I've got some important news for all of you small business owners out there! Read this carefully...YOU ARE THE BRAND! There are a few exceptions. Some people completely separate themselves from their products or services. However, if you aren't one of those people, then, face it...your brand is directly attached to you! That is why it's important to consider these tasks when creating your personal brand:
1. Assess your personality type:
Have you ever heard of Meyers-Briggs? It's a test that assess your personality traits and let's you know the most impactful characteristics of your personality. The test even recommends potential careers based on your scores. This tool is useful because in order to build a personal brand, you need to understand fully what attributes of your personality are marketable.
2. Assess your comfort level with industry standards (not norms):
Before I delve into this one, let's define two terms: Industry Standards - Practices that must be carried out in order to be part of a given industry (i.e. In order to own a bar, you need a liquor license). Industry Norms - Practices that are done out of tradition (i.e. Nail Salons using cheesy manufacturer's posters as decor).
Now that we've got that out of the way, you need to decide if you are comfortable with the industry standards in your niche. If you aren't comfortable, then, you can't be part of that industry. Poor confidence can lead to so many missteps. Make sure you are capable of fulfilling the basic requirements to participate in the industry of your choice.
3. What do you do better than your counterparts/competitors.
Assess your competitors to understand what they're doing that's benefiting them and what they're doing that isn't working well. Assess whether or not you have a skill or service that you perform or produce better than your competitors. Don't neglect those intangible qualities like great customer service, interpersonal skills, leadership, etc. Those intangible qualities often help you win the client.
4. Assess what you're bad at:
Once you decide what you're not good at, ask yourself if you can improve. If the answer is no, then, you may need to consider hiring someone to perform that task. Avoid allowing your weaknesses to damage your personal brand at all costs.
5. Stay true to your personal core values:
Make sure that the core values that are important to you as a person are reflected in your personal brand. If your faith is important to you and it is one of your core values, make sure that you incorporate the tenents of that faith into your personal brand. Maybe you don't use profanity or perhaps you don't believe in excessive purchases...well then, that would be part of your brand values too.
These five steps will aid you in developing a strong foundation for your personal brand.
Do you need more help? Contact me and let's talk about it!