Why You Must Consider Your Personal Brand–Even If You’re Building a Company
Personal brands aren’t just for celebrity entrepreneurs.
Take my friend Amanda Steinberg.
Amanda has built 3 companies, including DailyWorth which delivers financial advice to over 1 million subscribers every day.
She has poured her heart, sweat, and tears into her brands. But for her latest project, she needed to consider a new brand…
…her personal brand.
Amanda, as we discussed when I interviewed her for Episode 16 of Profit. Power. Pursuit., is writing a book called Worth It.
Companies–and the brands they embody–are great at fulfilling a message.
But when it comes to sharing a message, keynotes, books, and op-eds rule.
Company brands don’t give keynotes, write books, or pen op-eds. People do.
And, if you want your message to have the chance to be heard, you’ll want to work on your personal brand, as well as your company brand.
Your company will give you credibility but your personal brand will share the message and make it human.
Contrary to what many believe, personal branding is not a popularity contest.
Even Amanda said, “the personal brand marketplace is getting crowded inside a torrent of social media one-upmanship.”
Your personal brand isn’t about having the best looking office on Instagram or the most popular hangouts on Facebook Live. It’s not about who can be the pithiest on Twitter. It’s not even about who can drive the most traffic to their blog.
Your personal brand is what makes you most compelling, most effective, and most unique.
That’s your Quiet Power—to use my own parlance.
Your personal brand and Quiet Power inform your company brand, too. So working to understand what your personal brand is all about will serve you very well in the long-term of growing your business.
You have a message that needs to be heard, an idea that needs to be used, or a movement that needs to be started. One of the key ways you can do that is to be recognized.
- Amanda wouldn’t have been able to tell her story and be preparing to change the money lives of so many women through Worth It without cementing her personal brand.
- Being Boss wouldn’t be such a beloved podcast without Kathleen and Emily having strong individual personal brands.
- Heck, Apple wouldn’t be the kind of brand it is today without the personal brand, message, and collective work of Steve Jobs.
So what should you do if you want to better understand your personal brand and how to use it to your advantage? Answer these questions:
1) What really makes your blood boil?
The things in which we most passionately believe are the language in which our brands are written–to paraphrase the inimitable Anne Lamott.
Tap into what gets you ranting and raving and you’ll be well on the way to discovering a key piece of your personal brand.
2) How would you want people to introduce you to someone else?
The words you want them to use point to your most deeply held personal values. Those values shape the message behind your personal brand.
3) How do you want to make people’s lives meaningfully better?
Forget the work you want to do. Forget the value you offer.
Hone in on how what you do or the value you provide makes people’s lives meaningfully better.
Once you have the answers to these questions, make sure you’re utilizing them. Sometimes, you can do it explicitly–like in an About Page. Other times, you can hook people in and help them get to know you more covertly–like in the opening story to a talk or webinar.
Just knowing your answers and keeping them top of mind while you’re crafting content, being interviewed, and sharing your perspective will help to solidify your personal brand…
…and give you the platform to deliver the message you most want to deliver.
Another person who has worked hard to build her personal brand–in addition to playing a key role in the growth of many companies and organizations–is Debbie Millman–my guest this week on Profit. Power. Pursuit.
Debbie is the host of the first and longest running design podcast on iTunes!
She’s interviewed some of my personal heroes like Seth Godin, Dan Pink, and Alain de Botton.
We talked about how she’s used podcasting to build her personal brand and create a platform for her best work.
We also talked about the 10 to 12 hours she puts into interview prep, how she started with just a phone line back in 2005, and the opportunities that have come her way thanks to the podcast.
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