How to Define Your Personal Brand in 6 Simple and Actionable Steps
I love the phrase “Your vibe attracts your tribe.” I think it beautifully captures the essence of what a personal brand is all about. Your personal brand is your unique fingerprint in the world…
From influencers to CEOs, it seems like everyone's talking about “personal brand” these days. But what does it really mean to have a personal brand?
I love the phrase “Your vibe attracts your tribe.” I think it beautifully captures the essence of what a personal brand is all about. Your personal brand is your unique fingerprint in the world—it's a blend of your skills, experiences, and values that sets you apart. In today's digital landscape, having a well-defined personal brand isn't a luxury; it's almost a necessity.
I’m going to break down how to define your personal brand into six simple, actionable steps. Just a warning, I won’t be talking about crafting a logo or whipping up a quick tagline. I’m going deeper. We'll be dissecting the authentic you—your proficiencies, convictions, and the unique spark you ignite. Whether you're starting your own business, freelancing, or climbing the corporate ranks, getting clear on your personal brand is a game-changer.
1 - Set the Foundation Identify Your Goals and Dreams
Why It's Important
Before you can define your personal brand, you've got to know what you're aiming for. What drives you? What's your end game? These aren't just fluffy questions; they're the bedrock of your brand. We're talking about your motivations, your long-term vision, and your ideal achievements.
Before you can define your personal brand, you've got to know what you're aiming for. What drives you? What's your end game? These aren't just fluffy questions; they're the bedrock of your brand. Understanding your motivations, your long-term vision, and your ideal achievements is crucial. Think of it as setting the GPS on your watch before you start off on a long backpacking trip; you need to know the destination and mileage to choose the best route.
Dig Deeper - What Really Drives You?
Surface-level goals are a start, but lets go deeper here. Why do you want what you want? Is it financial freedom, making a difference, or maybe it's about personal growth? Knowing the 'why' behind your objectives helps you set goals that are in line with your true aspirations.
Actionable Exercise - Identify Your Goals Don't just skim through this. Take a moment to jot down your aspirations, objectives, ambitions, and targets. Better yet, grab a worksheet or take a quick quiz designed to help you identify your goal setting personality type. Putting pen to paper or taking the quiz will give you a great starting point.
2 - Know Your Tribe Understand Your Target Audience
Why It's Crucial
Trying to connect to everyone just for the sake of having a bazillion followers Is it pretty weak way of building a personal brand. That strategy will just dilute who you are and connects to no one. That's why knowing your target audience, or, your "tribe," is non-negotiable. These are the folks who will vibe with what you're all about. They're not just random followers; they're your diehard supporters, your most engaged followers, and your biggest advocates. Understanding their demographics, interests, and pain points is like having a cheat sheet for connection. It's the key to crafting messages, products, or services that resonate deeply with your constituency.
Do Your Homework
Before you can forge a real connection, you need to understand who you're reaching out to. Are they millennials or baby boomers? Are they into tech, wellness, or maybe personal development? But it goes beyond demographics; you need to dig into the challenges they're grappling with. What are their pain points that you can either solve or deeply empathize with? This isn't just a market research exercise; it's about building a brand foundation so solid that your devotees can't help but feel seen, heard, and valued.
Actionable Exercise - Audience Persona Templates
Want a shortcut? Download my editable customer persona template to craft your ideal client avatar. It's like creating a character for a story, but this character is your dream customer. Knowing your audience persona inside and out helps you tailor your brand to attract your most loyal devotees.
3 - Carve Your Niche Determine Your Unique Value
Why It Matters In today's crowded marketplace, you can't afford to be just another face in the crowd. Your personal brand is your ticket to standing out. It's not just about what you do, but how you do it—your distinctive approach, your individuality, and the specific problems you solve that no one else can. For instance, if you're a life coach, it's not just about helping people achieve their goals; it's about your unique methodology or the particular niche you specialize in, such as coaching single parents navigating the challenges of remote work or busy tech professionals looking to transition into leadership roles.
The Problem-Solver - What's Your Unique Solution? OK seriously. People are looking for real solutions, not just another product or service. So, what one-of-a-kind solutions can you offer that will genuinely make a difference in someone's life? Using coaching as an example, maybe you have a unique program that combines mindfulness techniques with career development. The more specific you are here, the easier it'll be to carve out your own space in a crowded market. This isn't just about being a service provider; it's about positioning yourself as an expert and a go-to resource in your field.
Market Gap Analysis - Be the Missing Puzzle Piece Pause and take a hard look at what your competitors or peers are doing. What's on the table, and what's noticeably absent? This is your golden opportunity. Pinpoint those gaps and swoop in with your unique selling proposition and individuality. For example, if you notice that other coaches in your niche are great at setting goals but fall short on accountability, that's your cue. Your strength in follow-up and accountability could be the game-changer that sets you apart. It's not merely about standing out; it's about offering something so valuable that you become indispensable.
