Business Tips No. 1 - How to create a Powerful Personal Brand

‘A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.’

Scott Cook


Everyone knows great brands. They advertise on TV, you wear them on your body, you buy them at the supermarket, you tell your friends about them and you might even queue up overnight to get their latest products! Apple, Nike, Coca Cola, Virgin and Google are great examples. We know them and we love them, but these brands do not come about organically – they are manufactured by marketing teams, branding experts and various media. In short, they are created, not born.

For many years, companies have created brands for products and services with specific attributes – a certain look and feel – and then imbued them with a three dimensional personality through marketing. You can follow the same process  to create a Personal Brand for you, by following my five key steps:

1) Powerful Photography

2) Descriptive Tag Line

3) Personal Biography

4) Relevant Social Media

5) Specific Websites

But what is a Personal Brand? Tom Peters first coined the term Personal Branding in his classic 1997 Fast Company article The Brand Called You, in which he describes it as an individual who markets their personal strengths, attributes, and qualities.

Another description by Blaise James, Gallup global brand strategist and former strategic planning director at Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, is, “Your personal brand isn’t a couple of adjectives, and it shouldn’t be a résumé either. It should demonstrate your authentic talents and strengths. Your self brand is integral to your career and your life – and it influences your long-term career strategy and development.”

I love this description as it captures the essence of the difference between your résumé and your brand. I stress the importance that a Personal Brand needs to have integrity and authenticity in order to really touch the hearts of your target consumers. A Personal Brand is one that allows the audience to immediately resonate with the culture, values and attributes of the brand.

In my book 'Creating a Powerful Brand' I discuss the five steps in great detail and I share this content by writing a detailed blog post on each topic separately, but here is a summary.

Powerful photography is vital for your personal brand as it is the first thing people look at online. Humans have 40,000 years of facial recognition technology built into their subconscious brains. They can't help it, they will judge and react to your photo instantly so have a great one!

A Descriptive Tag Line positions you in the consumers mind. It is used next to your photo in LinkedIn and other social media, on the top of your biography and is how you answer the question 'So what do you do?' It is vital to nail this answer so they can refer you to others and perpetuate your brand.  How do you want them to remember you? What skills would  you like them to be able to pass onto others who might require your service? A tag line is also the basis for a personal pitch, but more on that later.

A Personal Biography is the in depth description from your tag line. It is the fleshed out pitch you will learn to use to attract more business. The biography is used on your social media, websites, applying for jobs and speaking at conferences. It is no longer a nice-to-have, but a necessary business tool. 

Social Media can absorb huge amounts of time and attention. Before pursuing a social media marketing strategy it is vital to know what site will serve you best and where to best spend time and money. My belief is less is more. I advise clients to have a strategy for LinkedIn, Facebook and Google +, and the rest is optional depending on your specific situation.

There has been significant changes in the way Google treats content, creating a need for moreSpecific Websites. I advise clients to have a personal website, a business website and even landing page websites for their products! I will explore this area in more depth in future posts as there is a great deal to learn before embarking on a web project.

To learn more about how to create a Powerful Brand, join my blog by clicking the subscribe button on the left navigation bar and I will send you all my tips or you can purchase my bookhere

I welcome your comments and questions. The next post will focus exclusively on Powerful Photography. 


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Andrew Ford

Marketing expert Andrew Ford, the founder of Social Star, has discovered the secret of ‘Powerful Branding’. With a fire for unleashing people’s inner brand and developing business models to generate profit from an individual’s passions, Andrew leverages ground-breaking digital and social media marketing techniques to create digital strategies for clients to attract maximum opportunities. Having established a strong name for himself in the field, Andrew blends traditional business techniques with now-necessary tools for entrepreneurs to achieve scale, quality, and influence in their niche. Andrew’s comprehensive business background and qualifications consist of a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) (RMIT 2003), a Graduate Certificate in Management (MBA Executive Program, University of Sydney 2005), and a Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Swinburne University 2011). Continually on the cutting edge of his own education, Andrew has tested his marketing theories in forums such as the BCG Business Strategy Competition, which he won in 2005 against all Victorian MBA schools, and the Venture Cup Business Plan Competition (Swinburne University 2003), which he won in the Masters category. With experience working at Hewlett-Packard, Sensis (Telstra) and IBM, Andrew also has mentored dozens of junior staffs to help them achieve their professional goals. Meeting and influencing high-profile public figures helped Andrew to realise just how many professionals require more understanding and control of their public brands or appearance, and need help with the skills to use the many amazing free tools at their disposal to generate success. At Social Star, Andrew consults with clients to uncover their personal brand – both where it is today and where it can be tomorrow – and refine and define how that should be displayed in social media in order to attract their perfect target audience. Andrew mentors his clients to rapidly grow their business’ audiences, resulting in larger potential client bases and higher revenue. Applying formulas that integrate over twenty years of Andrew’s business experience and fifteen years of formal business education, Social Star specialises in building clarity and velocity for clients’ brands using the ‘Understand, Build and Leverage’ methodology. ‘Having a Personal Business enables people to have an authentic, congruent connection with their valued clients and partners, using their brand as the bridge,’ says Andrew. ‘I’m highly driven to work with the new breed of entrepreneurs and small business owners – people who have a passion for making the world a better place. Traditional business models are stepping aside as people follow their innermost dreams and my role is to see them operate within their values while creating wealth. Some people think you have to sacrifice what you love to be successful in your business, yet it is actually the opposite. Follow your passion and success will come.’ Lecturing at Swinburne University from 2009 to 2011 on brand dynamics and digital marketing, presenting at numerous conferences, and consulting to hundreds of clients, Andrew has seen his philosophy work that if you follow your unique path, based on your skills, experience, values and goals, you will automatically attract the opportunities you desire and achieve the success you deserve. Living his mantra, Andrew has created a successful business and attracts high-profile clients including musicians, athletes, authors, models, entrepreneurs, professionals and small business owners, helping them find their ‘why’ in their business and fulfilment in their lives. Business for Andrew is more than work, it’s personal. Running a personal business means that he is able to fulfil all of his values rather than separating his life from work. It supports his two boys while providing social opportunities, educational development, fitness opportunities, spiritual fulfilment and many valuable friendships. Social Star has now become the vehicle for Andrew to crystallise his mission in the world, to help people love what they do, supporting his ‘why’, that if more people loved what they did, the world would be a better place.