Fellow brand strategy coach Seema Batavia and I sat down to discuss how to build a personal brand from scratch. In the third installment of my Transition: From Corporate to Entrepreneur series, Seema shared how to build the foundation for a brand that brings you joy.
As Seema explains, creating a brand persona is not about creating a false image but about building a reputation. Seema maps out the first three steps you need to take to create your brand.
First Step: Define Your Personal Values
A personal brand is, well, PERSONAL. This means it stems from you and who you are as an individual. Seema stresses that regardless of what you do, your values must be at the core of your branding.
Seema advises to have at least five values to ground your brand. If you are having trouble defining these, a personality test might help you start gaining more insight into who you are, which is a necessary step not only in your brand development but in your entrepreneurial journey
[Recommended: Knowing your values is one way to show up in a true-to-self way. Check four more tips to show up authentically on social media]
Whether it is the Myers-Briggs personality test, the Enneagram test, human design, or astrology use these as guiding tools to reflect and gain more awareness about what is important to you.
Here’s a list of personality tests to help you start this process or search a list of core values to narrow down your values.
[Recommended: Check out my client and friend Elle to learn more about human design].
A long-term practice that will help you define and fine tune your values is journaling since it allows you to delve deeper and develop self awareness. I recommend the Vision Book I created for just this thing!
Understanding your values will influence how your brand evolves, including the message you share, the graphics you use, and the content you create.
For instance, Seema’s niche as a brand strategy coach helping introverts came from her belief in advocating for introverts. Her love for animals and sense of humor shows up in her graphics.
As you develop your brand and feel more comfortable with it, you will find ways to incorporate your values. Rather than fixating on details like brand colors, when you first start, your values are the most important as these will continue to show up even if you decide to pivot.
Knowing who you are is foundational as is sharing your expertise.
Step Two: Find and Cultivate Your Interests
Seema shares how the lockdown gave her the gift of time. Despite leading a successful career heading a marketing department in corporate and being content with her job, Seema discovered her love for personal branding through exploration during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Seema’s journey demonstrates what science has shown us: doing “what you love” is not necessarily the road to happiness.
They understand that finding one’s passion is not an overnight phenomenon but a matter of exploration. Seema’s tip to explore without expectations is in line with what science teaches us about our passions.
For instance, despite her initial excitement about design, Seema learned this is not her forte. Had she been driven only by excitement and not curiosity, she may have felt discouraged by this shortcoming and not found her calling.
Moreover, enjoying the process of cultivating an interest will allow you to show up consistently not only for yourself but for others.
Step 3: Share Content Consistently to Build Trust
Having built the foundation for your brand, your next step is to start posting. As with your interests, experiment and share relevant content without expectations.
For instance, you can share content related to the previous two steps. Whether it is a new tool you found, a new trick you learned, or your thoughts on these share it with your audience. Check these in depth tips on brand strategy for clarity on what to share.
The key when you are developing your brand is to share content consistently. Regardless of whether you choose to post three times a week or twice every day, keep a posting schedule that you can maintain.
This may mean keeping content simple at first while you get to know your brand, maybe with something like these customizable branded Canva templates so you’re not overwhelmed with where to start. Once you’re ready to bring your big brand vision to life, the Social Media Branding Package may be just what you need. This is a one-stop shop service for building a cohesive, stand-out brand AND content strategy that work hand in hand.
As Seema highlights, your content can be a tweet, an IG reel, a carousel, etc. The point is to let your audience know you are here, and they can trust you to show up.
This means not only posting, but engaging with your community. Building a personal brand means building connections as people, from one person to the next.
The more you create and engage, the clearer your vision will become. Seema started sharing content on introversion a few times and found it resonated with others, and she listened. This allowed her to niche down to become the go to personal brand coach for introverts.
This takeaway is important as this will ensure that you can capitalize on your personal brand in a manner that is both true-to-self while helping people you want to help.
In doing so, it will create a path that leads to empowering alternatives that can help you achieve a greater potential and joy.
To hear more about Seema’s inspiring journey and more personal branding tips head over to IG to listen to the complete interview and check out the complete Transition: From Corporate to Entrepreneur series to start reaching our potential as the CEO of your life.
If you want to find your authentic brand strategy, check out this brand strategy quiz I created to help you understand how to show up in your business in alignment with your unique energy, personality & Human Design.