Over the course of the last couple of weeks, we’ve covered a few different aspects of building a personal brand in 2020.
We discussed how to scale and outsource your personal brand, how to manage a personal brand when you own multiple businesses, and ten big ways that building a personal brand can help you. This week, I want to dive into a question we get asked a lot, which is:
“What should I have to build a personal brand?” or “What should I have in my personal branding toolkit?”
It’s a great question and one we cover in this week’s “Build a Brand” series.
Items to have in your personal brand toolkit:
1. Your Personal Brand Statement
Like an elevator pitch or a unique value proposition, this 1-2 sentence statement should help define who you are, who you serve, and what specific value you bring to those individuals. I frequently refer to this statement as your personal brand “northern star.” It should help guide all your content and personal brand activity. If you’re stuck on how to create one of these, read more here. (link to the
2. Your Personal Brand Page
Typically, when I say this, people think they need to invest in developing a webpage for themselves. Let me be clear—that is not what I mean. A social media profile like LinkedIn will be just fine. After all, people will check you out on the channel they found you on and won’t bother to hop over to your website. (Seriously, how many times have you been to Gary Vaynerchuk’s personal website? Yeah, I didn’t think so…)
On your social page (again, we will use LinkedIn as an example) make sure you include the following in your summary section:
- Your personal branding statement
- Who you work with
- How you work with them
- What kind of results you help them with
- Media and press appearances
This creates clarity and credibility and will help connections understand how they can engage you.
3. A Speaker’s Reel
One of the biggest reasons I hear people say they want to build a personal brand is because they want to get paid to speak, however, most don’t have the word “Speaker” in their title, nor do they have a 2-3 minute video of themselves speaking to help conference organizers get a feel for their unique style and message as a speaker.
Trust me, if you work on this video and you put it in the media section of your profile, you will get inquiries about your speaking rates (again, make sure the word “speaker” is in your headline).
4. Personal Brand Photography
Just like a company would have photography featuring their products and services, you want to have a catalog of images of yourself. Beyond your headshots, invest in photos of yourself “in action.” For example, my brand photography includes me working on a computer, speaking, working with clients, hosting workshops, and walking down the streets of New York.
This inventory of shots can be inserted into social media, used in press appearances, and given to conference organizers. Do not skimp on this. I promise you that you will use these shots over and over and over again, and it will really help build trust and credibility in your brand. When you finally do decide to pull the trigger on a website, it’s this catalog of images that will make the site pop as well. Remember, a personal brand is often only as professional as the photography that represents it.
5. Content Catalog
A personal brand is something you have by way of the things you do. That is to say, if you’re not pushing content out regularly, you’re not building your personal brand. Mark my words, people won’t go out of their way to find you; they will discover you because you are putting out valuable content and then they will make their way over to your profile. So, it’s absolutely imperative you are posting and posting consistently. Start with one social media platform that you want to build your brand on (pick the one where your target audience is) and then decide how you want to disseminate content.
I have a running catalog of over 100 content ideas that I keep in my team’s project management software, and I add to it every day. At any given point, we can publish strategic, valuable content.
If you haven’t built your library yet, I highly suggest getting started in Evernote. It’s a fantastic app to store ideas and inspiration while you’re on the go. These five components are the basis of a strong personal brand toolkit. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t have them yet. Start small. Get a few nice photos taken, polish your personal brand statement, and start delivering value through content that informs and inspires. You can always refine your personal brand over time, but the important part is to just start putting yourself out there. Need a little help in doing so? Don’t worry, we can help with that! Schedule a discovery call here.