PR expert, Carlii Lyon shares 5 tips for building your personal brand
For over 15 years I have in some way or another helped to create, shape and build the personal brands of many remarkable human beings. From one of the world’s leading supermodels to a doctor, a world-leading economist to a British foot reader, I have been blessed to represent them all. Believe it or not, they all had something in common, and that was the courage to stand out, be seen and heard just as they are.
What is a personal brand?
A personal brand is defined as the way you present yourself to the world. It is the art of packaging yourself in a way that is marketable and of benefit to your life and livelihood.
Do you have what it takes to launch a personal brand?
The short answer is, yes, yes you do.
You may feel as though your message is not anything new. It doesn’t have to be. Whoever it is you want to be and whatever it is you want to share has never been done your way, by you and in your voice.
The following questions are based on a presumption that you have an idea for your personal brand ready to go. You have a vision, purpose, and message to share, and you simply want to know if you have what you need to get started.
Am I being true to myself?
A personal brand is personal. It is a reflection of you, what you stand for, what you know, who you are and where you are going in life. The minute you try to be something or someone you are not, thinking it is a more ‘accepted’ path to follow, is the minute you are out of your heart and into your head.
You have very little chance of genuinely connecting with your audience if you are promoting a carbon copy message or paying lip service to generic ideas that don’t reflect you as a person. People want to know you and how a particular message relates back to who you are as a whole.
What do I want to be doing and known for in the future?
Building a personal brand is a long-term activity and you, therefore, need to think long-term. This will allow you to weather the short-term setbacks and periods of slow progress. Asking yourself where you want to be in 5 years time allows you to see your personal brand from a new perspective. Think of it as reverse engineering.
You want the personal brand you launch today, to work toward what you want to be doing and known for in 5 years time.
Am I prepared for rejection and disapproval?
Believe it or not, rejection and disapproval can be positive signs that your sphere of influence and level of exposure is growing. The more people you reach, the more rejection and disapproval you will encounter. This will ideally be balanced with an increase of recognition, success, and influence.
Is my message clear and easy to understand?
Less is more when it comes to messaging. Whether you are delivering it in person or it is featured online, your message and your purpose need to be clear, concise and delivered in your own words. You need to get right to the point as soon as possible and do so in a way that sparks attention. If you can condense it into one sentence then you are doing really well.
Do I have what I need to launch my personal brand?
Here is a little checklist I go through when I am consulting to clients:
- Brand style guide
- Professional (or high quality) profile shot
- Personal website
- Social media platforms set up and ready to go
- A realistic promotional plan
I remember when I was younger my Dad always saying to me ‘life is not a dress rehearsal’, how true that is.
In that case, my hope for you is that you choose the role you want to play, dress up as you wish, be your own brand and live life your way.