What’s the Big Deal with Having a Personal Brand – and Do I Need One?

Which of these do you think is most important?

–> Avoid putting your prospect to sleep out of sheer boredom.

–> Cause said prospect to quickly stop their speedy, mindless Facebook scrolling and reverse scroll back up to click on your post.

–> Be so authentic and memorable that your clients think about you way too much, bring you up in conversation with friends, and want more of you.

You probably can’t choose, because of course, you want them all!

In which case, YES, you need a personal brand. And it’s okay; you’re not alone if you aren’t quite sure what it means to have a personal brand or what makes a brand great.

I’ll simplify it for you.

Would you do business with a health coach, a business manager, or anyone offering a service who has no strong opinions, not much of a personality, no schtick, no THING that makes them different?

It’s tempting to think we hire people for their skill set, but there’s so much more that forms our opinions and choices.

Let’s take the most straightforward of business owners – the accountant. Many may say they could care less if they like their accountant or not. We just want them to know numbers and tax laws and how to help us hold on to our hard-earned money, right?

Hm, kind of, sort of.. -ish. Let’s play a game before you commit to a yes or no here.

Imagine you are emailing back and forth with your Anne, your accountant. You’re feeling a bit confused about filing your first ever S-Corp return. You have good questions, but her responses are so full of shop-talk that you start Googling phrases just to understand what she is saying. Even though you’ve asked for further explanation, Anne doesn’t seem to get you. She’s not speaking your language.

She also doesn’t stand out in your mind. She’s this person on the back end, who isn’t especially unique, funny, entertaining, informative. She doesn’t talk with you so much as she talks at you, which makes you feel kind of clueless when you hang up the phone or close the email.

Then one day you realize it’s time for a bookkeeper (or tax time will remain one of the most painful experiences of the year). You decide to do some searching for the right one. Why not use your current accountant as a bookkeeper? Because you’re curious if you can get a better deal elsewhere, and because there’s just something you can’t quite pinpoint that doesn’t make you feel very faithful to your accountant.

A friend emails you with a recommendation for a bookkeeper who “would be great for you.” His name is Brian.

So you call Brian, and immediately you experience something very different. Brian listens carefully to your questions and answers every one of them translating accounting into human words you finally understand. On top of this, he gives you new information. It’s as if he can anticipate all of your questions! He even laughs at your self-deprecating jokes and cracks a few himself. He lets you off the hook, telling you there’s no reason you should know all of this stuff – it’s complicated. He’s going to make sure this all makes sense to you.

You hang up and think, “Wow, that was so helpful – he went above and beyond. He was so informative, he knew how to explain everything (even to me), and he wasn’t judgy. Just such a cool guy who seems to know his stuff.”

From one moment to the next, you feel a lot better about your taxes and yourself as a business owner. You feel confident and much better than before. You feel like you connect with this bookkeeper.

The next day, you fire your accountant and sign up with Brian for both bookkeeping and accounting services. No one, you’ve decided, is touching your taxes except Brian.

THAT is a personal brand.

Since Brian has developed a service that revolves around him primarily, he has a personal brand. If he ran a large accounting firm, then he would have a brand for the company.

This is a true story, and Brian is my new accountant. I don’t know what his logo looks like (that’s visual branding). What I care about is how I felt after talking with him.

A good brand can be a subtle thing – you can’t always put your finger on it or blatantly see it.

A brand is the way a prospect or client feels after they’ve had an interaction with you. It’s what they say about you behind your back. It’s the words and phrases you use when talking with a client or writing a blog post that brings your essence and resonate with your ideal clients.

A brand gives your business a personality. If your business revolves around you, then your brand includes bits and pieces of your beliefs, opinions, and personality.

Creating your personal brand is a subtle form of alchemy, but it’s also not contrived or too complicated. It requires unraveling your message, bottling it up, and knowing how to communicate it.  And the thing is… you already have your personal brand, you just need to learn how to see it and show it off.

Ready for more? Learn the 3 Questions to Ask Before Creating Your Personal Brand.

Unleash Your Brand

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