It doesn’t matter how much people talk about algorithms, social media, flyers and websites, your personal brand won’t grow unless you’re walking your talk AND feeding it in the right way.
WHAT we focus on flourishes. I might sound like an old hippy with that statement, but I absolutely believe it to be true. Today we’ll find people from all walks of life saying pretty much the same things: ‘Where attention goes, energy flows’ or ‘Focus to grow’. If you’ve been around the personal development circuit for any amount of time, you’ll have heard similar sounds.
Whether it’s law of attraction, manifestation, or merely the effect of choosing our goal, locking onto our target and applying determined effort, I don’t know. I’m not sure it even matters.
What DOES matter is propelling you — and your brand — forwards positively… and that doesn’t happen without dedication, determination and a sizeable pinch of courage.
If we want something to flourish, we have to give our focus to it — and that absolutely applies to personal brand.
We need to be clear on who we are, what our message is, what we want to achieve, who we want to impact and why.
There’s a reason the ‘who we are’ part comes first!
Keeping it real
Too many people are out there treating personal branding as a logo, mission statement and a set of flakey objectives. That’s NOT what it’s about!
You can’t treat the growth of your personal brand in the same way as the growth of a business identity and expect the same kind of results. Why? Because your business brand represents a set of products and services. Your PERSONAL BRAND is YOU!
If you’re not displaying absolutely as your self (ideally, your *best* self) the mask will slip and people will call ‘FRAUD’. That aside, those masks can get terribly stifling after a while!
That’s why it’s imperative to ensure you are walking your talk at all times, and that’s why ‘authenticity’ is such a big buzz word in the business world these days. It’s also why it’s so important to show your personal brand (ie YOU) plenty of love!
When working on your personal brand, if you’re not displaying absolutely as your self (ideally, your best self) the mask will slip at some point and people will call ‘FRAUD’. That aside, those masks can get terribly stifling after a while!
‘Okay, I understand the importance of keeping it real, but what does this have to do with focus?’, you might ask.
Well, it’s one thing knowing your personal brand is totally aligned to the truth of who you are, but you still need to work on showing it off to the world.
I should be so lucky (lucky, lucky, lucky)
Unless you’re really lucky — or, in some cases, unlucky! — your personal brand will not snowball overnight.
You’ll need to put some graft in.
The good news is that if you’ve approached this in the right way, it doesn’t need to feel like hard work — you’ll just be using every opportunity to share a message and energy that feels totally on point for you.
The downside is that if you’re still afraid of what people might think of you, or upsetting the apple cart, it’ll feel far more challenging to get out there and get noticed.
If people can’t see you, they can’t buy from you, and if people can’t buy from you, you don’t have much of a business, do you?
You might choose to stay safely hidden beneath your invisibility cloak but, in that case, what are you even reading this article for? Just one minor point on that: if people can’t see you, they can’t buy from you, and if people can’t buy from you, you don’t have much of a business, do you? It really is nigh on impossible to be a secret and a success at the same time.
Speaking of focus, let’s get back to the point!
If we accept that what we focus on flourishes (and yes, for the record, the same applies to focusing on blocks, ‘lack’ or conflict, so stop staring at that shit right now, okay?), and we want to grow our personal brand and get more visible for all the right reasons, we need to give our energy and attention to it.
Where do you want to be noticed? Who by? Why? What will that take?
Do the people in your target audience like to consume video? In that case, do you need to be livestreaming on Facebook, using IGVT, Twitter, LinkedIn and every video platform on social?
Do you need to be pouring copious amounts of effort into building a brand on YouTube?
It’ll take dedication and commitment — and you’ll need to show up regularly, and when you say you will — but that’s worth the toil, isn’t it? Hell, Strictly Come Dancing even featured a ‘YouTube star’ last season, so who knows where it might lead?
Are you aiming at a business crowd? In that case, where do you need to be showing off your personality, knowledge and expertise most? Business events? Networking meetings? LinkedIn?
Do you need to be aiming to write a book? Getting onto a TEDx stage? Appearing on TV, radio, in newspapers and magazines? For the record, all of these opportunities became far more available to me when I’d spent time building my personal brand and growing a tribe.
Make a plan
Whatever your focus — whether it’s animal, vegetable or mineral — work out who needs to become more aware of your brand, and then work out a plan to start showing up wherever they are.
Be clear on your message. Be brave in sharing your opinions. Be noticeable for all the right reasons, instead of being some clickbait creation junkie. Focus on delivering quality and you’ll attract a quality audience in return. Focus purely on numbers and spamming as many social channels as possible with the same crap in one hit and you’ll slow-grow an army of crappy clickfarm followers who have no real interest in you or your business.
Hone your messages for your audience. Use different content for different social channels (you can get away with a cross post occasionally, but don’t make a habit of it). Show you care. Give people a reason to listen to you — and be prepared to listen in return.
Stop giving all your energy to your desperation for new clients, more money, better cashflow and start flipping it into your brand.
Give your focus to growing your personal brand. All of it.
Stop giving all your energy to your desperation for new clients, more money, better cashflow and start flipping it into your brand. Growing your personal brand and growing a tribe of advocates will positively feed demand for you, your products and services, which flows directly into clients and cashflow.
Thinking of it that way, it’s simple to recognise where you need to put your focus in order to create a flourishing life and business, isn’t it?
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time to plant a tree is right now.
Will it happen overnight? Unlikely.
Will it happen eventually? Probably. That’s up to you. If you have good, relevant products and services, if you’re good at what you do, if you’re true, there’s no reason why not. Just turn that focus up and apply it to the right areas.
Got it? If you want your personal brand to flourish, GIVE IT YOUR FOCUS!
To quote one of my favourite proverbs: the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time to plant a tree is right now.
Until next time,
Taz Thornton is the author of Awesome Sauce — a free, weekly positive life and business round-up, with good news stories, positivity tips and visibility hacks for your brand. In a few minutes each week, you get a dose of optimism and some awesome advice to get seen and stay happy.
Taz is also a best-selling author, inspirational business speaker and consultant on confidence, personal brand and visibility, award-winning coach (UK’s Best Female Coach 2018 — Best Business Woman Awards), consultant and creator of the #UnleashYourAwesome and #BrandMastery personal and business development programmes, as well as #UNLEASHED — an affordable confidence, content and cashflow building programme for coaches, healers and therapists.
She has been featured on BBC, ITV, in HuffPost, Diva and countless other newspapers, magazines and podcasts. Taz is also a regular columnist for the America Out Loud talkshow network.