10 Steps to Elevate The Brand Within You by Yvonne Phillip
Written by Yvonne Phillip, Brand Strategist and Stylist
I remember sitting in my bedroom about five years ago when my son, then aged 15, came to ask me if he could go to a party. I did my due diligence, asking all the questions. Where is this party? How are you getting there? Do you need me to collect you? Do the parents know a party is taking place in their house? Once I felt comfortable and had all the right answers, I let him go and was left alone with my thoughts and fluffy slippers.
My son would be 18 before I knew it and off to face the world, but what was going to happen to me? I had to close my six-figure, award-winning social enterprise due to burnout and the recession that had hit a few years earlier. I had started with an amazing, dynamic strategy and style, but ended up looking a hot mess and totally stressed. I closed my business and walked away, trying to not look back.
How had I moved from speaking on stages, being in the press, networking and being contracted by government agencies and corporate companies to working in a call centre? Answering calls daily about refuse and council tax was fine for some, but it was not what I wanted for my life or career. I then realised that the closure of my business had been because I had a strategy but I was neglecting my style and my own self care routine had gone totally out of the window. I needed to get myself back on that ladder of visible success if I was to have a life, career or business that I wanted.
I started my journey and my transition back to the sustainable and successful woman that I wanted to be. A woman who was ready to take the world by force and change the environment in which I found myself. I realised that it takes 10 steps to achieve this, and I now use my skills, knowledge and experience to help others do the same. Read on if you want to know what it takes to build a dynamic personal brand as part of your business. After all, if women sustain ourselves, we can sustain the world.
“Empower yourself to become the best version in your life, career and business by building a brand that stands the test of time.”
So why is your personal brand important?
When you are considering why branding matters, you should think about two factors. These factors are the internal and external elements that may affect your life, career and business. Your brand is your reputation and the way you are perceived by others. It presents itself in the way you show up, both on and offline, and has the power to:
– Increase job and business opportunities
– Increase your income, earnings and sales potential
– Increase your self-esteem, confidence and clarity on who you are
Now, your brand is more than just lovely pictures and pretty fonts. You need to look deep inside yourself (your soul) so that you can show up online and in person and present the brand you truly are, in a style that is totally authentic and unique to you.
1 / Be clear on who you are
Whether you are your brand or your business has its own persona, it’s important that you lay the foundations by knowing who you truly are and showing up as your authentic self on a daily basis. This includes being clear on:
– Your talents, strengths and weaknesses
– Your values and passions
– Your purpose and mission
Being clear on these three points will assist you in sending a clear message when communicating about what you do and also why you do it. It will build the know, like and trust factor for potential employers, customers and partners on why they should work with you.
2 / Focus on your health
You may wonder how successful people with high profile brands have the energy, focus and clarity to keep going and growing. The secret is that they take care of their health, self care and all round wellness, including:
– Physical and mental health
– Listening to your feelings
– Developing routines and rituals
If you lack energy, you’re not going to have the physical strength to deliver your business or career objectives. If you lack mental health, you’re not going to have the focus and clarity to move your business or career forwards. Having daily rituals and routines can build your resilience to overcome any obstacles or challenges and build a brand that will stand the test of time
“If you lack energy, you’re not going to have the physical strength to deliver your business.”
3 / Have a unique offer
As mentioned before, you must be clear on who you are – on your talent, values, purpose and identity, staying true to who you really are, in person and online. This will also assist you in presenting a unique offering which includes:
– Fulfilling a need
– Being different
– Being bold
This could be how you do things, with whom you do it or how you stand out from the crowd. Whatever it is, it must turn on a light bulb within your potential employer, customer or client and spark an emotional connection for them to invest their time and money in you.
4 / Your offline presence
People buy from people and one of the top secrets to building a profitable brand is to remember that it includes your offline presence as well as your online one. Share your vision with confidence, clarity and charisma. Remember to under promise and over deliver. The starting point for your offline messages are:
– Sharing your story via speaking, presentations, interviews and meetings
– Your 30 second elevator or power pitch
– Your personal style and dressing to impress!
Focus on your unique strengths as this will help you to build rapport and endear your customer to your story. Connections matter, so tell as much of your story as you feel comfortable with. People like to be let into your world.
“Share your vision with clarity, confidence, credibility and charisma.”
5 / Epic design
Now, I know I mentioned earlier that your brand is not just about pretty pictures and fonts but in the age we live in, it is important. The colours, fonts and photography you use to convey the overall look and feel of your brand need to be distinct from others. You may want to check the following:
– Your colours, styles and sounds that characterise your brand
– Your logo, signature graphic and fonts
– Photography, your company name and tagline
Ask yourself, what emotions do you want the customers to feel? What physiological effect will they have? With epic design, you can present yourself authentically, professionally and consistently to ensure you stand out and are not forgotten.
6 / Your online presence
80-90% of people will check your online presence and use it as part of their decision-making process. This is where all the previous steps come into play and should be totally aligned with:
– Your website
– Your social media
– Your messaging
Your tone of voice is of the utmost importance when communicating online as the cross checking of body language is absent. Make sure your tone of voice is in line with your brand and does not confuse the message.
“Stop being your potential clients best kept secret. It’s time for you to shine like the star that you are.”
7 / Be consistent
Being consistent will build respect and credibility. This means showing up on a regular basis and sharing your vision and superpowers. If no one knows about what you do, it means nothing. If you talk about a good game but do not deliver results, you will just lose respect. The best way to do this is to:
– Show up on a regular basis
– Good visuals that align with your message
– Lots of customer testimonials
Sharing your successes is not bragging; it is proving that you can do the job and do it well. If you have a gift, it would be criminal not to share it with the world so, peacock your wins and successes in a way that will prove your worth.
8 / Maximise your time
You may be wondering, how do I gain, maintain and sustain a badass personal brand, with all that needs to be done? The answer is simple: technology! This includes:
Delegating tasks to a trainee can be developmental for them, or employ a VA (Virtual Assistant) for a few hours a week. Using technology can make your life a lot easier and free up your time to do the work you truly love, enjoy and which brings the income, impact and influence that is needed to move your brand forwards.
9 / Increase your visibility
References and testimonials are always important to assist with the promotion of your work. You need to continually request feedback for you to improve and develop your brand on an ongoing basis. You also need to gain publicity to elevate and raise your brand profile to a wider audience. This can be done by:
– Guest speaking
– PR and media
– Writing a book
You can also establish authority in your industry through hosting your own events. Pick a topic of expertise and organise an event or deliver a webinar. With the right publicity, you can expose yourself to a global audience. However, you may need to do your own publicity to start off with.
10 / Build a team
You have probably heard the term ‘your network is your net worth’ and this is true for your personal brand. The most successful people surround themselves with like-minded people who can assist and motivate them. This includes:
– Business partnerships
– Staff, co-workers and contractors
– Mentors and coaches
It is convenient to meet people online, however meeting face-to-face can be far more powerful. It doesn’t matter if business comes out of it or not, referrals and friendships are just as important when developing a profitable and soulful brand.
So, if you want visible success (whatever success means to you), you need to take into account your strategy style and self care. You need to embed it into everything you do. Once you do this, success will come to you with ease and flow and you will be ready to grow. Let me know how you get on!
Article published in Brand You Magazine – Edition 16
Yvonne Phillip, founder of The Success Stylist
Yvonne is a brand strategist, stylist and self-care advocate with over 30 years’ experience working in the corporate, statutory and charitable sectors. She helps those who feel stuck and frustrated in their business and careers to get clarity, confidence and credibility with their personal brands.