team as you expand. It will also help in building out your social media profiles, blog, and website, and with any media opportunities that come your way.
It will also help you produce content consistently which is key to growing your brand. You have to keep putting yourself out there to gain recognition and build trust. Have a plan to make it happen.
When you combine every step, your brand vision, story, and tactics, you build a personal brand eco-system that will set you up for success for a long-time. Sure there will be needed adjustments along the way but you will have a strong foundation from which to build out everything you need and serve your audience.
Having this strong foundation removes so much confusion and stress saving you time and money as you build. It makes everything come together beautifully in an authentic way that your audience will feel and resonate with.
What do you think about these three steps? Makes it so much easier, right! When we break things down and focus on one section at a time building a personal brand becomes less overwhelming.
Will you come with me on this 3 step journey?