’ve had personal brands and multiple business brand throughout my career. As an entrepreneur I’ve evolved over the years and so has my brand strategy. I’ve narrowed down 5 personal branding strategies every entrepreneur needs to know. There are many more, though knowing these brand strategies will get you moving in the right direction!

The first steps in developing your personal branding is to spend time figuring out who you really are and what you want from your life. Often, as I’ve found this self-analysis is the hardest part.

 

Let me share a bit of my story…

My first entrepreneurial business was as a daycare provider.  Not glamours for sure.  It was out of my core need to be home with my first newborn son.  As this biz grew and I was able to maintain a steady business during the day as I began my (side hustle) second business as a professional artist and designer.
I went to school for art and concentrated in design and my intuition said to get back into it.  Before I began the daycare, I was a professional designer working in the corporate world for almost 9 years. I began to listen to my instincts and need maintain that part of me, my passion for art and design.  I wanted to experiment with fine arts too. I recall brainstorming catchy creative names and sketching ideas for hours on end.  Once I found a name I liked,  I would sketch out logo design concepts, played with colors and printed materials.  All the fun part of developing your brand right?

 

I focused on the pretty NOT the relevent part of branding. 

Being a designer is a great assest… and can also be a crutch.  Because I focused on looking good, not the core reason of my purpose delayed me in taking my business more time to get where I wanted than I’d like to admit.
[Tweet “Don’t focus on making your brand pretty, focus on make it personal + purposeful! Darla Kirchner”]

Now I KNOW how important it is to take a deep dive to learn these 5 key elements:

  • Know who you are
  • Live in your zone of genius
  • Own your gifts
  • Know who you serve
  • Be authentic, relatable and professional
     
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had great successes!  Sold thousands of pieces of art all over the world and designed brands I am very proud of for many, many clients over the years.  Though something was missing.  I wasn’t fullfilled and found myself working very, very hard at the cost of valuable time with my growing family.

 

I’m sharing my personal story because I’ve learned the hard way.  I don’t want that for you.  I dug deep and started peeling layers, began to really evaluating what I do best, listening what my ideal clients need and challenges.  Lastly and importantly I began creating a lifestyle I want to live.  That key element took me years to realize!  Now I can’t imagine living any other way:)
As personal brands we are obviously very close to ourselves, often it’s difficult to see who we really are.  Here are a few questions to ask yourself.
[Tweet “Create a life you don’t need a vacation from. Darla Kirchner”]
Defining your personal brand story is has been like peeling an onion.  You have to keep peeling to get to the core and tender inner places.  This is where you find your core purpose.   When you start getting to the core of who you are, who you want to serve and how best you can serve them you can begin to build a lasting and powerful personal brand… This I know is true.

1. KNOW who you are.  

Dig deeper and be very honest about who you really are.  Be patient with this process.  Just as Rome wasn’t build in a day, it takes time to develop a great personal brand.  As you evolve, so will your brand.  Mine did.
I’ve worked with several entrepreneurs to help them embrace who they really are.  Some wanted to gloss over it. I get it, it isn’t easy stuff to work on.  Though everyone I’ve worked with that took the time to find and grasp who they are found CLARITY.

As personal brands we are obviously very close to ourselves, often it’s difficult to see who we really are.  Here are a few questions to ask yourself.

[Tweet “Be uniquely YOU when developing your personal brand! Darla Kirchner”]

Ask yourself… 

  • Am I being authentic and honest to myself?
  • Am I being authentic in my work?
  • How would my closest friends describe me?

[Tweet “Be great at this one thing: Be true to yourself and sing YOUR song.”]

5 Personal Branding Strategies Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know

 

2. Live in your zone of genius.

Make time to seriously think about what makes you different.  What’s your superpower?  I have been a creative entrepreneur for many, many years.  When I started in the online space, I started down a different path.  I went off my path of genious.  I love to help others.  I excel and get excited building brand and branded graphics that make others shine.

In the beginning of being in the online space, bright and shiny object syndrom hit me:)  For example, productivity is very important to me (for all biz owners really).  So I wrote a Productivity Workbook.  It sold well and got great reviews.  Although, it’s not in my zone of genious.  That cost me months.  I learned.  Now I STAY in my zone.

