The Steps to Build Your Authentic Personal Brand
Let’s talk about Personal Branding today. Because, Personal Branding as it is known today, is somewhat new -at least in terms of popularity. Now, it was not “invented” recently, just became popular somewhat recently (and I mean a decade or so).
The way I see it, Personal Branding rose to its currently popularity according to the need and the need came with the wave of influencers and people who ARE the brand.
Ok, let's get into the science of personal branding
When it comes to Personal Branding, we are talking about branding for a person. I know it’s self-explanatory, but I’m saying this because you can also brand for a business without a face (without a person’s image as reference point).
Being a personal brand, means your brand will be all about you. Meaning, you are the brand.
In many cases, when we are branding for a business, there isn’t a person involved. There is a decision maker, of course. But it would be a very different branding process, where the creation of a logo would be developed carefully, to represent the all that the brand is, within one image. It should never be as easy as putting together two letters, as “KB” for “Kelly Brito.” Because, mine is a personal brand and the logo is definitely NOT what sticks to people’s memory.
Why people are attracted to your personal brand:
- Your vibe
- Your voice
- Your photos
- Your lessons
- Your face
People come to your brand because of YOU. They find and stick around, because of the experience they have with YOU.
Branding is About Creating An Experience
Most people won’t even remember your logo. Yes, your logo is important. But on a personal brand, it’s far from being a primary focus. In all honesty, you can have a multiple 7 figures (and beyond) business, and your audience still won’t remember your logo. But they sure will remember YOU. And that’s what building a personal brand is all about: the experience people have with you.
When branding for a faceless business, it is also about creating an experience. But an experience around the client journey, the feel they have when they visit a store, the experience clients have when they use such brand’s gear and tools, or the results people get when using the brand’s products, etc.
The ultimate goal is usually to create an experience, that ultimately leads to a sale.
In some cases, the ultimate goal is to create an experience that attracts like-minded individuals, create awareness to a cause, and create community.
Personal branding is about your uniqueness
Going back to the basics of Personal Branding: It really matters that you be your authentic and heartfelt self.
Yes, I know these are clichè and overused words. But, dang!, they are true. They are important when it comes to personal branding. Because, the only way your brand can be authentic, is by adding that secret sauce that is you.
If we try imitating other personal brands way of writing, talking, behaving, the colors they like… That simply won’t last. It won’t work. You will keep spinning the wheels and changing again and again, because you will always see different brands with elements that attract you -because they do represent parts of you.
How to start building a personal brand that works for you
We are individuals with a rich personality and there will be many things you like, many sides of you that won’t necessarily align with your brand.
On my IG Live chat with brand photographer Allison Darling, we hit this topic, where I noted how we both love dark and mood photography, but would not share it on our Instagram feed because it was off-brand. My brand is vibrant colors and a certain vibe for a reason: it exists to inspire, to create a mindset of unlimited possibilities and happiness, for purpose-driven achievers… And the strategy is working! People are reaching out to be, I have been featured on Yahoo!, invited to be on business podcasts, and so on.
So, it is not because it is a personal brand that you can put all things you like or all parts of you in it. Get extremely clear on your brand pillars and choose the content and visuals accordingly.
- Start with photography, not design! It’s easier be ourselves in photos and build the design from there
- Select parts of your story that align with your brand message
- Create a brand that supports your business goals
- Understand how you want to be perceived -people will perceive you in one way or another, so build an image that manage and control HOW you will be perceived
Checkout my IG Live videos with Allison Darling about brand photography and with Selma Makuii about logo and branding design. Other fantastic IG Live collabs coming up, so follow me at @heykellybrito