Your Personal Brand Is Standing In Your Way

unrecognizable trendy woman lying on street bench near wall with inscription on autumn day

A case for a simple approach to getting started

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Photo Credit: tumsasedgars on iStock

You’re special. You really are. And you want the world to know it.

Personal branding is costing your business from making progress. Here’s what you need to watch out for when starting a personal brand.

I’ve fallen victim to it myself.

When I launched my freelancing business in 2017, I didn’t think too much about my personal brand. I simply saw a problem: people need a good copywriter. And a solution: I’m that good copywriter. And I got to work delivering. I started on Fiverr, and I shared my experiences across my existing social media channels, which at that time included Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

This was a case where I didn’t overthink my personal branding. I just got to work.

But I’ve been needing to launch a website for some time now so I can continue to shift more of my business off of Fiverr. And I’ve been sitting on it. Because I’m overthinking my personal branding. I’m expecting perfection. I even spent a bunch of money on a branding expert, which was money well spent. But I’m still overthinking the execution part of it.

I am in a position now to be able to spend money on such things. I’m an established freelancer. I have other channels I’m making money on until this website comes to fruition, and I have a better idea these days of what my personal brand is since I’ve been doing this for awhile.

But if you’re a newbie to your business or freelancing venture, you might not have that luxury. And I don’t think you should make space for it. Meaning you don’t have to make a lot of space in your budget or business launch plans to have a fully thought-out personal brand and multi-channel strategy. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

You just need these to do these three basic things:

Identify your audience

Who is it that you want to appeal to most? Maybe you’re a stay-at-home mom who is a budgeting guru and you want to share your insights with other SAHMs. Or you’re a copywriter who is well-versed in crypto and can create compelling blogs for clients with crypto businesses. Your basic branding approach must start with your audience because this will guide you in creating content that resonates with them.

Identify what pain points you solve for them

Now that you know your audience, you can begin to establish what problems they have and make a case for why you’re the best person to solve them.

In the example above with SAHMs and budgeting, perhaps your amazing budgeting skills have allowed you to save up for family vacations. So you can position yourself as the guru on helping families to go on more vacations through budgeting and cutting costs, giving them more time together.

In the crypto example, most business owners are crazy busy. So you can save them time by turning over their crypto blog writing to an expert who can both save them time and increase their online visibility and positioning as an industry expert.

Find their problems and be the solution.

Pick 1–2 social media channels on which to cultivate your brand

You can now begin shaping the content you will share as part of your brand. And when you’re getting started, you don’t need to be everywhere, and you don’t need to have your own website that you need to spend thousands of dollars on. Starting with the social media platforms you have a personal presence on already is a good strategy.

From there, you’ll begin creating useful snippets of information to share with your audience. Providing this free value will help you build trust and authority so that you can begin to sell the programs and products that will generate income. The platforms you’re on will dictate how you share that information, whether it is videos, posts, pictures, blogs, or articles.

In any content you create, remember to keep it simple and keep it informative. Keep it problem-solution-focused. What problem do they have, and how can they solve it? It doesn’t have to be earth-shattering. It just has to be authentic. And if you can leverage your personal experiences and stories, that’s where your brand lives.

What I’ve Learned

If there’s anything I’ve learned in the past 4 1/2 years of running my freelance copywriting business, it’s that simplicity wins every time. Whether it’s in the copy I write for my clients or the strategies I take to promote my business and brand, simplicity wins. So don’t let overthinking your personal branding kill your brand before you even get started. Just getting started and bringing some sort of value to your audience is key. You can work out all the other details along the way.

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