Ask yourself…

  • What I love to do?
  • What sets me apart from your peers?
  • What work do I do that doesn’t feel like work?
  • What am I passionate and what are my unique abilities?
  • What are my personal goals in life?
It is said that if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.  I believe this.  I know so may that work for the sake of work.  They aren’t passionate about what they do.  Trust me… when you know who YOU are and who you are NOT, you will be well on your way to building a powerful personal brand!
[Tweet “”Discovering your Zone of Genius is your life’s Big Leap. Gay Hendricks”]
As Gay Hendricks states, discovering your zone of genius is your life’s big leap. Everything up until now has been about hops, not leaps. Hopping, though it seems safe, is actually hazardous to your health. If you confine yourself to hops, you run the risk of rusting from the inside out.”
 5-Personal-Branding-Strategies-Every-Entrepreneur-Needs-to-Know

3. Own your gifts.

Once you have defined your personal values and gifts, OWN them!  I learned this, live in your zone of genious.  Continue to learn all you can about your area of expertise. I’m a lifetime learner and believe you can never stop learning.  Read and research, learn, share and teach it to your audience.  Psst… Like I’m sharing now:)

Share your knowledge.  As you grow in your expertise, share it with others.  One: sharing lets’ everyone know more about you and what you know.  Two:  It’s the right thing to do.  This is a positive way to pay it forward and help others.  Share your story and expertise through writing, blogs, blogs, on social media. Here’s where you can prove you know your stuff and gain exposure too.

Be yourself.  Find your voice and style.  Share your story and proudly share your personal brand. The right people will be drawn to you.  Those that are not your target audience will not, and that’s okay.  REALLY, it’s a good thing.  You only want to focus on talking to your target audience.

Ask yourself…

  • Where am I most comfortable sharing my expertise?
  • Who are my target audience and ideal clients?
  • Have I defined my brand style?

4. Know who you serve

As soon as you have clarity on you, begin to listen closely to your audience.  Create a ideal client persona of your ideal client.  This is extremely important key to developing your personal brand.  You may have 2 or 3 ideal clients, however I always tell my clients to start with one and don’t create more than 3.

I have to say I did this instinctly and then have consistently refined my ideal client several times over the years.  It’s one of my favorite subjects to teach and help my clients develop!

Ask yourself…

  • Who do I love working with most?
  • Who is my favorite client?
  • What are their needs or desires?

5-Personal-Branding-Strategies-Every-Entrepreneur-Needs-To-Know

 

5. Be authentic, relatable and professional

As you develop your personal brand, remember to be authentic.  The more authentic you are, the more relatable you will be to those who want to know, like and trust you.  As a personal brand, you are your brand.  So remain personable and professional.  Be honest.  Share what my friend calls your “war stories” too.  These are the stories that had an inpact on your life.  They can be sad, challenging or when you made a mistake and learned from it.
I wish I knew these four key steps to developing my personal brand AND took the time to work on them YEARS ago.  It would have saved me lot’s of time and effort going down paths that lead to nowhere.  Once I embraced being me, my gifts and understood who I should be serving the clarity was a huge gift!

Ask yourself…

  • Am I truly embracing my gifts and sharing them?
  • How am I sharing them with my audience?  (i.e. blog, social media, emails, etc.)
  • Am I relatable to my audience?
  • Do I maintain a professional yet personable brand style?
I hope these by sharing these key elements of developing your personal brand help you.  Remember this… Your brand is people’s perception of you. As Jeff Bezo’s of Amazon stated…
[Tweet “A brand is what people say about you when you leave the room. Jeff Bezos”]
Your job is to make sure you leave others with a great impression of you and your brand with the people you meet:)  Answering these questions will give you a great start!
There a more Personal Branding key elements, though these are the first I’d suggest to get you started!  I hope these tips, strategies and questions help you build your brand on Twitter and in your business!  These are key personal brand strategies I wish I had known and applied years ago!
Have a personal brand question?  Share it with me on Twitter!

 

Darla Kirchner Brand, Visual Storyteller, Speaker

 

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About Darla Kirchner

As a Brand + Visual Design Strategist, I guide entrepreneurs to define their brand story so they successfully connect to their right audience!