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Building a personal brand is one of the most exciting and rewarding endeavors you can embark on. It is an ever-evolving process that requires emotional intelligence and the ability to reflect on who you are and who you want to become.

The Process of Building a Personal Brand

The process of building a personal brand will help you:
  • Define yourself as an individual
  • Discover your uniqueness
  • Gain clarity on your vision, passion, purpose, and goals
  • Demonstrate authenticity
  • Capitalize on your strengths
  • Offer people who interact with you a promise
  • Tell a story about who you are and what you stand for
  • Create future opportunities
  • Live a successful life

Methodologies for Building a Personal Brand

Here at JETLAUNCH, we won’t pretend to have all the answers to personal branding. We want you to understand that there are many approaches to building a personal brand. Knowing that these frameworks are out there will help you explore all your options when it comes to building a personal brand. Not to mention, help you make more money. Now, you can build a huge brand and become an influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers and still not make any money. There are plenty of “successful” influencers who are broke. However, a personal brand can and should be leveraged to make a lot of money for you. That’s part of what we help you with at JETLAUNCH.

The Three Es of Personal Branding

In their book, Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand, William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson offer the Reach methodology of personal branding:
  1. Extract – in this phase of the personal branding process, you define yourself and your unique promise of value. You go deep to identify your purpose, define your vision, clarify your goals, determine your unique strengths, passions, and values, and define your target audience.
  2. Express – this phase of the personal branding process is about communication. You’ll look at how to express everything you extracted in the first phase. Setting up a communication plan is vital, as is determining which channels to use to communicate your message.
  3. Exude – This final phase of the personal branding process is about aligning everything in your life to reflect your personal brand. This is where everything comes together and living your brand becomes a way of life.

Identify, Examine, Define

In the book, Be Your Own Brand, David McNally and Karl Speak present this model of personal branding:
  1. Identify the areas where your competencies matter
  2. Examine your standards and values
  3. Define your style

Discover, Communicate, Align

The consultancy PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) teaches personal branding this way:
  1. Discover – your passions, strengths, values, and interests
  2. Communicate – share what you discovered on paper, in person, and online
  3. Align – your life so you are consistently communicating your personal brand
In this personal branding workbook, PWC follows three steps. They are:
  1. Define your X factor
  2. Understand your whY factor
  3. Eliminate your Zzz factor

The 4Ps Self-Branding Model

Resnick, Cheng, and Simpson offer the 4Ps self-branding model:
  • Personal branding: The owner-manager personifies the business through his/her personality, unique skills, and customer relations.
  • Perseverance: Long-term customer relationships are built-up and maintained, often for many years.
  • Practice: The focus is on the execution of tasks rather than planning marketing activities.
  • Production: Services and goods are produced to customer specifications from close collaboration with the customer.

4 Qualities Needed To Build Your Brand

Now that you have some background on the various methods used for personal branding, consider how you’re going to approach building your brand. As you embark on the specific steps and engage with the personal branding exercises we’ve created, try to embody these four qualities:
  1. Be intentional: When you know what it is you want to achieve as an end goal, you can really go after it in a clear and direct way.
  2. Be strategic: Personal branding activities are targeted at a defined audience
  3. Be positive: Promote a positive message about yourself, what you stand for, and what you want to achieve in order to establish people’s positive impression of who you are
  4. Be consistent: Your personal brand should be consistent throughout all aspects of your life

Getting Started

While there are various methods for creating a personal brand, here at JETLAUNCH, we’re offering these eight key processes involved in personal branding, which include:
  1. Raising self-awareness
  2. Defining your target audience
  3. Defining your goals
  4. Creating a vision
  5. Performing a needs analysis and positioning
  6. Creating a visual identity
  7. Being consistent
  8. Seeking feedback
Let’s begin….

