Your personal brand follows you everywhere you go. If you want to grow your business faster with clients you enjoy spending time with, then you must intentionally build your personal brand.
If you’re reading this, you likely already believe your personal brand is important. So instead of trying to convince you that you need to build your personal brand, let’s instead dive into the questions you need to answer to build your personal brand.
1. Who Do I Want to Be?
Too many people start their quest of building their brand by asking, “Who do I think other people want me to be?” But eventually, you’ll exhaust yourself trying to be someone that other people want you to be.
Focus on becoming your truest, highest and most authentic self. What are your core values? What are your passions? What are your interests?
We live in the narratives that our minds create for us. Usually, these stories we live in are crafted unconsciously. Your job is to become consciously aware of the story you’re living in and write the chapters ahead by casting yourself as the main character who you’re truly proud and glad and grateful to be.
2. Who Do I Want to Help?
You likely started in your present career for a very specific reason. Or maybe you had one very specific challenging situation in life that inspired you to get into this profession. Maybe you experienced a stressful upbringing due to lack of financial knowledge and you decided you wanted to empower people to thrive in life by providing access to your expertise and skills.
There are as many origin stories as there are advisors in this profession. Get back to the root of your passion for this profession. Who are the people you want to serve with your expertise and skills? When you know exactly who you want to help, you can start to put yourself out there in the world as the kind of person who helps those particular people with those challenges.
3. How Do I Want to Live?
Lifestyle is important for most people. Especially in recent years, we’ve heard many conversations around work-life balance. Basically, when most people say they want work-life balance, they’re saying they want to enjoy life and spend time with the people they love doing things they love outside of work time.
How you spend your time in your life reflects who you are. By aligning your personal brand with the lifestyle you want to live, you’ll build a more resonant personal brand. Do you love to sail on the weekends with your family? That’s part of your personal brand. Do you enjoy eating nutritious meals to stay physically vibrant and healthy? That’s part of your personal brand. Do you come alive when you think about playing your guitar with the band you’re a part of a few times per month? That’s part of your personal brand. How you live is intimately connected to who you are professionally. Embrace it!
4. What Are My Three Words?
Interestingly, we all need to be reminded of who we are. This might not make sense initially. But think about it this way: How often do you find yourself drifting in your life in a direction you’re not happy about?
Whether you get away from your daily workout routine or eat unhealthy for a few weeks or stop playing your guitar regularly, you sometimes don’t live your life in alignment with who you want to be. To keep yourself moving down the path you want to be on, you need a system for remembering who you want to be.
One simple yet powerful strategy for reminding yourself of who you want to be is to have three words that best describe who you want to be. As an example, your words might be, “Fun, joyful, courageous.”
Certainly, you can have more than three words – personally, I have about 20 words that I remind myself of daily – but if you’ve never used this strategy, three words is a great start. Write your three words on a 3-by-5 notecard that you keep with you on your desk and carry around with you throughout the day. Look at those words often. Remind yourself of who you want to be. And embody those three words! You’ll start conditioning your mind and body to live that way more consistently.
5. What Are My Reasons?
Tony Robbins says, “Reasons come first, answers come second.” Whether this is the first or fifth question you ask as you work to build your personal brand, it is vitally important that you know this answer.
Our reasons for doing something keep the fire inside of us alive and vibrant. Our reasons inspire us to keep going through tough times. They give us the fuel to work hard during challenges and difficulties. When you have powerful enough reasons for becoming the person you want to become and doing the work that you do, you will keep hope alive that you can and will turn your dreams into reality.
Write out all your reasons why you want to become the person you envision – including the life you want to live, how you spend your time and the work you do to serve your clients and the world. And review this list regularly.
Over time, your reasons might change and evolve. Some of your reasons might strengthen and become more inspiring. Either way, keeping these reasons in front of you often will fuel your fire to keep going, growing and contributing to the world with your life and work.
Whatever personal brand you want to build, know that you have an incredible opportunity to be a leader and role model for your family, community, team and clients. Your personal brand will reflect your values and the vision you have for your life. Consciously craft your personal brand, and your behaviors and life will start to reflect what you envision.