As a business owner, one of the most important things to pay attention to, in order to attract your ideal audience, is building a personal brand.
IE 172: Building a Personal Brand with Nakisha Washington
You need to decide what your personal brand should look like, what you should talk about, and who you should be targeting.
There are so many branding coaches both online and on social media platforms, and the information can get overwhelming. What and who should you listen to?
My guest on today’s episode is Nakisha Washington. Her job is to help people better articulate their personal and professional brands online and in person.
Nakisha is also one of my KNOWTribe sisters. She is a writer, consultant, and business coach.
What Is Personal Branding?
Personal branding is the ability to clearly and concisely articulate your unique set of skills, interests, and expertise. It’s how you package yourself to present it to the world.
This allows you to answer problem questions through what you say, the projects and activities you are involved in, or brands that you are associated with.
What do you want to be known for? What types of opportunities do you want to be presented with? What are you passionate about? What are your core values?
A strong personal brand should answer all of those questions.
How to Build a Personal Brand
Nakisha established her personal brand by first discovering what she was passionate about and what she was interested in learning more about.
She sat in a 6-week training class very early in her career and almost immediately she knew she wanted to be a trainer. She wanted to teach people.
She found mentors, she volunteered to teach at non-profits, she raised her hand in team meetings. She volunteered to emcee corporate events. She did anything she could to get in front of people.
She’s always loved fashion, and being in training roles made her outfits a topic of discussion.
People would ask for her advice on what they should wear or ask her to style them for events. She wasn’t advertising herself as a stylist but decided to start a fashion blog to teach tips and tricks about fashion. This tied right back into teaching.
Her fashion blogging led to her becoming a better writer which advanced her in the corporate world.
She eventually became a manager, which gave her the opportunity to be a coach. So, now she was teaching one on one. She was also given the opportunity to speak and train on larger platforms.
She knew that if she could talk about it, she could write about it. This led to her freelancing on everything from fashion to working with nonprofits to climbing the corporate ladder.
Today she has a business that organically formed based on her personal brand, which includes writing, coaching, fashion, and teaching.
Skills, Interests, Experience, and Expertise
A lot of branding coaches say that you should only speak about one area of your life.
For example, if you are a fitness coach, only post about fitness and health. Nakisha felt this way when it came down to being a fashion blogger. She thought she wouldn’t be taken seriously by publications or in the corporate world because she also talked about fashion.
But she found that she’s had much more personal, social, and financial success by just presenting herself and including all of her skills, interests, experience, and expertise.
Combining those has helped her build a strong platform and brand.
Your audience wants to know and connect with you. If you’re just sharing one perfect side of your life, it doesn’t give people an opportunity to see the multiple sides of who you are.
Tying in all the pieces of who you are gives you the opportunity to create those deeper connections with your audience.
Avoiding Business Burnout
If you don’t know your personal brand, you will experience burnout. You will do things that don’t excite you and you aren’t passionate about.
You might be making money but you won’t be fulfilled.
When you have a strong personal brand, you end up doing less work.
Nakisha reaches out to people she really wants to work with, but a lot of times she doesn’t have to, because they reach out to her first. She gets emails from people who want to partner with her based on what part of her brand speaks to them.
Some people will not read anything she says when it comes to self-esteem or networking, but want to check out her outfit of the day. Some might come to her for motivation, but not care about the fashion side of her business.
When you show off those skills, interests, experience, and expertise, opportunities will land in your lap.
If you don’t have a strong personal brand, people don’t know what you want or need, or how you can help them. This leads to doing things that are unfulfilling.
Not everything you do will be fun and cool and Instagram post-worthy.
But if you find nothing fulfilling about what you’re doing, you will eventually begin to dread it and view it as a chore. This leads to being a low-performer.
Using the Right Social Media Platform
It’s also important to choose the social media platform that you’re most passionate about and that works best with your brand.
If you’re passionate about creating a connection through video, utilize Instagram stories.
If you prefer posting longer captions, use the Instagram feed or Facebook posts.
If you just want to post quick encouragement or tips, there’s Twitter.
If you’re using a platform you don’t like and that makes you uncomfortable, your audience will pick up on that and not be interested in what you are saying.
You can also utilize the platforms you don’t love as a way to connect with brands you might want to work with.
You don’t have to be posting on the platform to find opportunities and things that might interest you.
Taking The First Steps to Build Your Personal Brand
The first step to building a personal brand is to think about the things you already do really well or you would like to do really well. It can be anything you’re interested in or passionate about.
Make a list of the things you’re currently doing and the list of things you’re passionate about and see how they align.
Combine your skills and experiences with your interests and be intentional about sharing it.
Pick 5 core areas that you’d like to share. For example family, career, community service, fashion, and culture. Now you need to find out how to capture those things visually and how you want to talk about it.
Are you an expert on the topic? Or are you more like a girlfriend, just sharing some tips you have on the topic? Once you figure this out, just start sharing.
Find people who will help hold you accountable to fulfilling these goals. Saying the things you’re working towards out loud to someone will help you as you work to grow your personal brand.
You can find Nakisha on Instagram where she shares everything from her fitness journey to branding tips to her daily shenanigans.