As you build your personal brand, there are different stages you go through.
We all start (I hope!) with a degree of subject matter expertise. As we develop the intention to build our personal brand, we put out content tentatively into the world. As we gain more confidence and experience, we arrive at more unique thought leadership. We start attracting a community of fans around the message that we’re sharing. And, finally, we get to a place where we are having a lasting impact as a well-recognised leader in our space.
In this week’s episode, we explore…
- The value of a personal brand and how it’s so key to your professional success
- The 5 stages of personal brand progression as you start to grow your impact
- How to diagnose where you are and identify action steps for you to get to the next level
Tune in to the latest episode over at ReimaginingSuccessPodcast.com to explore the 5 stages in more detail.
*Resources mentioned during the episode*
1:1 Coaching & Mentoring – If you’re looking for one-to-one support to help you achieve your specific life and business goals, Anna has a limited number of spots for individual coaching and mentoring. onestepoutside.com/coaching
Amplify your impact
Hello, hello. And we’re continuing on the topic of personal brands. So we talked about niching, the importance of niching. A couple of weeks ago, we talked about your PB being your new CV. So your personal brand is your CV. And today, I wanted to inspire you, hopefully, with what I’m calling at the moment the different levels of personal brand progression. And before we get into this incredible model that I’ve developed of the five levels, and to inspire you to understand where you are and where you want to get to, I do want to recap a little bit on personal brand, right? Because I know people feel a bit like well, I hope you listened to last week’s episode. If not, then please go back to understand how compelling the argument is that you do need to have your personal brand now.
But the truth is, you’ll have one regardless. So it will be by default, if you don’t do anything about it, or by design, if you do get involved in curator and so on and think about these things. So the truth is, everybody has a personal brand, people are saying things about you, they’re not saying things about you, they’re finding things about your line, they’re not finding things about your line, either way, there is a perception of brand. And if you’re not looking at that, and if you’re not aware of that, and if you’re not kind of I hesitate to use the word controlling that but and manipulating or sound terrible, but managing let’s say massaging that totally authentically tastes totally truthfully and so on. It’s not about lying and pretending to be someone you’re not but still presenting kind of a united front a clear, compelling coherent image to people so you get to have one regardless whether by design or default it elevates you above being just a commodity right so it’s not just oh is it this career coach or that career coach is that well being you know consultant or that one is it this designer or that one is it this expert or that one you know it’s not just like a list a shopping lists and you get all look Aldi has got a price drop I’m gonna go to Aldi supermarket cheap supermarket in the UK, or you know Is it is it just you can buy an Apple here you can buy an Apple that rises total commodities just based on price, personal brand elevates you beyond that, suddenly, you’re unique because you’ve got your own unique IP, you’re the only person I’m the only person who teaches the five pillars, I’m the only one in the world who teaches my personal brand framework, etc. So you get to choose if you want to implement those particular frameworks. But if you do, then I’m the person to go to. With that in mind, your personal brand helps to distinguish you right from your competitors, it helps you be unique and different. And we all are different by definition.
So it just brings that to life in a really compelling way and makes it clear why people should work with you or should not because of who you are, what you stand for. Your personal brand also really helps you connect and build trust with prospective clients, right?
Because people buy from people as they say, and you know, having conversations with you, my best clients and best so called sales conversations happen. When someone has listened to my podcast, they’ve diligently attended maybe a workshop where they followed me online for a while. They know what I stand for. They like me, hopefully what they’re seeing. And they just need that final conversation kind of gateway into investing to work with me in a bigger program. And people who just come and I don’t even know why then Pookie calls with me. They’re like, hey, what do you do is like, Well, why are you meeting with me then? So that’s interesting, but it really helps you to connect and build that trust with people. And finally, it helps you endure above and beyond any specific business. So, you know, I’ve shared before that I had Quercus communications, which I’m seeing here on my CV from 2013. Was it 2014?
I can’t remember. And it talks about crocus communications, which was the name of my limited company back in the day set up in 2014, I believe. And that was my digital marketing consultancy. And that kind of died a death. It didn’t die death, I chose to pivot away from it. And I kept that name for a very long time. But I relatively recently moved over to my proper brand name now, right? So if I had built everything around crocus communications, and there was no face behind it, it was all about this digital marketing consultancy.
