Personal Branding Checklist for Women in Business
Two main areas of personal branding
“Real style is never right or wrong, it’s about being yourself on purpose.” G. Bruce Boyer
This is one of my favourite quotes about style. It kind of sums up my work around personal style and brand identity. *Being More You* is what I help women in business, who are their brand, do. There’s no right or wrong way to be yourself. It’s about you showing up each day as your best, most fabulous self, because you are your shop window. It’s a form of marketing because you are a walking, talking advert for yourself and your business.
The way I see it there are two main areas of Personal Branding:
How YOU look and present yourself
How your BUSINESS looks and presents itself
Both areas are essentially telling the world something about you and your business when you ARE your brand. The way I approach personal branding is all about exploring who you are and then presenting that to the world congruently and holistically. So that what you are communicating about who you are as a person and business owner all stacks up.
If you’re the figure head of your business, then this is what I mean when I say you are your brand. You might be a coach for example, or a speaker. You will probably have a website and be present on social media. You might have a support team, such as a VA, an accountant or bookkeeper but essentially, you’re the face of your business.
When you invest in getting your personal branding right it accelerates the know, like, trust factor. People will “get you” from what they see, read and hear. Your ideal clients will be magnetically drawn to you and feel like they know you. They will book you sooner rather than later, your investment in developing your personal brand will boost your bottom line.
Presenting yourself for business
Let me give you a couple of examples of what I mean.
1) Firstly, let’s look at how you look and present yourself…
You know how, on those occasions when you get dressed in something that makes you feel a million dollars, you leave the house feeling great?
You walk taller that day. You have an air of confidence about you. You feel in your power. Your attitude is different. Things that might have bothered you another day are insignificant.
You give off a great VIBE that is totally aligned with who YOU are at YOUR best.
2) Secondly, let’s think about your business and how that looks when that VIBE is reflected across everything you communicate, visually and your tone of voice – both written and when you speak.
This is when your personal branding all adds up. It’s cohesive.
You are authentically showing up as your best self because you ARE your business.
You speak to that prospective client for the first time, and they feel like they already know you because of the content they’ve seen. They “get you”. The know, like, trust factor has been accelerated and they’re ready to invest faster.Now let’s flip that. Here’s a story about what happened when someone’s personal branding was not aligned.
You know how you build up an idea in your head of how someone will be, because of how they consistently present on social media, but then they come across totally differently to how you expect when you meet them in person?
How does that make you feel?
I recently met someone who came across very differently to how they appear due to their content on social media. When they write or do videos (basically when they are ‘transmitting’) their vibe is rather unpleasant.
They are disparaging of those who are doing things “wrong”.
They are quite divisive with the way they write.
They come across as quite judgemental.
The persona they present on social media rattles cages.
They weren’t really like this when I actually met them and there was a conversation though. They came across as much softer, more approachable, warmer – someone I could see myself working with and investing my hard-earned cash with. So, what’s going on there? Which is the real person? I’m left unsure. I’m questioning their authenticity and that means I don’t trust them. I’m not going to handover my money just yet that’s for sure.
When your branding doesn't look the part
My thoughts are that, in an attempt to show up as an expert in their field on social media they are trying too hard, their confidence is crossing over into arrogance. There’s a lack of congruence with how they present themselves visually too. They talk about turning over multi 6 figures, but their branding doesn’t look the part.
Here’s why - They don’t look particularly well-groomed or well put together, it doesn’t look like they’ve invested in professional photos or graphics. Basically, for the profession they’re in they don’t look the part – this stuff ought to be slick in their line of business. If they worked through my brand identity checklist below there would be a lot of gaps.
I think the reality of the situation is that they are actually quite insecure and are going down the fake it until they make it route. I suspect they don’t have the level of confidence they’re cracking on to have and are too scared to show vulnerability. It’s a shame.
It’s not enough to come across better in real life. Despite being softer, more approachable and far nicer than I expected the damage is done. First impressions last. I’m not saying I’ll never work with them, but they’ll need to put a lot more work in to change my opinion. This is because I don’t have clarity around who they are, and it doesn’t stack up with who they SAY they are.
The 3 C's for a great personal brand identity
Developing your Brand Identity will enable you to create a clear, recognisable visual style for your personal brand. It will professionally express who you are and help you attract your ideal client. It will ensure that you are consistent, stand out from the crowd and become memorable for the right reasons.
Here are a few prompts to help you think about your brand identity:
What you do and who do you do it for?
Who are your ideal customers?
What appeals to them?
What are your values?
What is your brand 'vibe'?
What does looking the part mean to you?
What message do you want to convey?
Does your brand express 'go to expert' in your industry?
Are the colours & fonts sending the right message?
Are your visuals congruent with your vibe?
Are your visuals all part of the same 'family'?
Is your brand 'personality' showing through?
Is your aesthetic/style recognisable across all your visual communication? i.e., website, business cards, banners, leaflets, social media platforms etc.
Personal Brand Quick Checklist
You - does your personal style and image reflect your vibe? Do you 'look the part'? Whatever that means to you?
Profile pictures - are they the same across your social media platforms?
Fonts - do you have 2/3 that you always use, a mix of serif/sans serif?
Colour palette - do you stick to the same group of colours? A main one, a couple of interest colours and a couple of accent colours?
Do you stick with similar styles for:
filters on photos
If we gathered all your visual assets/ images together and took an overview, do they appear to belong to the same family?
The 4th C of Personal Branding is confidence.
When your Brand Identity is clear, credible and consistent both you and your prospective clients have greater confidence. Couple this with you really looking the part and having that million dollars feeling – your business will be ELEVATED to the next level.
Share this post: