When was the last time you gave your personal brand messaging a refresh? Clear and concise branding helps you cut through the noise and outshine competitors. Take these five updates into consideration to improve your branding for 2023.
1. Revisit your goals.
Knowing when to pivot is an undeniable mark of a successful entrepreneur. While your personal brand should remain consistent, it's not written in permanent marker. That means the goals you set in January may have changed based on new ideas or opportunities that popped up throughout the year.
If you want to upgrade your brand messaging for the new year, look at the one, three, and ten-year goals you set for yourself (and if they're not written down somewhere - they should be!). What have you gravitated toward in the past 12 months? What ideas have you abandoned? You might even find a goal you've completely forgotten about that you want to pursue again.
By refreshing these goals, you'll see what content you should create and the target audience to receive it. If a three-year plan is to become a motivational speaker, you should look back at what you've put into the world so far and see if it's reaching the right people who could hire you to speak. If not, you'll know it's time to restructure your content for 2023.
2. Outline your purpose, mission, and niche.
Your purpose is your reason for existing, your mission is what you do and who you do it for, and your niche is your unique angle. These traits of your personal brand will act as your north star as you craft messaging for your social media, website, and other marketing materials. For example, let's say you're a doctor and you've formulated a vitamin smoothie for children. Here's what your purpose, mission, and niche might look like:
Purpose: helping children get in their recommended daily vitamins and minerals.
Mission: to empower children and families to live healthy lives.
Niche: products and information from a doctor with 25 years of treating sick children.
Identifying these three traits will ensure your brand messaging is crisp and concise.
3. Focus on your customer’s problem.
Whether you're an author, speaker, business owner, or executive – you are good at what you do because you solve people's problems. Ask yourself: is that coming across in my branding?
People will only understand why they need you, your book, or your product if you communicate that you understand their problem. We deepen our audience's interest in our offering by repeatedly discussing these problems.
Clients often face three layers of problems: external conflicts (tangible issues), internal conflicts (emotional frustrations), and philosophical (big-picture troubles).
Using the doctor example, your audience is likely mothers with young children:
External problem: my child won't eat their vegetables.
Internal problem: I feel helpless and fear they'll have health problems.
Philosophical: There should be a way for my child to get the vitamins and nutrients they need without a struggle at the dinner table every night.
By touching on all these points in your brand messaging, you'll signal to your audience you empathize with them and can be trusted.
4. Position yourself as someone who can solve it.
Now that you've communicated your audiences' problems in your brand messaging, it's time to position yourself as the person who can solve them. But first, do a pulse check. Are you unintentionally competing with your customer?
You compete with your customer if you use "me first" language on your website and marketing materials. Brands and businesses do this all the time. You'll see phrases like "We're the #1 children's vitamin smoothie company in America!" plastered across ads and social media. In reality, those phrases mean absolutely nothing to your audience; even worse, they'll be turned off from buying your product.
While your personal brand is unique to you, it should always remain client-focused. That means you should position yourself as a guide in solving your audience's problem. You can do this by showing empathy and authority. You show empathy by communicating your understanding of their problems and authority using testimonials, reviews, statistics, or awards to support your claims.
Example using the doctor:
I understand how frustrating it is to coax your child into eating healthy (empathy)
Pediatric awards and client testimonials (authority)
The transformation should be clear.
Your brand messaging should delineate the transformation your clients will undergo by working with you as their guide. Look at your messaging and see if you can discern a clear "before and after." What do your clients have before working with you? After? What are they feeling before hiring you? After? What was an average day like for them before they met you? And after?
5. Make it easy to follow your call-to-action.
Your call-to-action should be bold and visible all throughout your personal brand website – and it doesn't need to be complicated. Think about what action you want your customer to take to commit. It can be as simple as "buy now" or "schedule a consultation."
What value can you give your audience while drawing them in to make a purchase? Use their pain points and yourself positioned as a guide to call them to action. Not every piece of content you create needs a direct call to action (that would be annoying), but you should use transitional calls-to-action like white papers, free trials, newsletters packed with helpful tips, and other lead captures.
By incorporating these five practices into your personal brand messaging, you’ll have a website and marketing materials that stand out from competitors noticeably.