8 Steps to Build Your Personal Brand

Step 1: Raising self-awareness Self-awareness is essential for discovering your inner self. Understanding your personal values, strengths, talents, beliefs, and personal goals is the critical first step in building a personal brand. Know your calling, life mission, abilities–move forward purposefully. Many people use the CliftonStrengths assessment or the Reflected Best Self Exercise™ to determine their strengths. Here are some personal branding exercises to help you with your strengths assessment. Personal Branding Exercise #1 – Discovering Your Strengths Personal Branding Exercise #2 – Discovering Your Passions Personal Branding Exercise #3 – What’s Your Why? (We’re currently creating training videos for each of these personal branding exercises. To be notified as soon as these videos are posted, just enter your email below to be notified right away.)
Step 2: Define your target audience You’ve probably heard it said that to serve everyone is to serve no one. The idea behind this is that by presenting yourself to a broad audience, you lose some of your credibility as an expert, and therefore, some people will be turned off from what you offer. Whether you’re in business for yourself or trying to climb the corporate ladder, it’s important to understand who your message is for, who you serve. HootSuite is a platform for managing social communication. While that’s a topic we’ll discuss a little later in this personal branding guide, their guide to audience research addresses many of the ideas you’ll want to understand about defining a target audience. The example they use is a social media ad. If you had to launch an ad on social and you only had so much money to spend, you’d want to send the ad to the most relevant people. To do that, you’d need to hone in on their individual characteristics, including age, gender, location, and interests. By getting very clear about who it is you’re serving, you’ll be able to run the most efficient social media ad. Another way to look at defining your target audience is to consider some of the challenges faced by the people you want to and can help. What are they struggling with and how can you help? What do they want to attain or achieve that you’re able to help with? Here are some other exercises to help you define your target audience: Personal Branding Exercise #4 – Defining Your Target Audience Personal Branding Exercise #5 – Visualizing Your Ideal Client (We’re currently creating training videos for each of these personal branding exercises. To be notified as soon as these videos are posted, just enter your email below to be notified right away.)
Step 3: Define your goals Now that you understand who you’re serving, it’s important to define what it is you hope to achieve. Is it a promotion at work? Getting more clients? Growing your business? You may have heard this as “beginning with the end in mind,” (it’s one of the seven habits of highly effective people, and for a reason). To be effective, you’ll want to understand where it is you want to go. By defining what it is you want to achieve, you’ll better understand how you’re going to get there. By aligning your actions toward the end goal, the chances of your success dramatically increase. Keep in mind that over time, your goals may change. Personal branding is something you’ll revisit again and again as you enter new stages in your life and your career. When you’re ready, check out this next personal branding exercise: Personal Branding Exercise #6 – Defining Your Goals Step 4: Create a vision While your goals from the previous step were about you, creating a vision is about setting a goal that’s not about you. It’s about finding that “something more” that people can rally behind. While personal goals may give you a sense of purpose, a shared vision is what gives others purpose in helping you achieve shared goals. Personal Branding Exercise #7 – Creating Your Vision (We’re currently creating training videos for each of these personal branding exercises. To be notified as soon as these videos are posted, just enter your email below to be notified right away.)
Step 5: Perform a needs analysis  There are many types of needs analysis—organizational, work, training, performance.  Here, we’re talking about a personal needs analysis. After creating your vision, you need to determine your current level of skill and knowledge. Based on that assessment, you can determine where the gaps are and fill them.  What training do you need to go from where you are today to where you want to be tomorrow? At this step, it’s also helpful to know your learning style. Take a needs assessment quiz. Step 6: Create a visual identity How you present your brand to the world is important. This includes your choice of colors, fonts, logos, slogans or taglines, visual images, and more.  Consider all the areas where you may want to apply these identifiers to create a unified picture of who you are. Examples may include:
  • Resume
  • Linkedin profile page
  • Facebook profile page
  • Other social media profile pages
  • Business cards
  • Letterhead
  • Portfolio
  • Personal or business website
Need help? Hire a personal branding coach to help you create a visual identity. Step 7: Be consistent Consistency is the key to building a successful personal brand. Anywhere where people may come into contact with you, you’ll want to make sure you’ve added those personal touches which assure your message is being conveyed. For example, the signature of your email may contain a personalized signature along with links to your relevant web properties or social media profiles. It may also contain a catchphrase or mission statement that helps people remember what it is you offer or how you can help. Social profiles are not something to miss either. Each social media site has its own sizes when it comes to profile images, so make sure you size images correctly for each site, eliminating any sloppiness that happens when an image isn’t sized correctly. The key here is to assure a consistent experience no matter where people come in contact with you. Step 8: Seek feedback Feedback on your brand can be self-reflective or external. But you’ll want to get some perspective on how well the brand you’ve created communicates what you intended. If there is a discrepancy between your brand and the message people are receiving, you want to fix it as soon as possible, as this could hurt your personal brand significantly. In the next part of our Personal Branding for Authors training, we cover how to write your personal brand statement.