Then, when I sort of folded that, I would have to start completely from scratch. like who is this Anna person? Don’t you work at Procter and Gamble? Well, no, actually, you know, I’ve done three years of digital marketing consulting for all these different companies. But that’s lost because I’ve been fueling, putting everything into pouring everything into that business instead of me as a brand. And so, you know, I’m sure one step outside as well won’t last forever sniff Boohoo. And when that evolves or ends, I will still live on as Anna Lundberg. Hurray.
So those are the reasons why personal branding is so important. And of course, as I said last week, this really has become your CV now, whether it’s for jobs, or internal external opportunities, business and so on. Another framework that I’m sure I will have shared before, and I’ll share it again is the PI framework yum, yum. So I’m quite hungry this afternoon. This This one was something I was introduced to at Procter and Gamble as a junior manager. And it was sort of hush hush secret framework. They told me that you weren’t supposed to tell junior people, but you have the performance, you have the image and you have your exposure. And as the good girl who was sort of diligently working away at my desk, I had the performance obviously, it goes without saying that you have to perform in order to do well, right, you have to get the results, you’re not going to progress in your organization, unless you’re doing really well. I mean, if you’re actually delivering results, right, you need to perform, you need to actually achieve what you’re supposed to be achieving your goals and your targets and so on.
But if you only do that, nobody knows you’re doing it. Certainly in the kind of environment I was in, there was a panel of people who needed to kind of I don’t think they voted for you’d be you know, discussed, he was ready for promotion, and so on. If I had no idea who Anna Lundberg was, that would never happen. So performance is one thing, but then there’s image, which is, to an extent, your personal brand, but I hesitate to use the word image, I think personal branding is so much more. But it’s really the perception that other people have of you, right. So when people interacted with me, they thought I was amazing, great.
However, the third piece of pie is the exposure, which is Oh, in my case, and I’m really thinking about this specific situation, I was I’d be working in this little team over here on the floor. And nobody in the whole company knew me outside of that team right now, if I wanted move into a different team, different department, different brands, and so on, they had no idea who I was. So I really had to work on that.
So I became aware of the fact that you know, if you have only performance and image, let’s say I had that, then I was the industry’s best kept secret in a way, right? So nobody, if I’m if that’s my business, I have no exposure to the right people, the people who do come into contact with me think oh, my gosh, he’s amazing, but hardly anyone does. So that’s not great. If you have image plus exposure, but you don’t have the performance. Obviously, that’s not good either. Because there’s no substance there, you just fluff you Shiny, shiny, but there’s no results to back it up. And then if you’ve got the performance and exposure, I’d argue that you know, there’s no coherent personal brand there. There’s like what, hang on a second, what do they you know, what value? Do they bring what they stand for, like, yes, people know who you are, and you’re getting results, but not quite sure, really, what you are and who you are, and so on. Right.
So those elements of pie, I think are really interesting to think about, you need the performance, you need to get the results, you need the image, you need to be clear on Okay?
Well, these are my core values, this is the value I bring, this is my credibility, this is the expertise, this is my message, and so on. And then finally, the exposure. And this goes again, as ever, whether you’re inside an organization, in my case at that time, or you’re building your brand, externally, now as a business owner, because I need to obviously get my clients results, and support them and be a good coach, trainer, facilitator, whatever. But And that’s sort of the results in a way, then there’s the image of okay, but what do I actually stand for, when people come into contact with me is there kind of a coherent message coming across through my content that I’m putting out and through conversations I have and all the touch points, and then the exposure, if I’m just tweaking my website, and my social media, and so on, then nobody new is coming into my ecosystem, nobody’s actually seeing what I’m doing, then my community is not going to grow, and I’m not going to build a successful business. So with all that in mind, I thought I’d again, sort of educate and inspire you with these my proposed levels of progression through personal branding. And I would argue, and this is, you know, over for discussion, so I’d love to hear your thoughts, that you start with subject matter expertise, because I’m assuming I’m hoping that you know, something. And that’s kind of your performance, that’s your foundation for your personal brand, right, it means that you have knowledge skills experience in a specific area, and that again, comes down to the niching. So, being a subject matter expert means that you have the credibility, like I’m the sort of go to resource in this area.
