3 Secrets To Building A Strong Personal Brand

 

Written By Shelcy V. Joseph for Forbes 13 July 18

Maybe you're looking to level up your career or launching an entrepreneurial venture, and you're not sure where to start with personal branding. Maybe you've already started and you're trying to gain more traction.

Whatever your case may be, you can use these three tips from Meredith Crawford, founder of Solerno Media, to build a memorable brand that will attract a loyal fan base and endless career opportunities.

Create A Brand Around Your Passion

People like to know the story attached to what you are marketing—whether it be your talent or your products. They want to know why it is important or special, which is really what sets you apart. The combination of vulnerability and enthusiasm draws people into brands, services, and thought leaders. Crawford suggests you ask yourself, "Think about the WHY behind what you are doing. What fuels it? What is the difference you want to make with your company, in your local community or the world?"

Putting your passion at the center of your brand can feel risky at first. The truth is, no one forms emotional connections to brands that exist “to be excellent” anymore. Sharing the deep-seated reason behind what you do builds strong emotional connections with your customer. It’s personal to you, and as a result, it becomes personal to them. For example, Elon Musk’s passion for sustainable technology has powered the Tesla brand.

Flaunt Your Quirks

Build a brand that accentuates—not hides—what makes you (or your business) different. Reflect on all the things your friends and family say about you. What are your so-called “trademarks”? Is it a particular phrase? Organizing style? A well-ingrained habit, like rescuing animals found on the side of the road or drinking coffee every morning? Whatever they are, identify your quirks and work them into your marketing. Your customers will see them as something that makes you unique.

Give Others Something To Remember

Whether it is through prompt, frank and thoughtful communication or the interior design of your stores, or a hassle-free purchasing experience online, create a memorable experience for your customer. Crawford brought up her time working at a bookstore to illustrate this point.

Crawford's example illustrates that point: "I worked at a 40-plus-year-old independent bookstore during the rise of the big box bookstores and Amazon’s Kindle release. This bookstore was something of a legend—it had survived two fires and was still family-owned. Although the industry was going through rapid changes, customers kept coming back and buying books from us because of our legacy. Alumni from local colleges brought their families back to reminisce. People came from other states to gawk at this fairly old, fairly large independent bookstore. Some still remembered the founder and the early days of the bookstore and wanted to experience its continued existence."