Face the facts. Your work ethic is good but not good enough. Your well-designed product and impeccable service have taken your business far, but something is missing. If you don't have a personal brand strategy, you have overlooked an amazing opportunity. In my book, Brand Me: The Ultimate Playbook for Personal Branding, I define your brand as the perception and promise of value. Everyone has a brand. It is either positive or negative. Neutral is invisible. In an attention economy, how are you making a memorable and meaningful connection? Personal branding is not a platform for self-promotion. The essence of authentic personal branding is owning your value and serving an unmet need. Steve Jobs, Jack Welch, Oprah Winfrey, and Jessica Alba all reaped the benefit of building a strong personal brand to expand their business and lifestyle empire.
Here are five awesome things that happen when you build a personal brand. It's time for you to get in on the action!
1. Freedom to Live With Purpose Every great brand is crystal clear on its "why." At my company, we call it your MVP--mission, vision, and purpose. Purpose is a compass that helps you prioritize your work and empowers you to monetize your mission. When you master purpose, you become clear about what is important, and you leverage your strengths and skills against the highest-value work. Now you can streamline your productivity and your passion. The bonus is this gives you a confidence boost to embrace your unique difference in a way that separates you from the competition.
2. Capture the Attention of Your Audience Clarity creates a focused and memorable message. Every great brand starts with a story. Leveraging a tight and concise narrative around your brand sells. What message are you conveying when people see you or hear your words? Does it align with the attributes, values, and intention of your company? Identify the top three words you want people to think of when they see you. Create the experience that will welcome your audience, and watch them come back hungry for more.
3. Profit From Your Niche Brands are premium. When a company has invested marketing dollars, research, and intellectual property into its product or service, it can command a higher value. When you invest in your own personal brand development, you can get what you are worth. As you discover your purpose and focus your message, you can profit from your niche.
4. Create a Contagious Community Around Your Cause True leaders don't look for followers. When you have mastered your own story, you can inform, inspire, and empower others. Building a community is the greatest compliment to your brand. You can create a place to share your expertise and experience and, most important, connect others. You've demonstrated your value by giving first. The benefit of community is a deeper level of connection, brand impact, and loyalty.
5. Elevate Your Platform of Exposure The ultimate benefit of personal branding is the platform of exposure to elevate your message. This is what I call the master's level of personal branding. Influence opens doors for your voice in media interviews, blogs, awards, and partnerships, and gives access to opportunities to expand your audience and increase profit.