To kick off our series of guest blogs, ‘Forward with Faith’, we have on board Gary King, sharing advice on the importance of building a personal brand. Gary is an expert at helping frustrated business owners to stop dithering and take the next vital steps to gaining greater focus, clarity and results. His work as a business mentor means he knows plenty about business strategy and how this goes hand in hand with a personal brand.
He looks at how different generations might go about building a personal brand, whether they realise they are doing it or not, and how building a strong one can benefit you big time.
Now, I am not a brand-building-guru. There are many personal branding gurus out there building successful seven figure businesses and there are also many out there jumping on the proverbial bandwagon.
Everybody has one. You are building a personal brand whether you like it or not.
The question is whether it is a good one or not. As my Mum used to say, “You can’t kid a kidder”. You cannot fudge the system.
The personal brand that you build must be you. Because if you portray a persona that isn’t you, you will eventually be found out and your credibility will be shot.
My 15-year-old stepson told me recently that he’d been on a date with a girl he met on ‘the gram’ (Instagram for us oldies). The problem was, when he rocked up, she looked nothing like her pictures online. “I’ve been catfished!”, he said. He left sharpish!
How I build a personal brand and how a Gen Z like my stepson may proceed are different.
Gen Z brand building
They have to identify their passions and strengths to create an authentic foundation. They will then leverage social media platforms to showcase their expertise and engage with like-minded individuals.
Consistency and transparency are key; they should stay true to their values and share their journey openly. They will embrace creativity, using visual content, blogs and videos to captivate their audience. They then collaborate with influencers and join online communities to expand reach.
By crafting an authentic, consistent, and innovative personal brand, Gen Z can establish a powerful online presence that attracts opportunities and fosters success.
Gen X brand building (me)
Again, you have to identify your unique skills, passions and values to be able to craft a clear brand identity.
Whilst building a personal brand for me still involves social media – LinkedIn, as this is where my target audience hangs out mainly – versus TikTok, Instagram or Snapchat, it also involves a lot more face to face contact.
I regularly appear as a guest on podcasts and webinars, as well as speak on stage, so I become a thought leader in my space.
I also regularly attend selected networking events and conferences as well as having a seat on the Board of my ‘trade body’, The Association of Business Mentors. This gives me access to my peers, to trends and to help shape the sector.
Now, if you build a genuine (I don’t like the word authentic – it’s been overused a lot) personal brand, it has several benefits:
- Increased visibility and recognition
- Enhanced credibility and trust
- Prospective clients come to you, rather than you chasing them
- You get to command a premium price-point (“I don’t think I can afford you!” is a good thing to hear)
- Increased influence and thought leadership
- You get referrals from clients and your network
I have spent 13 years building a personal brand (in my current status of being a business owner) and thankfully I have managed to get to the point where I have a respected position with my peers and prospective clients, I am generating regular high quality referrals and often get the “I don’t think I can afford you!” feedback.
It is worth noting that your personal brand isn’t there to appeal to everybody, it’s there to appeal to your target audience. A strong personal brand will also detract those that don’t want to work with you and who won’t be a good fit for you.
If you are constantly changing every time you get feedback you don’t like, you will never build a strong brand. You must learn to ignore any unnecessary negativity.
Take time to reflect on what image you are portraying to your audience. What are they saying about you when you are not in the room? Are you getting regular referrals and commanding a premium price for your services? Are you respected by your peers?
Developing a strong brand is a key part of the market positioning when building out a business plan. Make sure you are clear on what you want from yours, develop a strategy and stick to it.
How can Faith help you?
Our speciality is working with businesses and individuals to build the strong branding they’re looking for. To get our take on how you can strengthen your branding, or if you’re not sure where to even start, talk to us today, and learn more about how we can help.
Get in touch with Gary King to learn more about business strategy: