Apart from your logo, website, videos, and photos, your personal brand includes the way you connect to your audience, your vision, your “why”, your personality, and your voice.
Personal Brand Embodiment is a synergistic blend of YOUR Brand Identity, expressing and manifesting who you and what your values are, while YOU simultaneously personify and express everything your brand is – you end up living on-brand.
While I was journaling and brainstorming some content ideas, the term “personal brand embodiment “ came to me. Here are 4 steps to achieving personal brand embodiment.
1. Show up
It’s not enough to share inspirational quotes anymore, especially quotes from other famous people. In order to stand out from the crowd, your content needs to be more authentic and unique to you, show people more of who you are and what you stand for. If you want to create that human connection with people all over the world, you need to come out of the shadows and get visible. The more visible you are, the easier it gets. Remember your visibility is directly related to your profitability!
Share pictures of yourself even if they are selfies – nowadays, smartphone camera quality is great so you can create amazing shots using just your phone. Show your face on Instagram Stories, and Facebook live video. When you show up, let your purpose and your values reflect in your content. This way, your audience will see that you know what you’re talking about, they’ll see if they share your vibe, and they’ll learn to like and trust you. Take people behind the scenes and let them get to know you.
These are some pics I took with my VIP client who flew us to Indonesia. We did a full coaching day together at a gorgeous 5-Star eco-resort on Pedang Pedang, we filmed all of her group program videos for the modules in her membership site (which my team built out) and I did numerous personal branding shoots for her around Lombok and the magical island of Bali.
2. Tell your story
Create your unique personal brand origin story. This should be a pivot-point moment in your life and why you started your business. It’s a before and after story of how you overcame a big obstacle or wanted a big change in your life and made it a success. Tell your audience why your (personal) brand exists, and ultimately this will affect their choice – whether to invest in you or not. Infuse your own personality into your storytelling style and be vulnerable while being authentic. This builds trust, allows people to attach a “story to the face” and ultimately relate to you as a person and a brand that they love.
“…the goal of the story is to create a connection with your customers. Tell your story in such a way that it tells your customers we relate to you, we understand you, we are like you….”Neil Patel
Once you’ve discovered and developed it, tell your origin story everywhere: your “about section” on your website, in your bios, guest posts, interviews, and podcasts. Share snippets of your life on social media: in posts, stories, and ask your clients to share their success stories. You can tell this story over and over again. People need repetition for the story to stick and there’re always new people coming into your audience!
3. Embody it
Be authentic and live on brand
When your lifestyle becomes your brand, and you don’t view your business, life, and personal brand as 3 separate entities, then you’re on the path to embodying your brand.
When thinking about what you’re going to post today, you don’t have to wear your business hat and not feel like you’re being yourself.
Live On Brand.
Be Your Brand.
If you’re a mom and that forms part of your brand, let it be. My daughter Sahara goes with me to the beach when I create live videos and comes along to the video and personal branding shoots that we do locally and abroad.
For me, part of my brand is palm trees, living by the beach, and traveling. If you follow me on social media this is what you’ll see, for example when we worked and traveled in Bali for 2 months. Part of my brand archetype is the explorer (creator and alchemist) and that is my lifestyle.
26 countries later, I’m definitely a lover of travel!
Share your lifestyle as you go, don’t just talk about it. Whether it’s a coffee shop, forest walk, or going down to the beach. What are the things you love to do and where do you enjoy going? You can turn into a piece of behind-the-scenes content in a very natural way. But, it has to be in alignment with who you ARE.
You can be intentional about how you want to live your life, what your daily routines are and what you want to create for yourself AND use that as a content creation opportunity so it becomes seamless.
Make decisions that support your brand
When you go shopping for clothing, ask yourself what you would like to wear in your next shoot or if it would work for Facebook Lives. Is it On Brand? What are the colours that would go with your brand, what props can you add to your videos or photos? My colours are blues, greens, whites, printed leaves, and rattan so I know what to look out for when I’m on a shopping trip.
Destinations, holidays and shoot locations
When you book your holiday, or visit a restaurant and decide to snap some selfies or do a shoot, will it be on brand?
When I do Facebook live, I am purposeful about the backdrops I choose. I will choose trees in the background as opposed to a brick wall for example.
Do this from a place of love and excitement, not out of alignment and trying to do and be something or someone you’re not. Pick places that light you on fire, that inspire you and that trigger your creativity. This way it’s a win-win. You’re doing the things you love and it’s working in a positive way for your personal brand that you’re building.
4. Your personal brand is a Practice
You are not going to be good at anything just by reading a book. You need to put things into action. Allow yourself to be a beginner – like a photographer or a yoga teacher. The more you do it, the better you will become. Eventually, you’ll get to “expert” status.
“No matter what you do, in the beginning it’s going to suck, because you suck. But you’ll get better, and you’ll suck less. And as you keep doing this, eventually you’ll suck so little…you’ll actually be good” ~ Garret WhiteExpert Secrets by Russell Brunson
I compare it to driving: we left South Africa for the UK and at the time, I didn’t have my licence because I didn’t need to drive. If we wanted to go anywhere, we just took the underground train or Craig drove his car. I only got my licence when I was 30! I drove an automatic in the Turks and Caicos and we’ve had an automatic for the last 5 years in SA.
Recently, when we were looking at buying a new car and we took it for a test drive, we realised it’s a manual. I literally couldn’t remember how to drive a manual, and I realised that this wouldn’t work because I haven’t been practicing. When you are out of practice you become rusty.
So like driving, having a lifestyle that embodies your personal brand and vice versa, takes continuous practice. The more you do it, it’ll become second nature.
Come and practice doing your live videos on a Go Live Thursday in my Facebook Group, Build your Brand Online.
Chanelle is a business coach/consultant and personal branding specialist with over 20 years of experience. She's been featured in Forbes, Thrive Global, Stylist Magazine and COACH Magazine. She runs a global training business and works with women helping them launch, grow and scale their online businesses and create a freedom-based life through entrepreneurship.