Creating a personal brand can be the key to supercharging your business. You might have started your business or your freelance work because you hated working in an open plan office full of people (hi, fellow introvert and HSP!), but your business really is more about you than your products and services.
People really do buy from people, and most purchases are emotion driven, so your personality and the way you show who you are in your business really are the key to your brand and your success.
Who are you, really?
Having a personal brand, or a personality driven business brand, doesn’t necessarily mean sharing every detail of your life on the internet in relation to your product, service or app.
It does mean having honest interactions and sharing genuinely, and it’s rooted in knowing what you want your business to be, and what your ideal clients are looking for.
And in turn, that means knowing who you are and what you want to show the world as a starting point.
Dialling up and dialling down
You can choose exactly how much you lean into or away from your core brand, depending on who you’re dealing with. For example, parts of my own personal brand include being colourful, being super confident in the quality of my work, handling any lighting situation and saying fuck a lot.
The pages, posts and real life interactions I have with my entrepreneur clients tend to be big on glitter, unicorns and swearing, and low on corporate jargon.
But when I am working with my fabulous corporate clients (who, don’t get me wrong, still appreciate colour and creativity), I dial up the emphasis on my capability, evidence of big events I’ve photographed and reassurance that no amount of conference silliness bothers me.
It’s still fundamentally me, in both situations – but it’s adaptable to serve my two core groups of clients.
Creating a personal brand: brand clarity
Creating a personal brand which reflects who you are begins with clarity – getting really clear on:
- what’s important to you
- your values
- why you started your business
- who you want to work with
- where you want your business to go
- what you want your life and business to look like in the future
It’s also important, especially in the early stages or during a brand refresh, to know what you don’t want. It’s easy to fall into the trap of following what’s expected when you start a business – and if you’ve just left the corporate world, corporate might be your default setting.
Mentoring, coaching or journalling can all really help you get clear on your values, which is a great starting point.
Your ideal clients
Who do you most want to work with? What kind of content, language and visuals would most resonate with them? Creating your personal brand should always include your clients as well as your personality.
If you have favourite clients, the ones who were easy and delightful to work with, see what they have in common.
If you don’t, or if you haven’t had any ideal clients for a while, this could be down to a mismatch between your personality and what your business brand is telling the world.
You want to go as deep as you can into this – the better you know yourself and your perfect clients, the better you will be able to align your natural personality, brand and message to attract them.
Case study: Verity Clarke Hair
Verity is a hair stylist and artist who specialises in fantasy, magical colour. A self professed Colour Magician, she’s edgy, irreverent and absolutely bloody brilliant at what she does. She attracts colourful humans from all over the country who want to have hair inspired by every colour of the rainbow.
She also has a set of ideal clients who value her experience and talent in natural hair colour.
She’s pitched her personal brand just right to talk to both sets of clients – blending her vibrant personality and innate style with confidence she can handle whatever your hair needs. Which is most reassuring!
Case study: Jackie Clifford
Jackie is colourful and quirky, and has extended those traits into her training brand, Clarity Learning & Development.
Like her sessions, she comes across as engaging and approachable, but also corporate enough to be reassuring to her ideal clients, who tend to be larger businesses with a more formal feel than individual entrepreneurs.
Building your brand
Whether you’re creating your brand from scratch, or looking at it in depth ahead of a rebrand, or just want to refresh and brighten up your visuals, once you have clarity you can start to build.
Your voice, your visuals and what you stand for are pillars which your brand is built around, and the joy of running your own business is that you get to decide these.
Showing off your brand personality
Hopefully by now you’ll have a good idea of how your brand can take the parts of your personality and value system and amplify them to bring you business, connections and clients which suit you down to the ground.
The really magical part about creating a personal brand is that you can embody your brand without effort – it’s a reflection of who you are, and vice versa. This makes interactions and engaging and yes, even selling your services, products or both much easier. As one of my lovely clients said to me recently, “it removes the ick from promoting my business”. And that can only be a good thing!
What does your brand personality look like? I can help you show it off with bespoke brand photography and personal branding photography sessions, which include the Brand Clarity Workbook, developed over years of helping my clients to show up in their businesses and shine.
You can also book a stand alone Brand Clarity session, which I’ve brought in by popular request! Drop me a line and let’s talk about the magic your personality can bring to your business.