Personal branding isn’t just for social media influencers and solopreneurs. No. Personal branding is a vital tool for business executives and leaders who are intent on growing their businesses and careers. As a matter of fact, everyone has a personal brand. The key is putting that personal brand to work for you, rather than working against it. When you do, a whole new world of abundance and freedom opens up. We become more productive, profitable and growth is multiplied. Not bad for a little old thing called branding, huh?
There are many ways personal branding delivers greater freedom to thrive. Here are the most important:
Freedom To Be You
From your personal preferences, style and approach, to your values, vision and purpose – a personal brand brings out what is both uniquely and authentically you. Most individuals who I help articulate their personal brand begin to realize that they have been wasting time imitating others in their field, rather than doubling down on their own voice, approach and image.
Being fully yourself is 100% non-reproducible by anyone else. And it is extremely appealing to your ideal client, or those who can help you achieve your next career move. From your wardrobe to your unapologetic talking points, nothing is more invigorating than stepping into all of who you are meant to be.
Freedom From Competition
Most of my clients are surprised when they hear that a strong personal brand delivers freedom from competition. That’s not to imply that growing your business or career is effortless. However, personal branding means you stand out for your peerless perspective and experience. You stop wasting gobs of time, money and resources being someone else’s brand doppelgänger.
No one can be you, or even pretend to be in any believable way. (Of course, that works both ways – since you can’t imitate someone else either – but why would you want to once you are all of who you are meant to be?) Once you step into this peerless space a personal brand creates, you job, should you choose to accept it, is to tell your unique brand story everywhere in order to grow your visibility.
Freedom To Grow Your Business/Career Your Way
There will always be certain foundational requirements in any role. These range from business licenses, to advanced degrees and certifications. However, there is an epidemic right now of “experts” telling startups and new leaders how to grow. This includes such approaches as “the hustle,” “the funnel,” “the endless certification revolving door,” “the online MBA” and much more. While all of these can be worthwhile, none of them are absolutely necessary for your brand growth.
Your brand dictates your personal style, strengths and pacing. Are you a super-savvy, intellectual brand? Then a few degrees and certifications might be great, and your love of personal development and learning might benefit greatly from a coach. However, if you are a heart-centered, sincere brand, you may not need those at all. If you are the latter, in fact, you might get just as far, just as fast, by being in a collaborative community or starting your own online store.
Rather than being swept away by all the noise, look at how you can best show up, and then cherry pick the approaches that feel like an extension of your brand, rather than trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Freedom To Work With Others Who Are A Great Fit
A personal brand is about who you are. When you are loudly and proudly yourself, anyone who is in alignment with your values, priorities and vision is attracted to your brand. Your ideal customers, work environments, and collaborators will seem to come out of the woodwork. At the same time, those who are simply not a good fit will fade away. Not only that, an effective personal brand clarifies your approach to getting in front of your dream clients and companies, appeal to them, engage them, and ultimately grow with them.
Freedom to Name Your Price
Your audience’s perceived value of you or your business plays a significant role in how professional, credible, and polished they deem you to be — and what they will feel you’re worth. When your personal brand is strong and visible, your value goes up dramatically. Certainly there are limits and parameters, but rarely have I seen someone overcharge for what they provide (just a couple of times). Typically, the reverse is true, with clients undercharging, or under-asking during a performance and salary review.
It is not only easier to feel confident asking for substantially more when your personal brand is clear and strong, it also is more readily embraced by clients and bosses.
Freedom to Stand Out
Similar to being yourself, and no one else, personal branding aids visibility of your brand. Within organizations, you know what to say and when and where to say it in order to grow your influence and impact. The same is true for your personal brand’s impact on a budding business. You know what to talk about, your elevator pitch, your social media content is clear, and much more.
Obviously, and personal brand can’t do the talking for you, or make you more visible if you keep a very low profile. However, given the confidence a personal brand can instill, you will be far more likely to step into the spotlight, just as if you had had a makeover by a stylist to the stars – because in a way, you have.
Freedom To Spend Time On What You Love
While freedom to follow your bliss may not seem directly related to personal branding, it is. First and foremost, the majority of us, leaders included, only have a vague idea of what really light us up. We lean toward external satisfaction, as dictated by society. In other words, we look for achievements, recognition, awards, certifications, and material wealth as our primary source of fulfillment. Sadly, rarely do these things deliver on the satisfaction in any lasting way. Instead, the enduring sort of fulfillment comes from following our inner joy and passion, which typically doesn’t line up with society’s measures of success. Oddly enough, this inner wisdom and compass is also the source of our personal brand.
When you get really clear about your personal brand, you are inevitably gaining clarity about what you really love to do as well. When you finally realize what that is, you are bound to spend more time and focus on doing it.
The freedoms personal brand delivers are nothing short of life altering. You become free to do what you want, how you want, with whom you want, when you want. Now that’s freedom! It does not excuse you from your commitments, responsibilities and giving dignity and respect to those around you. It makes doing so a joy and an act of service, which what makes leaders, leaders.
If you would like to register for the upcoming Masterclass on Personal Branding, email me, at email@example.com, and I'll get you on the list.