Personal Branding Toolkit: Build A Brand In 7 Easy Steps

Personal Branding Toolkit: Build A Brand In 7 Easy Steps

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This article has been contributed by Vol Zastavny.

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Why do I attract such difficult clients?” “Why am I getting zero engagement on social media?” or “How will I ever cut through this competition?”

Then this personal branding toolkit is for you.

Building a strong personal brand isn’t something magical or only saved for some privileged people. Anybody can do it if they know how.

If you’ve already built your personal brand but you’re not reaping any rewards from it yet, there is a good chance you’re missing one or more of these 7 essential key personal branding steps.

7-Step Personal Branding Toolkit

Step 1: Define Who You Are and What You Stand For

To complete the first step in our personal branding toolkit, you need clarity around your personality type and values. These elements will build the foundation of your personal brand.

Your brand values are essential for properly communicating with your potential customers. They’re also going to help you be really true to yourself as you grow your personal brand.

If you don’t have your brand values, mission and personality in place, then everything can get a little bit chaotic, confusing, and even ineffective.

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Here are some examples of common personal brand values.

Common personal value examples

To help you further, here’s a simple exercise you can do to define your personality and values. Ask yourself the following questions and write down the answers. These will be the areas that you will commit to working on to build a solid personal brand.

  • What do you do well?
  • What are your most significant achievements?
  • What are your core values?
  • What do you stand for?

Step 2: Develop Your USP

You are probably familiar with the marketing term unique selling proposition (USP), which describes the feature or a set of features that make a product, service, or company different to the competition.

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USPs are all about showcasing why a customer should buy something from you instead of from someone else.

Just like a business brand, a personal brand can have a USP too.

USPs may be related to attitude, experience, approach, etc.

A good example of a personal brand with solid USPs is Gary Vaynerchuk. He is a successful entrepreneur known for his expertise in digital marketing and social media.

Gary Vaynerchuk, a good example of a personal brand’s USP

Vaynerchuk is extremely knowledgeable about digital marketing. So he can share a lot of valuable and interesting insights.

But he is also very expressive, energetic, charismatic, and even a little bit weird.

These qualities form the USP of Gary’s personal brand. The things he brings to the audience can’t be found anywhere else.

To complete the second step in our personal branding toolkit, write down the core features that make you stand out from the competition.

  • What sets you apart from the competition?

Step 3: Define Your Personal Brand’s Target Audience

Step number three of our personal branding toolkit is about your audience.

Who is your ideal customer? Who is that person that you want to impress with your personal brand?

Look for the issues that they are struggling with. If they face a problem that needs solving, and your product or service can do that, you move in the right direction.

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Don’t concentrate on vanity numbers. Of course, 10K followers on Instagram is cool; 100K is even cooler.

But the thing is, these should be the RIGHT people. Ideally, it is a mix of people who are your potential customers, potential collaborations, and super-supporters.

Create buyer personas describing who your ideal clients are, what their routines are like, the problems they face, and how they make decisions. Keep in mind that it is common if a business/individual has multiple buyer personas.

Now, to the task.

Create a description of each group (e.g., their motivations, pains, routines).

  • Create 3 to 5 target personas
  • Name
  • Description

Step 4: Come Up With a Personal Brand Statement

Personal brand statements are essential for those who are building their brands and want to introduce themselves to the audience.

So what is a personal brand statement (also known as an “elevator pitch”)?

In simple words, it’s like a personal tagline, a few snappy sentences that explain to people what you do, who you do it for, and how you are different from your competitors.

Generally, your personal brand statement doesn’t have to be very long. Otherwise, it can get boring.

That’s why it is called an “elevator pitch” (it should be short enough to present during a brief elevator ride – 30-60 seconds).

So try to give people a quick glance into how you can help them, what value you provide, showing that you are the right person to work with.

Personal brand statement example

Here are a few great personal brand statement examples to give you some inspiration. Use them to create your own “elevator pitch:”

Personal Brand Statement Examples

Example 1: Personal Branding Coach

I am a personal branding coach for entrepreneurs who want to grow their visibility and authority online.

or

I help entrepreneurs grow their personal brands online by assisting them with creating memorable video content that improves their authority and influence.

Example 2: Copywriter

I help businesses who mean what they say, to say what they mean.

or

I help businesses create website copy that reflects the value they offer for their ideal client.

Example 3: Photographer

I create personalized imagery you can use to market yourself.

Or

I create beautiful, authentic, and on-brand images for modern-day female entrepreneurs to help them attract their dream clients.

So how do we write your personal brand statement?

  • How would you describe who you are and what you do if you had less than 1 minute?

Step 5: Market Yourself

Often, clients may adore you, but because you give them all your time and energy, you can stop growing as you rarely have time to market yourself.

But we want to tell you that there is no magic pill to become a magnetic personal brand. You still need to devote some extra hours a week to implement the strategies that will help you grow.

Where do you start?

Think about how you are going to communicate your values and what channels you are going to use to market yourself.

Personal Website

When you decide to build a personal brand, it’s natural that you immediately think of creating a personal website. That’s a great idea.

No matter how many social media profiles you start, you always will depend on their algorithms. And who knows, maybe Instagram or Facebook will ban your account someday, and you will lose everything (nightmare!). Having your own website secures you a place where you are a boss.

This is also the right place to add your CV and portfolio.

If you have no coding skills and can’t build a website on WordPress, there is a good selection of extremely user-friendly website builders such as Wix, Weblium, Squarespace, and many more.

