Use every part of who you are to create a personal brand and business

Many people who want to create their own personal brand, blog, website, or online business tend to get stuck.

How to create an authentic personal brand

VIDEO at the bottom of this post

They haven’t started yet (or they’re in the beginning stages). They know they want to create something but they are not sure of how to come up with the right focus for their personal brand.

This is exactly why I created this blog post. This post will help you get unstuck and stimulate your brain to help you come up with a focused brand identity that you enjoy.

As a Creative Advertiser, I often analyse and break down the elements that make up a brand, what they represent, and how brand personalities integrate with business strategy.

You might be asking, Jared what do I do!? Relax. The first concept you need to understand when you are starting out or working for yourself is the idea of an authentic personal brand.


The Authentic Personal Brand

I’ve already explained this brand ‘type’ to a commenter on YouTube, so reading the following comments will give you a good head start so you understand the essence of an authentic personal brand.

Mobile Users: Please note if you are using mobile you might not be able to read the text in some of the examples. You can either use a desktop or just skip over them as they are just further illustrations.

YouTube Personal Brand Comment

To help you to delve further into etching out your authentic brand identity, I want to tell you about some of the people I have helped in the past so that you can recognise some of the CORE BLOCKAGES that people struggle with when creating their brand.

You should also be able to take the advice I offer to the people in the two examples below and see how it can help you to develop a CREATIVE MINDSET so that you can view your personal brand in a more strategic and powerful way.


1st example: The Blind Musicologist

The person and their brand issue:

Dave is a visually impaired person who is looking to start a coaching business. He has almost finished his certification in coaching and training. He was unsure of his target audience and brand but he was thinking he could work with other blind people. He was also thinking that he could work with musicians as his background is in musicology. So Dave was torn between being a coach and delving into musicology and music research. He wanted to know what to focus on for his personal brand, website, and business.

He was also not sure how to manage the visual elements of his blog. He didn’t have much money for a developer but his wife could help with the visuals. But this would be an area where he would struggle with due to his visual impairment.


Summary of my ideas and what I suggested to Dave:

I think Dave needs clarity on what his #1 passion and direction is. It sounds like he loves the idea of continuing to be a musicologist and coaching musicians could fit into that when thinking of his blog. He could use his deep understanding of music to create content on his blog, which would attract musicians, and subsequently he could coach some of them.

He could also have a secondary focus that naturally progresses from his primary focus and offer help to blind musicians. As this would be a natural fit as Dave is blind himself. But it would be a secondary focus only due to the number of clients being lower. These are just ideas and Dave doesn’t need to take them all on board but just process the possibility of taking this direction.

I also told Dave that he could get his wife to set up all the basic visuals for his blog and then make the majority of his content using audio. Maybe he could set up a podcast and post podcasts as his posts on his blog. Dave can then use his podcasting/blogging platform to host a lot of music and create content by speaking. Dave would then be playing to his strengths, as opposed to relying on visual content that he could not contribute towards. I told him that his wife could install a simple plug-in called Blueberry PowerPress and he could easily post podcasts using this plug-in for WordPress.

Dave loved the idea of a platform and blog that focuses on audio. All he needed to do was get a microphone. But he still didn’t make up his mind if he wanted to coach or do musicology or both.


2nd example: The University Professor

The person and their brand issue:

Annie spent 30 years in the classroom and 16 of those years as a university professor teaching students how to write. She feels like she wants to now start writing herself and she has been teaching other people how to write for business over the years. She sees her writing business as her blog and platform but has a passion for women who experience unexpected and major changes. She wants to help women reimagine themselves and start to live from a new perspective. But she wants website traffic as she needs work to generate income. She wants feedback on what her personal brand could be.


Screenshots of my contributions to Annie:


Common blockages people face in developing their brand

After helping a lot of people develop their brand and come up with ideas to move forward, it is apparent that many of them have similar issues. The following are the common blockages that I have noticed that people face when developing their brand or brand personality.

  • Unsure of what services or products they want to offer
  • Unsure of what subjects they want to focus on
  • Unsure of what medium and media to use
  • Not sure how to integrate their personality into their business and content
  • Not sure how to use content to generate leads for their services or products
  • Not aware of alternative revenue streams and business models
  • Not aware of long-term strategic brand positioning
  • Not aware of future opportunities and the ability to pivot from one stage to the next
  • Lack of confidence in their ability and qualification
  • Lack of self-awareness to identify their natural strengths and suitability
  • Lack of creative thinking that enables them to see the big picture of their brand

As a Creative Advertiser, I understand how detailed a lot of this stuff can be but it becomes super simple once you know the CORE of your personal brand. Everything else naturally extends and progresses from your CORE signature identity and message. Finding your CORE is what I want to focus on for the rest of the post as this is what will help you to take action.


