Today, Maxie is sharing her best tips for building a personal brand! This is a great refresher if you’ve built one already… and a great jumping off point if you realize that you have one (even if you don’t realize it yet 😉).
Where to Begin with Building a Personal Brand
Guest post by Maxie McCoy
Storytelling is one of the amazing, amazing connectors of the human existence. Think about the most wonderful movies or the best speakers you’ve ever seen – they’ve all told a compelling story that you just could not get enough of.
Well, whether you realize it or not – you have your personal story to tell. We all have a story to share with the world (what a beautiful thing!), and that story we share with others is the foundation of your personal brand.
I know, I know, I know… when you think personal brand you may just relegate the idea to people who are online with websites that have their face and name all over it (ahem, #wavingmyhand). But actually, whether you’re building a business online, or all of your social accounts are set strictly to private, or whether you’re online at all – you have a personal brand.
Your brand is the conversation people are having about you. And let’s make this clear, I’m not talking about a gossipy way. I’m talking about an uplifting way when you’re referred or introduced or suggested to someone else. Like “She’s the most inspiring person you’ll ever meet.” or “He’s the most generous person I know.” or “This woman is the best connector on the planet.” <– That’s your personal brand. And it’s important because it becomes the thing you’re known for and reinforces any of the goals you might have.
So let’s talk about how to begin creating this:
What story do you want told?
You come before your brand. Plain and simple. The greatest compliment I’ve ever received is someone who told me that I’m just as inspiring in person as I am online. It meant the world. But it also validated for me that I built a personal brand around me the person. Not the other way around. You must do that same. A great place to start is to figure out your why. Why do you do what you do? What’s your greater reason for existing? That’ll help you build the story you want told about yourself because you’ll understand what that is first. If you need some helping sorting that out, download this workbook. It is alllll yours and will help.
Come up with the one liner people would use to describe you.
Once you’ve thought about how you want to show up in this world and why, try putting it into a sentence. For example, my personal brand can be summed up in “I’m obsessed with giving women the tools they need to believe in themselves.” People know what I stand for and what I exist to provide. Yours could be as simple as “I’m committed to creating a better future for the next generation” or “I’m passionate about ending animal cruelty” or “I design my life around fun.” This doesn’t have to be all serious and worky. It just has to be you.
Make sure your life reinforces the brand
A personal brand is only as strong as it is sincere. If you say your story is one thing but your actions in life say another, your personal brand won’t take hold in people’s mind. This doesn’t mean having to be perfect all the time; it just means that your sincere and consistent. What you say you’re about and what your actions communicate should be really aligned. I’ll let you interpret all the things that means 🙂
Communicate that story online
A great way to get your personal brand out to the world and one of the many many reasons personal brands often get confused with online platforms is because when you’re ready… using technology to broadcast your personal brand is a beautiful thing. Take a look at your social media channels, your online blogs, and any of your personal profiles… do they communicate this personal brand that you’ve identified for yourself? This is everything from bios to pictures to daily activities. Make sure it feels sincere and consistent there as well.
Remember, every single one of us has a personal brand whether we realize it or not. It’ll help you communicate yourself in admissions essays, job interviews, networking events and beyond. It’s worth thinking about and getting right. AND, for those of you who want more direction on how to build a powerful personal brand online specifically, we’ll have a part II of this post coming your way soon. Promise!
Don’t forget: your personal brand is easier once you know your why. Download Maxie’s free workbook to help guide you!