Actionable Exercise - Craft Your Unique Personal Proposition (UPP)
Start by answering these questions:
What is the core problem you solve for your audience?
What makes your approach or solution unique?
Why should someone choose you over someone else?
Now, combine these answers into a single, concise statement. Here's a template to guide you:
"I help [your target audience] achieve [core problem you solve] by [your unique approach or solution], unlike others who [what makes you different]." Using the example of the coach who specializes in helping single parents navigate the challenges of remote work here's what their USP might look like: "I help single parents juggling remote work achieve a balanced and productive workday by offering tailored coaching sessions that fit into their hectic schedules, unlike others who offer one-size-fits-all solutions."
This exercise will help you articulate your unique value in a way that's tailored to your personal brand. Take your time with it; your UPP is a powerful tool for setting yourself apart in a crowded marketplace.
4- Tell Your Story Craft Your Personal Narrative
Why It's Essential
People don't just connect with brands, they connect with the people behind them. Your personal narrative is more than a biography; it's the journey that shaped you and your brand. Storytelling isn't just a marketing tactic, it's a way to engage emotions and build trust. Authenticity is your best friend here. It makes your story relatable and memorable.
The Elements of Your Personal Narrative
Your personal narrative can include your life's journey, challenges overcome, and milestones reached. It's not just a history lesson, it's an emotional roadmap that helps your audience understand who you are and what you stand for.
The Psychology Behind Why Stories Work
Stories aren't just entertaining; they're psychologically potent. They engage our emotions, help us visualize scenarios, and even trigger the release of oxytocin, the "trust hormone." This isn't just storytelling; it's building a psychological bridge between you and your audience. Knowing this can help you craft a narrative that not just entertains but deeply resonates with your people.
Actionable Exercise: Craft Your Personal Narrative
Identify the key moments in your life that shaped who you are today.
Write down the challenges you've overcome and the lessons you've learned.
Now, weave these elements into a compelling narrative that's authentic and relatable.
5 - Discover Your Essence Identify Your Personality Traits to Define Your Personal Brand
Why It's Essential
Knowing your own qualities and characteristics is foundational for crafting a personal brand that's authentically you. Your persona is not just a mask, it's the core essence that attracts your ideal audience to you.
Gather Outside Perspectives
It's easy to miss the forest for the trees when you're so close to the subject—you. That's why gathering feedback on your qualities and attributes from friends, family, or colleagues can be a game-changer. This external perspective can offer you valuable insights that you might have overlooked. Who are you? How do others perceive you?
Carl Jung's 12 Archetypes - A Personal Branding Lens
Carl Jung's archetypes aren't just psychological constructs; they're a lens through which you can view your own persona and better understand how to position yourself. For instance, if you identify closely with 'The Caregiver' archetype, that could inform the values, tone, and even the content strategy of your personal brand. These archetypes can serve as a roadmap for aligning your personal attributes and values with those of your target audience.
Actionable Exercise - Identify Your Archetype
Read my previous post on Carl Jung's 12 archetypes. See which archetype resonates with you the most and consider how it aligns with your personal brand.
6 - Find Your Voice Define Your Brand Voice
Why It's Essential
Your brand voice is more than just the words you choose; it's the tone, style, and energy you bring to every interaction. For personal brands, this is your unique advantage. It's what naturally makes you memorable and sets you apart from the crowd. Being self-aware of your own voice, tone, and style ensures that you're consistent across all touchpoints of your brand. Your true self is the best magnet for attracting your true tribe.
Personal Brands and Voice Impact
For personal brands, your voice is more than a marketing tool, it's a genuine expression of who you are. When you're authentic, consistency isn't something you have to strive for—it naturally happens. That's because your 'brand' is essentially you, and you're already a unique package of traits, experiences, values, and voice. Find the tone and style that are unique and distinctive to you and double down on them. This will ensure that your brand voice is both consistent and compelling. It's not just about being heard or seen, it's about being recognized and remembered for who you truly are.
Actionable Exercise - Discover Your Signature Phrases
Take some time to reflect on your conversations, social media posts, or any content you've created. Are there specific words, phrases, slogans, or mottos that you find yourself using frequently? From Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Hustle” to Marie Forleo”s "Everything is Figureoutable" these uniquely identifiable words and phrases are perfect examples.
Make a list of these signature phrases and consider how they align with your brand's core values and message. Going forward, intentionally incorporate these phrases into your content and interactions to solidify your brand voice and make it instantly recognizable.
Remember that your personal brand is your fingerprint in the world reflecting your unique personality traits, values, and skills. It's not just how you look or what you say, it's the total package of who you are, what you do, who you help, and why it matters. Consider these six steps your starter roadmap to dig deep, get clear, and truly define what sets you apart. As you move forward, keep in mind that your individuality isn't just your essence, it's also your tool for building connection and communicating your distinctiveness to the world.
Now go be you.
. . .
Need help getting even more clear? Work with me 1:1 in a Brand Explorer Workshop.