The term “personal brand” has become a buzzword without a clear definition. Business Success Consulting Group CEO Adi Klevit set out both to define this term and provide business owners with clear, actionable systems for building a personal brand. To do so, she discussed the issue of branding with branding expert and Cofounder of Brand of a Leader, Marina Byezhanova.
In this interview, Marina shares the three key components of personal branding, along with a system any business owner can use to define their brand.
But first, they talked about how Marina would define “personal brand.” She said that a personal brand is a tool business owners can use to claim their voice and clearly communicate who they are and what they bring into the world. With a personal brand, any business owner can show authority while defining why a customer should care about them.
With this in mind, let’s talk about the three key components that Marina shared.
The Three Key Components of Personal Branding
What are the three key components of personal branding?
1. Unique Positioning
What communicates the essence of you, your core values, and the thing that makes you uniquely “you?” In an example of a unique position, Marina shared the story of a client who loved to be boisterous and over-the-top. This led to the personal brand of “One Level Extra,” which became a hashtag and a turn of phrase that was specifically associated with her client.
Who or what would you like to be associated with? This can go into the words you’d like to be associated with a personal brand, which people you would like to associate with the brand, whom you would like to communicate to, and any other question of association. For example, Marina shared how she helped former podcast guest Joe Frost determine the right word associations for his fractional leadership company, yorCMO. The idea of “decentralized leadership” needed to but put into a clear concept, and they came up with “fractional” as the appropriate word to associate with him and his business.
3. Consistent Marketing
Once you have established a personal brand, you must consistently market yourself across all platforms to build visibility. Providing consistent, on-brand communication will further build associations and support your unique position, making the brand self-reinforcing.
Define Your Personal Brand With This System
The Business Success Consulting Group team loves a system, so Adi asked Marina to share her approach for defining a personal brand. This can be difficult for one to do on their own, but if you are determined to do so, here are the steps you can take:
1. Map out the highs and lows of your life from the earliest point you can remember. Then read through it. What pattern emerges? For Marina, it was her journey toward finding her own voice.
2. List out how you’d like to be described. This can include stating how you would not like to be described. For example, “I want to be described as opinionated, but I don’t want to be described as intolerant or close-minded.”
3. Ask people around you what associations come to mind when they think of you. You can always make this anonymous to ensure you get a radically authentic answer.
4. Once you have this collection of associations, list them out and determine what comes up consistently.
5. Next, list your personal core values (not your company’s value statement).
6. Determine your core audience. This does not just have to be people you want to sell to. It can include individuals you’d like to communicate with or with whom you’d enjoy sharing community.
7. Consider where you will be sharing your brand. On a podcast, over your website, on LinkedIn, in a magazine, or somewhere else?
8. Write down what you’d most like to talk about.
9. Take all of this information and:
- Build a punchy one-liner that communicates your value-add along with your personality. This is something like “One Level Extra” or “Fractional Leadership.”
- Create a series of goals.
- Set up a road map that will bring you from where you are (someone with a punchy one-liner) to where you want to be.
You may find even more use for the information you’ve collected above, like writing a stellar “About Me” or setting the stage in a TED Talk. But the whole process above is to give you a firm idea of your value-add, your future goals, and provides a foundation upon which you can create your “elevator pitch.”
The clarity the above branding system brings may encourage you to build additional systems into your business. If that’s the case, connect with Business Success Consulting Group. We are here to help your company create effective processes and procedures that support continual growth.