Finding your core

Finding your core is a lot like falling in love. You have this powerful connection where you just know that this is right for you. You have found the person you want to be with for the rest of your life – you have found who you are.

From those listed above, the two big blockages to creating your personal brand are a lack of clarity and a lack of self-belief. These are resolved by knowing who you are at your core and understanding that you can learn your way to success.

Once you dig deep and find who you are at your core the rest is automatic. You know what tools you have and you know how to use them. You now have clarity of what direction to go in because you have clarity of who you are.

Most people forget that they have unique abilities, skills, experiences, thoughts, backgrounds, and temperaments. No one else has the exact same combination as you, and even if they do, they would most likely be in a different location or time period.

Use every single part of who you are to your advantage and slowly edge your way into the work you want to do every day. It does take time, but the important thing to know is that it can be done.

If you don’t know something then at least know that you can learn it. I didn’t know about blogging, email marketing, social media, or coaching, but now I know all these things!

How? I simply decided to learn how to do them and sort out leaders in each field to learn from. I watched all their free videos. I read all their blogs. I signed up to their email lists. I studied not only their content but their mindset and personality. I also paid for some of their courses and memberships.

The thing you have to realise is that we live in the information economy. Physical labour is being phased out and even mental labour is being phased out. This means that knowing is more important than doing. The implication being, if you take the time to learn then you can know. Once you know you can then start to do. Once you succeed at doing you can pay someone to else to do what you were doing – because you know how to do that. Then you can choose something else to learn and expand your brand by repeating the process in another area.

The point is, whatever you want to do, you can do it. You just have to commit to learning. This is especially true for digital businesses as a lot of them are purely information driven.

I hope by now that I have broken you out of your box and driven the fear out of you.

Once you are certain of who you are and how you operate as a person, you’ll know where you have to go to be at your best. You will reach a point where you absolutely have to go in a certain direction because you can’t be anyone else. You have to be yourself.

Once you’ve reached this point of certainty in knowing who you are. Knowing how you function. Knowing how you naturally contribute to others. Then all you have to do is immerse yourself in learning about everything pertaining to that direction in life. To build skill around your natural talent and inclinations. This is your authentic personal brand.

Your core is your true authentic self. Once you find that, you have found your authentic personal brand. You are not two different people, you are one congruent person, and you bring your personality and passions into your work. That is the power of an authentic personal brand.


Why you want to create an authentic personal brand

These points outline why you’d choose an authentic personal brand as opposed to some other type of business

  • You want customers that you’d be happy to meet on the street. Why do you want to have customers that annoy you? With an authentic personal brand, you’ll attract people who are similar to yourself and you’ll enjoy your customer interactions a lot more.
  • Do you want false success (e.g. cars, houses, a larger insurance bill etc.), or do you want your primary focus to be on true success (e.g. relationships, people, purpose, mission, being who you are etc.)Why not make those other things (cars, houses, etc.) an additive and not the main event of your life. Authentic personal brands allow you to live that true success because you are not working for money, you are working on something because it is a part of who you truly are.
  • Living an authentic personal brand provides a deep satisfaction for those who choose that path. Their lives are full of meaning and a rich sense of purpose.
  • You can get paid to do what you enjoy and celebrated for who you are.

It takes a lot of time to establish an authentic personal brand, but it only takes a moment to decide to go in that direction. When your ‘why’ is big enough you’ll always find the ‘how’.


Activate the creative mindset – The box breaker!

The creative mindset breaks you out of your box and frees your mind so you can see the bigger picture of what you are doing with your brand. You can now see where you are and where you want to go. You can strategically make a decision to move in the direction of who you want to become. Maintaining a creative mindset means you’ll always know exactly what your next step is and be able to take action.

After breaking Edwin out of his box with some creative ideas, and my input into his brand and direction, he said the following.

Clarity will bring you confidence, direction, strategic capabilities, and most importantly the ability to take that next step!

If you have any questions about your personal brand then feel free to ask in the comment section below.

Question: What is your next step in creating your brand going to be? You can leave a comment by clicking here.


How to create an authentic personal brand video:

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.