While your topic or what you do will change and evolve as you continue in business and the needs of the marketplace shift, who you are at your core stays constant. You are through line of your work.
Many people make the mistake of building their company brand without taking the time to define themselves and build rich personal relationships with their audience. The problem is, if your reputation is dependent on a particular business and you decide to change your industry, topic or area of expertise later, it becomes more difficult to take your audience with you and you may find yourself pigeonholed or stuck in a niche.
But if you take the time now to build deep relationships based on your personal values, story and personality, your audience will follow you wherever you want to go – giving you the freedom to consciously craft your career – as long as you maintain a consistent personal brand.
Like it or not the world judges you within 3 seconds of meeting you, coming to your website, or watching those first few frames of video.
In just 3 seconds they decide whether they’re going to stick around and engage with you OR take off and never come back.
If you don’t capture someone’s attention in that tiny window of time, you’ve lost a critical opportunity. That person could have become your most lucrative customer, your best success story, a high-profile media appearance, a joint venture partnership that gives you exposure to 20,000 new prospects, or – you name it.
Your personal brand is the first impression you make when you walk into a room, write an email, or show up on camera. It’s also the second impression, and the third, and the fourth, and the fifth, and every single impression you make every day. The key to branding is making a consistent impression, because you never know who is going to find you and where they’ll first encounter you.
And the way you do that is by being incredibly clear about who you are and what you’re doing in the marketplace, then maintaining that clarity across everything you do – both in the physical content and collateral you produce and in the way you show up and interact in the world.
The first step is getting clear about who you are and what you’re doing in the marketplace. While this sounds simple, many people get stuck or simply bypass this foundation completely.
I often see experts and entrepreneurs fall into two opposite traps here:
1. Either they don’t get started because they don’t feel clear about their niche, programs, and services
2. They take fast action without putting any thought whatsoever into creating or maintaining a consistent brand image
Take time now to ask yourself the most important question in personal branding:
What makes me different? Unique? Special? The clear and obvious choice to work with?
Your answer could lie in your background, story and experience. Or how you make people feel. Or the results you get for them. Or it could relate to your relationships and connections.
…or endless other possibilities that make you uniquely you and allow you to claim an irreplaceable place in your ideal client’s mind.
On the surface, there are many other people who do what you do. But no one does it exactly the way you do it.
Discover what your “x factor” is and share it below.
(And one more thing: I’d like hold a FREE community workshop on personal branding and I need your votes to make it possible. If I win, of course you’re invited. I also promise to make the event recording available to you free. Please vote and spread the word…)