“We can no longer continue to operate in this linear B2B / B2C world when it comes to business. People buy people and all relationships are human to human,” Sallee Poinsette-Nash.
Businesses invest a lot of money in brand building – they try to act like people, develop values, personalities and a purpose. Breaking news: You have the advantage - you are a person! You already have a tone of voice, stories and messages to share with the world. All you have to do is figure out how to make your 'human brand' and your audience come together to create the impact you're looking for in your life or in your career.
Not sure where to start? Here eight easy steps that you can use as a guide…
No-one has had the exact same collection of experiences as you have. No-one else views life through your eyes. Your story and unique perspective is what differentiates you from every single one of the seven billion + people who live on our planet today.
By positioning your message somewhere between where you are today and where you’re aiming to be, you can accelerate the speed of your journey and attract new opportunities, collaborations and connections that align with your bigger vision.
Building a brand takes time. You need to make a commitment to being as good at your 'thing' as you can be and start owning your area of expertise or focus. Could you be the next voice of your industry? Can you become known in your field? Absolutely, any of us can if that’s what we’re aiming for!
Figure out who your audience are and provide as much value to people (in the public domain) as you can because everything stems from there. By focusing on the value you’re delivering, the returns will take care of themselves and manifest in the most surprising ways.
Find one social platform - one that the majority of your audience use. Collaborate with online platforms, like Startups Magazine, which align with your message. Find an offline event or community where you feel like you belong. Then show up – authentically and consistently,with the best content you create and nurture an audience big enough to matter.
“By being part of a community and collaborating with like-minded people, you are forging long-lasting relationships with not only your peers but potential clients. The power of community should never be underestimated.”
The more you show up, the more ‘aligned opportunity’ will find you. Seek out other people who are on the same wavelength, people who also share quality messages and content thenexplore ways to collaborate. We’re always stronger together and competition will never reign over collective effort.
Once you’ve a grown a social media following, build your personal website or start a blog.This is a space that you own (as opposed to say, LinkedIn) - a shop window where you can showcase your human side. Start with a simple drag and drop site (like Squarespace, Strikingly or Wix) and either use it as a 21st century cv or as the ultimate value add to your audience.
8. LAUNCH YOUR OWN PRODUCTS
Credibility is your motivation here. View products as marketing tools over monetary goalsbut know that you’re creating valuable IP for yourself too. Write a book, design an online course, launch a podcast - these are products that speak on your behalf and add another layer to your public credibility.
Don't just follow these steps once, revisit them over and over again. You are continually evolving and therefore, your personal brand should be doing the same. Keep checking in, refreshing and adapting as you go but most importantly, keep ‘doing’, show up as your authentic self and embrace human connection.
The definition of a brand is ‘a mark’ and as a human brand, you have the opportunity to leave your mark on the world we live in. Becoming known as an individual is a permanent and sustainable advantage that you can create for yourself but remember that you're human - imperfection is perfect, the world needs more of it and when it comes to most things in life, 7/10 is good enough.
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