Personal branding has been growing in popularity in the last decade and it’s a discipline that’s here to stay.
Individuals are starting businesses and putting their personal identity at the leading edge of the brand.
These soon to be personal brands understand the value of a solid strategy but are on a steep learning curve.
One of the first places they turn to for expertise is a personal brand strategist to help them define the identity that will become their vehicle for success.
There has never been a better time to become a personal brand strategist and this article will show you how in 12 simple steps.
What Is A Personal Brand Strategist?
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What Is A Personal Brand Strategist?
Before diving into the lives of personal brand strategists, let’s define what brand strategy is and how it differs from personal brand strategy.
Brand Strategy is the plan for how a brand will approach the market given the competitive landscape.
Brand strategy as a discipline born as a way for business brands to define the best way to approach the audience given the market landscape.
As personal brands have become more prominent, their processes have evolved to align with those of the business brand.
So, what’s the difference between brand strategy vs personal brand strategy.
Well, there are some nuances that separates them, but for the most part, the fundamentals are much the same.
Personal Brand Strategy is the plan for how a personal brand will approach the market given the competitive landscape.
What Does A Personal Brand Strategist Do?
Well, if a personal brand strategy defines the strategic approach…
The personal brand strategist is the chief planner of the personal brand strategy who defines who the personal brand is, who it’s for, what it’s difference is and how it will communicate that difference with the intended audience.
In other words, the job of the personal branding strategist is to define
Who the audience is
What the brand offers
Why that’s different
How to resonate with brand messaging
How, Where & When to engage
Key Responsibilities Of Personal Brand Strategists
There are many tasks within the wheelhouse of the strategist though the overarching role is…
To bring the audience and the personal brand together
When we distill it into its purest form it’s that simple.
The way they achieve it is by helping the client to understand their audience as intimately as possible and to package their offering up in a way that will draw their audience in.
The strategist must also help their clients to define their brand message and the personality traits they want to lead with.
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Qualifications For A Personal Brand Strategist
Personal branding is relatively new in the greater scheme of things so traditional education paths are very limited.
Many of today’s leading personal brand strategists come from a variety of backgrounds from marketing to business consulting to brand design and everywhere in-between.
Regardless of a strategists background, it’s their knowhow and processes that provide them with the capabilities to service their clients at a top level.
Brand strategists with robust systems have the means to grow and scale their personal brand strategy businesses.
How To Create A Personal Brand Strategy?
Well, as with business brands, it all starts with knowing who the audience is.
Who is this group of people that this personal brand will help and what exactly do they want or need?
Once you understand these people and what drives them, you then must understand the existing options they have in the market.
A core difference between business brands and personal brands is that the would-be competitors of personal brands may represent exceptional collaboration opportunities.
For personal brands, the network of relationships you build can become one of your most valuable brand assets that can enhance your reputation and open doors.
Personal Brand Strategist vs Personal Brand Consultant
The terms brand strategist and brand consultant are often used interchangeably not just in the business branding space, but the personal branding space also.
Brand Strategist Definition
A Brand Strategist is a person skilled in the planning of how a brand will approach the market given the competitive landscape.
Brand Consultant Definition
A Brand Consultant is a person who provides expert advice on a brand’s approach to the market given the competitive landscape.
In reality, a consultant providing expert advice, may provide advice around any number of branding problems without developing a complete plan to approach the market.
Likewise, a consultant may provide both comprehensive planning advice as well as bespoke consultancy solutions.
In other words, a brand consultant can provide the same services as a brand strategist, with the ability to splinter services into less comprehensive itemized advice.
What Is A Personal Branding Coach?
Personal brands are the masters of their own ship.
Individuals don’t build a personal brand with the idea of selling it later to someone who might leverage the equity they’ve built.
Personal branding is for life and anyone who decides to build a personal brand has a vested interest in understanding exactly how they can manage their brand for the coming decades they plan to use it.
For that reason, personal branding coaches have emerged to offer not only their strategic guidance and frameworks, but their know-how and knowledge for how to develop and manage a successful brand.
Personal branding coaches therefore, teach their clients about the knowledge and management tools they need to lead their personal brand to success.
How To Become A Personal Branding Strategist?
So, now you know what a personal brand strategist is and why the demand for their services is on a steep incline, let’s look at how you can go about becoming a personal brand strategist.
How To Become A Personal Brand Strategist
[The Video Breakdown]
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Step 1: Gain Industry Experience
Brand strategy experience can come from many different roles simply because there are so many skillsets required in building strategic brands.
If you don’t have industry experience that’s your first port of call, and you have many options including:
Social Media Management
Take the time to learn the ropes and read or watch as much as you can about the fundamentals of personal branding and personal brand strategy.
Tip: Anything you read and learn about business branding is almost always applicable to personal branding.
Step 2: Learn Or Define Your Framework
In order to develop a personal brand strategy for your clients you need to understand;
What you’re building and have a methodical process to develop every element.
Most independent brand strategists develop their processes and systems over years of experience though more recently, frameworks such as these have become available through online learning.
Whether you develop your own or learn from an experienced strategist, without a systemic process to develop your brands, you won’t have much to offer.
Step 3: Position Yourself In Personal Branding
Most professionals offering branding services fall at the most fundamental step of branding by failing to position themselves effectively.
When you approach the market offering the same service to the same people like everyone else, you have given yourself the best possible chance of blending in and becoming another insignificant number.
If you want to become known for a certain thing to a certain group, then that is the flag you must definitively plant in the ground.
So find exactly who you want to serve and tailor your messaging to speak directly to that group and directly to their challenges.
Step 4: Define Your Offer
Many branding service providers offer services that can solve the problems of their target audience in an effective way.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of those service providers have no concept of a compelling offer and the difference it makes to being considered and being dismissed.
Your clients want an easy decision. If you offer your services like an a la carte buffet, you’re asking them to think and figure out how you can best serve them.
If on the other hand you package your services up into an easy-to-understand offer that focuses on the outcome your prospects decision to choose you becomes a lot easier.
Step 5: Define Your Marketing Strategy
Now you know exactly who you want to serve, you need to define the most effective way you can get in front of them to deliver your service.
How do they become problem aware?
How do they learn about solutions?
What do they know and what do they need to learn?
Where will they be most open to your message?
How can you bring them into your world?
How can you earn their trust?
How can you compel them to take action?
The answers to these questions provide the fundamental groundwork for an effective marketing strategy.
Take the time to understand where your audience congregates and the steps you need to take them through to become a customer.
Over To You
Without question, personal branding is a discipline that is on the rise.
As more individuals learn to package up the value they offer to go into business for themselves, the demand for personal branding guides, coaches, and strategists will also increase.
The personal brand strategist is in its infancy for now, but a wave of players will enter the market in the coming years to take advantage of the increasing demand for this specialized service.
Are you poised to take advantage and become a personal branding specialist?
Comment below to share your thoughts on this growing market and where you see it evolving to in the coming years.
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