What is personal branding?

Elevate your intrapersonal communication with a strong personal brand

George Bernhard Shaw describes personal branding as: "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself". I take my life experience; how I have identified myself professionally as an independent and a freelancer. I present to you: "Experience tells you what to do; confidence shows you how to do it".

"Imagine winning that Oscar". That was my dream as an Actress in London; researched, rehearsed and performed. Fast forward to being a Drama Therapist in England-built meaningful relationships. Now, I close my eyes and see the Language Leader Expert in Israel - leverage my desired capabilities globally, help create successful scripts and innovative, creative and stress-free strategies as a second language in business and legal English, to Experience Success.
What can a personal brand mean to you?
To acquire the knowledge, experience and perception of a brand. This allows us to leverage our personal success as a brand and take strategic action.
What can Intrapersonal communication mean to you?
To understand your self-worth and how confident you are as a freelancer.
What comes first: Intrapersonal communication, or your personal brand, to kick start your business as a freelancer?
Firstly, step back and understand your worth and values: what do you stand for and how can we associate you with everyone else? Identify who you are and then get your message across through presenting your brand personality.

Why is Intrapersonal Communication important?

Let's first identify who you are and how this can have an impact on your customers' experience and success. Harvard Business Review claims, "…depending on the industry and business, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one". In addition to research by Bain & Company, increasing customer retention rates by five percent increases profits by 25 to 95 percent. Therefore, it is important to focus on your behaviour and qualities and allow them to influence your personal brand.

Which behaviours and qualities are you communicating and why is this important?

As a freelancer, you are networking and trying to build your community to foster your business growth. If you identify what brand persona you are, it will help your personal brand to shine and attract others.

To decide together when it is good to be a freelance altruist; it takes time and energy to build trusting relationships with others. Think about who you want to partner with and sail together; how it will be beneficial for both of you, not only now but in the future too. Here are some great hacks to begin giving:

1. Reach out and connect online.

2. Provide a free webinar, tips on your expertise, a demo or even a discovery session to onboard your potential customers.

3. Be likeable and show gratitude.

See more advice on creating a powerful personal brand from Geraldine's masterclass during the Freelance Business Month below:
Here are some starter questions and action items to jumpstart your relationship:

- Ask what people are getting from your giveaways.

- Understand their personal brand and what makes them successful.

- Follow them on social media and engage with their content.

- Create polls.

Polls can be interesting, attractive and effective communicative tools, which help us understand our community's needs, interests and opinions. They can leverage your brand on social media to drive engagement with a "do you like this or that" question.

How to engage your community on Facebook through a poll:

  • Use a poll before you launch a product/service

  • Introduce a reward.

  • Have a Call-To-Action at the end of a post.

  • Encourage the community to share with friends.

  • Be aware of texts and visuals, as Facebook has restrictions.

Twitter polling tips:

  • Involve followers in changes or product updates; it shows stronger brand connection and it shows you care.

  • Include either branded hashtags or relevant trending hashtags; it helps create affiliations, partnerships and promote your brand.

LinkedIn polling tips:

  • Create real value by writing engaging content on a specific topic by attaching a poll that forms engagement and reflects on your posted content. You bring your community closer to your brand and it opens many future opportunities.

  • Concentrate on the wants and needs of your customers - this will increase the reach.

Develop a visual identity

An important part of your personal branding is your visual identity. If you can identify yourself as a freelance careerist, visualize your status and how it looks. What is your attitude? Think about feelings, colours, images - this will help you build your brand visually.

You can identify your brand through a vision board or through services like Coolors, Instagram, Pexels or Canva.

How can we relate to the success of a company like Starbucks? They had to start somewhere, just like you and me, as freelancers. We can see our brand as being a freelance hipster; cool, setting the trend; making it personal and really understanding the pains of our customers.

Being so unique in your business, you can play the role of the freelance boomerang; be provocative. Think about how you market yourself.

To have a freelance selective brand; you may need to consider how Simon Sinek shares his information with specific people and can be resourceful by following these steps:

Closing

Personal branding is a never-ending story of exploring your value proposition in the eyes of the customers, what is so unique about you and how you present your brand value visually and emotionally.

Let's think practically and how we can communicate as freelancers through our personal brand. We should start by knowing who we are and being true to ourselves, this will bring the right leads, exciting projects and build a stronger community. The more we reach out utilizing our brand values by networking and understanding our clients' needs and wants; we can begin to understand what satisfaction is. We are happy because we are learning about our customers and we are doing what we love. It is a win-win.


More great tips on personal branding and everything else you might need to start and grow your freelance business can be found in our epic Freelance Business book: grab your free copy here!

Vanessa has over 20 years in the field of business education and can help you build your confidence in promoting participation and engagement, identify your value and focus on utilising brand awareness and get your message across. You can connect with Vanessa through her website and Linkedin.

Vanessa Henry Epstein
Vanessa Henry Epstein is a generalist with a broad skill set across coaching, business development, project and customer success management with 20 years of experience in the field of business education. She has been partnering with eager individuals and groups in the tech space, telecommunication and corporate sectors, law firms and government establishments, who cannot afford to lose the next global deal to level up their communication skills. Connect with her via Linkedin or her website.
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