If you're looking to build a Personal Brand for yourself, then you need to get one thing straight from the get-go: Who you are speaks even louder than What you do.
There are a lot of entrepreneurs out there. There are a lot of keynote speakers. There are a lot of marketers, and digital strategists, financial planners, brand executives--and what makes some of them stand out has far more to do with the way they present themselves more so than whatever it is they "do."
Because the truth is, people gravitate towards people. That's the whole point (and value) of having a Personal Brand. You are able to give What You Do more color, depth, and expression.
I actually just released a free 7-Day Email Course teaching people the basics on how to begin building a Personal Brand. But if you want to build a memorable, meaningful, eye-catching Personal Brand, then here are 7 things to focus on:
1. Your Voice
I am a firm believer that the voice with which you express yourself is the most important part of the equation--and how that voice finds expression is entirely up to your own Personal Brand.
For example: If you are a writer, your voice lives on paper. If you are a musician, your voice lives within your instrument. If you are a model, your voice resides in your eyes. If you are an executive, a keynote speaker, your voice comes through your speech.
Creating a memorable Personal Brand is not about having a "good" voice. Or even a "great" voice. It's about having your own voice. One that when people hear it, they know who it is.
2. Your Style
How you present yourself is what gives your voice a wardrobe, another layer of expression.
Steve Job's style was a black turtleneck.
Mark Zuckerberg's style was a hoodie.
Again, creating your own Style has less to do with being the next cover model for GQ, and more to do with wearing what sheds even more light onto who you are and what you believe in. Maybe your style is to always wear a bowtie. Maybe you rock joggers and long T-shirts. Or maybe you really do always look like you're stepping out of an Aston Martin print ad. Whatever your Style is, just make sure it aligns with who you are and the type of audience you're looking to attract.
Wear what is comfortable for you.
3. Your Mannerisms
A very understated part of building a Personal Brand, your mannerisms often say more about you than the things said outright.
Do you give firm handshakes or lazy ones? Do you maintain strong eye contact or do you look away? Do you hold the door open for the person behind you? Do you use foul language in every setting or do you censor yourself? Do you check your phone every 5 minutes or do you stay present for the entire meeting?
All these little details end up contributing to the larger portrait of Who You Are--and should not be forgotten along the way.
4. Your Network
When it comes to dating, it's said that you learn a lot about the other person as soon as you meet their friends.
Who we associate with and with whom we spend our time says more about us than we realize. A big part of building a Personal Brand is also who you collaborate with, share with, work with and inherently give your stamp of approval.
Remember: You are the product of the 5 people you spend the most time with in your life. If for no other reason than to ensure your own positive self development, keep a close eye on who you give your time to.
5. Your Habits
Success is a firework--it's an elusive mountain peak you touch, stand on, and then it's over.
If your Personal Brand is based on any one "success," you aren't in it for the long haul. People can only stay excited about a win for so long.
Instead, think about building a Personal Brand around your habits. What do you do every day? What is your morning routine? How do you approach your work? How do you overcome obstacles? What inspires you to keep moving forward? How do you practice your craft?
Our habits are what build us as people--and they are also what build a meaningful Personal Brand. If you want an audience that's going to stay with you for a long time, don't build around your "successes."
Build around your habits.
6. Your Word
Regardless of what your goal is for building a Personal Brand, realize that what makes a Personal Brand so unique is that it is based upon you as a person. Which means that whatever you say, you have to stand behind. You have to believe it and follow through with it.
If you say you're going to do something for your audience--do it. If you promise something, keep that promise. Your connection with your audience is all about maintaining that honesty, integrity, and loyalty.
Keep your word, no matter what.
And finally, if you want to know what speaks volumes when it comes to Personal Branding, here it is:
Because it rewards both you, the creator, and your audience.
Consistency is what teaches you who you are. Consistency is how you discover your voice, your style, your mannerisms, your habits. Consistency is how you refine yourself. Consistency is how you grow.
Consistency is also how you build loyalty. Consistency is how you create intrigue, suspense. Consistency is how you attract more and more people. Consistency is how you build a true following.
Without consistency, none of the above matter--not at all. Building a Personal Brand is not about writing one blog post and then sitting back and basking in applause.
Building a Personal Brand is a lifestyle. It's a commitment and promise to yourself that as you travel your own path through life, you will take the time to share your lessons and knowledge with others at the same time.
Which means sharing with your audience every single day.