Blogging and Content Marketing

Content marketing is what makes personal branding so powerful. It increases your audience’s trust and brand affinity (especially over time).

Customers who read valuable branded content are 131% more likely to purchase from that brand.

So content creation is absolutely crucial for growing your brand. However, regularly creating content is only the midpoint. It’s time to remember that you have already done so much of the work, and now you need to put it in front of as many people as possible.

You need to create and share various types of content that are relevant and valuable to your audience.

For example, Neil Patel is widely known for sharing valuable content about online marketing. He regularly posts on his blog that counts over 2 million visitors per month.

Besides his highly successful blog, Neil also shares his amazing content on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. And if you know Neil, you can see that he is literally EVERYWHERE.

Email Newsletter

Every time you send an email, you are promoting your personal brand. Compile a weekly or monthly email newsletter to share relevant and valuable information with your subscribers.

Add a professional email signature with your photo and contact details to make every email more human.

A professional email signature in a newsletter

SEO

Optimize your content for search engines. But do it wisely as we write for people as our top priority, not for search engines.

Social Media

These days, there is a lot of noise on social networks.

To stand out and attract the attention of your ideal customers, you will need to carefully select the content that represents your personal brand’s values, entertains, educates, and inspires people.

Also, keep in mind that social media content should maintain an informal vibe, which users prefer in their feeds. Finally, follow the newest social media trends.

If you are wondering which platform to choose, there is no clear answer. You can choose to embrace all the major platforms or just a few ones, depending on the values you defined in Step 1.

Guest Posting and Outreach

There’s a reason famous people appear on interview shows. It’s an excellent way to promote their work (films, music, etc) in a conversational manner. At the same time, it gives them the chance to consolidate their star power (personal brand).

Just like celebrities, when you appear on someone else’s blog or podcast there’s a good chance you’ll get higher exposure for your personal brand. This way, you can introduce yourself to new audiences.

Look for guest post opportunities everywhere: check Google Searches, talk to your favorite bloggers, analyze competitor backlinks, etc. When looking for places to guest post your content, focus on resources relevant to your niche or industry.

For instance, you can search Google with the variable “site:example.com guest posting” if you want to publish on a specific website.

When reaching out to the site owner, be genuine and take time to research their site so you can personalize your outreach email.

How to search for guest post guidelines on a specific website

Influencer Marketing and Win-Win Partnerships

Collaborating with well-known influencers in your niche can largely contribute to your personal brand development.

Influencers can connect you to their followers through some posts or videos created about your brand.

Because their fans and followers trust them and their choices, they might like and follow you as well.

PR

If you are planning to grow a strong personal brand to support your business or enhance your career, public relations is a powerful tool.

Consider hosting events that can help you demonstrate your expertise or provide valuable insights for your community.

You can also share your knowledge by participating in events organized by other people.

On top of that, consider storytelling as a great way to elevate your brand’s image and help customers understand you and your values better.

  • Select three main channels you are going to use to market your personal brand

Step 6: Build a Network and Cultivate Relationships

While content marketing, social media, and influencer marketing are important components of building a personal brand of your dream, personal connections can be just as important.

The sixth step of our personal branding toolkit is all about networking.

Networking not only helps you feel part of a community of like-minded people but also offers other fantastic benefits. You can promote your personal brand, gather referrals and find hidden opportunities.

How Do You Network to Build Your Personal Brand?

Join and follow social media groups related to your interests and goals. The most popular social networks have dozens if not hundreds of such communities.

These groups usually form with some common interest hat unites participants. For example, “Freelancers of Canada” or “Vegans and Vegetarians, or ”Professional Translators”.

Connect with individuals that may be of benefit to your personal brand. To find such connections, you can search the social media connections of your current friends (see second and third-degree connections on LinkedIn), follow other businesses, search for your university alumni, etc.

Attend conferences and online events relevant to your field. Not only will the events themselves be interesting, but you’ll find plenty of like-minded people also seeking to build their professional networks.

As a proactive individual, you probably send dozens of emails every day. Use every opportunity to your advantage. We recommend you add an invitation to connect in your email signature so that you can potentially build your network with every email that you send.

Be friendly when going offline. You never know where you might meet a valuable networking connection. This can happen not only on a trade show but also on the bus or in line at the supermarket.

  • Choose the conferences and online events you are going to attend this year
  • Join three professional communities on LinkedIn and start networking
  • Choose three social networks you are going to link to your email signature

Step 7: Work on Consistent Communication

Finally, let’s talk about consistency.

You should understand that consistency builds trust (consistent = reliable).

But when we say consistency, we mean not only having your plan and posting two times a week on your social media. Consistency should be everywhere.

For example, if people get one experience talking to you on social media, you should provide them with the same (if not better) experience of you behind the scenes.

Furthermore, when they first start working with you, always make sure that they still feel the same by the end of your project together.

Final Thoughts

Once you have an idea of what your personal brand is, incorporate it into how you speak to your audience, write your cover letters, CVs, blog posts, personal statements, social media, etc.

If you follow the steps outlined in this complete guide to building your personal brand, you will evolve and develop. But be sure to remain consistent with everything you do so that people remember who you are, what you stand for, and how much value you bring to the world.

To access this complete guide to developing your personal brand anytime, be sure to download the infographic we’ve created for you.

Personal branding toolkit infographic

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About the author: Vol Zastavny is an experienced marketer and founder of MySignature, an email signature marketing and branding platform. Together with the team, Vol helps other entrepreneurs and professionals grow their personal brands with powerful email sign-offs.

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