However, at that point, you’re only really known in that, in my case, that immediate team or in that company, or you’ve just qualified and something and you know, you’ve got the skill, but nobody else in the world knows, right, they may think of you as something totally different. So subject matter expertise is amazing and necessary. But that’s it. The second level for me, then I’ve gone through these stages. So that’s why I feel like they’re very accurate. Also, what I see with with clients is content creation. Now it might seem that that cut you odd that that comes so early on, but actually, it’s relatively easy. Now it’s very easy to start sharing, I know it might feel a little I don’t want to go on video. And it’s hard to think of things when you’re first starting. But it’s so easy for people to put out content. Everybody’s doing reels and videos, people are even doing podcasts and writing books, it feels like everybody’s doing everything right. So you’re now sharing your expertise, insights perspective with other people.
You’re writing articles and maybe filming videos and social media posts and so on.
So you’re building that online presence, and you’re beginning to engage with people but I would argue at this stage, we’re kind of regurgitating. You know, when I started and I see again, coaches do that now I’m like, Oh, well, I work with a coach. This is why coaching is different to mentoring. It’s all this is how you hit your goals. Really powerful stuff and I was passionate about it coming out of the coaching certification but it’s very generic, I’m you know, regurgitating what other people would say to. So that’s content. Question great, such a great step and important one. And then the next one, you know, which some might argue is sort of the pinnacle. But for me thought leadership, I’m defining that as a key, I’m actually developing my own thinking, right. So I’ve become not just an expert, I’ve become comfortable sharing my ideas. But I now have some views based on that expertise and experience and understanding that our might possibly go against conventional ideas, right. And I disagree with other coaches and other business, mentors and so on. And they begin to have a different kind of conversation. And I become kind of an influential authority in that area. Again, perhaps quite a small following stage.
But as I share more polarizing views, I begin to build a community, which is the next level then, right. So if I’m sharing my unique perspective in a very unique way, because that’s my own personal flair, then I begin to attract a dedicated audience that actually believes in what I stand for. And that’s why it’s so important, of course, to share content that inspires and engages people, not just, you know, the sort of teaching staff or the salesy stuff, so engaging with people having meaningful conversations and connections, bringing that community and through that you’re creating a bigger network, you’ve got kind of fans and ambassadors, and you’re increasing your impact. And then finally, you know, again up for discussion, you become actually an industry influencer, right, you’re pushing boundaries, you’re challenging the status quo, you’re introducing groundbreaking ideas, solutions, and you’re totally different to any kind of copycats, and so on. And you’re, you’re creating amazing opportunities, and really driving change in your industry.
So you know, you thinking like Simon Sinek, or Brene Brown, or these incredible people at the height of their game right now. They’ve been working for a long time to do these things. And they have incredible expertise and experience. So subject matter expertise, step one, step two, content creation, step three, thought leadership, step four, community building. And then step five, industry influence. And I find this pretty exciting. I hope you do, too, and pretty, you know, doable if you think about it long enough timeframe. So it also means you don’t have to go straight into becoming the go to guru in your space, you begin to create content, you begin to develop your thinking. And over time you build a community and you become more sort of the top of your game, right. And again, it doesn’t have to be celebrity we’re talking about being known within your niche. So I’d love to hear from you. Where are you in those levels from one to five. And of course, if you’d like my help and getting to the next level, just message me impact impact on any social channel. You can find me at Anna s. E. Lundberg, or email me at podcast at one seven photo comm so impact to work on amplifying your impact in your industry and beyond. And I hope this episode was useful to inspire you as to how you can progress but also while you dream big how you can start taking action now in terms of building that content and, and developing new ideas that you can tentatively put out in the world and start to gather momentum. Looking forward to your insights on this one. Thanks so much for listening. And I’ll see you next week when I believe we have an interview for you. So looking forward to sharing that one. Bye for now.
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If you’re looking for one-to-one support to help you achieve your specific life and business goals, Anna has a limited number of spots for individual coaching and mentoring.