Today I want to share about the importance of creating a personal brand in your business.

Are you a female CEO or business owner who has been successful, made money and is ready for more? Are you ready to give your greatest contribution to the world by teaching others what you already know? Maybe you’ve overcome something incredible in life and want to help others who struggle in this area as well…Are you ready to reinvent yourself as a speaker, author, podcaster or consultant and get your message out to the world?

You are already an expert in an area of your life.

Others will pay to learn from you.

Have you ever wondered why you are emotionally attached to some brands while having no emotional connection to others? Take Nike, for example. They market greatness! They never even talk about their products. They market an emotion, a feeling! Most importantly, Nike associates itself with a personal brand-Michael Jordan-the greatest basketball player of all time! If Nike was just a shoe company that didn’t have a personal brand attached to it, you wouldn’t care about them. If they only talked about how their shoes are manufactured with the best materials, no one would care.

Now think about your insurance agent or mortgage broker. Do you really care what company they are with? No! You care about the person helping you: their expertise, their customer service, etc.

People do business with PEOPLE they like. This is why personal branding is so important: It humanizes your business. Plain and simple.

What do the names Oprah, J.Lo, or Sara Blakely have in common? They are people who have created amazing personal brands. They are household names! When you think of Oprah, you think of her as a media mogul, host of the Oprah Winfrey Show, magazine editor, philanthropist and one of the most successful African American business women in history. Why do those things come to mind? Because she’s branded herself that way.

So, what is a personal brand anyway?

Your personal brand is the unique combination of your expertise, work experience and personality that, together, make you who you are. It’s how you present yourself to the world. It’s what separates you from your competition and allows you to build trust with your fans or prospective clients.

Developing a personal brand in business gives you many advantages:

  • People trust you more
  • You have a much higher perceived value
  • You are known as the “expert” in your field
  • You stand out from your competition

You become a magnet that attracts clients, business opportunities, media interviews and more! The goal is for you, personally, to become the solution to their problem. Think of it this way…When you leave a room, what do you want people to say about you? When done correctly, a personal brand presents you in your best light to those around you.

But here’s the thing, people are SMART! They can spot a fake from a mile away. A huge piece of your personal brand has to do with your authenticity. You have to be who you really are! If you aren’t great at real estate investing, that’s probably not the personal brand you want to develop! Develop a personal brand around something you already know and love and can talk about all day long!

Think of it this way. What are you GREAT at? What do other people seek you out to get advice on? In what area do you consider yourself an expert? You need to start with a clear picture of who you are and why you are doing this. YOU are best at being YOU! A personal brand is all about YOU – your talents, your expertise, your brand story – the reason people want to do business with YOU!

During my career in corporate America, I worked so hard traveling the country consulting TV stations. All I desired was time freedom-to work when I wanted to work; and financial freedom-to make the money I wanted to make.

You could say I was an expert in marketing and advertising but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to dive into a business about marketing at that time in my life. I was a mom. I wanted to spend more time with my kids at their crucial young ages, and I loved talking to other moms about MOM things! I spent an entire week with a notebook, and everytime I enjoyed a conversation or what I was doing, I wrote it down. At the end of the week, I discovered I could talk all day about my kids! And I loved talking to my mom friends about each other’s kids! So I thought, what if I could combine my expertise about marketing and advertising WITH being a mom?

That’s when the idea came to me to create a website for moms in my local area! There was nothing out there like it! So here was my idea: create a directory of all the schools, daycares and birthday party places, etc. in town and provide a space for moms to rate them and comment about their experiences. I wanted a forum on the site where moms could swap stories and share advice with each other (this was back before moms were talking on Facebook). I wanted to create a community of like-minded moms, brought together on a FREE niche website. I’d sell advertising on the site to make money! I knew the largest buying audience was women 25-54 – MOMS! If I could get them all in one place, I knew I could sell ads.

I had to be the personal brand for this business because I was a mom, so I was living this life! That’s when I decided to partner with a TV station, a radio station and a print publication to get the word out about my site. I’d provide them with great content at no cost, and in return I’d get free promotion out of it. I didn’t have to buy any advertising! Plus this model set ME up as the personal brand and mom expert in the market.

I ended up hosting a mom radio show on a local radio station called the Mix Mom Squad. Every Monday, I went on air for one hour to talk about fun things going around town for moms and kids! I had never been on the radio in my life, but I knew how to talk and knew I could research topics before I went on.

I remember the first show, I had my friends and family members call in asking questions because I thought no one else would! I was setting up my personal brand and driving traffic to the mom website. The more traffic I got, the more advertising I could sell!

After only one year, that website had over 100,000 moms visiting it through the partnerships and I was the personal brand behind it all! That was back in 2008, and to this day I still have people coming up to me saying, “Weren’t you the mom that created 918moms.com?”

That business wouldn’t have grown like it did without my personal brand attached to it!

Creating a personal brand is great but you have to make money to keep it going.
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE MONEY OFF YOUR PERSONAL BRAND? One of the greatest things about building a personal brand is building time freedom to work whenever you want and financial freedom to make the money YOU want to make!

You want to build a personal brand that is impactful, but it must also be profitable. Will people pay you to consult them in your area of expertise? You must first establish rapport, give out lots of free content and then ask them to buy. They will not buy from you on day one but once they get to know you and trust you as the expert in your industry, their loyalty will show.

Whether you are an entrepreneur and the “face” of your business, or a CEO of a large corporation, personal branding is so important. We now live in a world where sales and marketing are better executed by employees with strong personal brands than by the big brands themselves.

According to Entrepreneur.com, “When brand messages are shared by employees on social media, they get 561 percent more reach than the same messages shared by the brand’s social media channels.”

People trust other people over trusting a brand itself. This is why testimonials work in business over companies self-promoting. We live in the age of Google Reviews; everyone wants to know what everyone else thinks before they make a purchase or align with a brand!

Let’s go over this again.

Here are the reasons you need to build a personal brand:

  • People trust you more
  • You have a much higher perceived value
  • You are known as the “expert” in your field
  • You stand out from your competition

When I launched D2 Branding, my brand story focused on my personal journey: working in corporate America, becoming an entrepreneur out of the desperate need for time and financial freedom, creating a mom website and selling it within one year, and then launching a marketing agency.

Deedra Determan of D2 Branding My story is what draws clients in.

I am an entrepreneur like them. Many of my clients are parents too, and they understand the need for time freedom. They understand I had to hustle to get my business off the ground. And rather than just owning “another marketing company,” my clients know I can empathize with them on the trials of entrepreneurship because I’ve launched and sold my own companies. Oh, and by the way, I’m also a marketing expert. My brand story is what sells clients!

But! I know it can be scary to launch a personal brand and put yourself out there! So think about this: What knowledge do you have to share with others to make an impact in their lives? I have worked with personal brands for years. From TV personalities, to politicians, to big time entrepreneurs and CEOs-all of them are uncomfortable when I first tell them they need to put themselves out there: What will other people think? Well you aren’t here to please everyone. You have a specific audience you are going after that wants to learn from your experience. Oh, and you can make money doing it!

Ready to get started making money BEING YOU?! Here’s your link. Let’s do this!

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D2 Branding provides exceptional digital marketing and business coaching services in Tulsa, Oklahoma and the surrounding areas. For a complimentary 15-minute marketing consultation with D2 Branding, call us today at (918) 520-8012.