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Human Brands - Who are you?

It's a noisy world out there.

Everyone is seeking to be seen and heard for who they truly are, not what they do or have done.

As a profile coach, the work I do with business owners and entrepreneurs is to create a solid personal brand that aligns with their core values, personal legacy and beliefs.

The audience can be reached through online video, podcasts, media coverage, social media, or in-person events.

Previously I have spent 20 + years in traditional PR game generating attention for brands and businesses. My work now involved ‘undoing’ what I did for the first half of my publicist life.

Building human brands involves decoupling the founder or business person from the brand, which seems counterintuitive, but is necessary to build a personal reputation outside the company.

When starting a business, the founder often builds their personal brand around the company and their work and often becomes the face of the brand. This can be useful for the first few years, as the company leverages the founder's personality, profile, or image to grow the product.

Leaders and impact drivers can achieve great things within organizations and leverage their relationship-building skills to drive business growth or sales.

However, when founders move towards an exit, acquisition or take on an advisory or evangelist role that is less hands-on with the company, they need to manage their reputation while building awareness for their personal brand, all while untangling from the business brand.

The most effective way to do this is to focus on the "who" and "why" and leave the "what" with the brand or business.

Raising personal profiles is all about getting back to the core: your vision, personal values, essence, and personal story.

Replacing and reengineering a narrative is not accomplished with one press release, a LinkedIn update, or a few social media posts. It requires an entire focus on outbound communications with your new unique voice and messaging.

What is your message, your story, and what do you stand for now?

How are you communicating that?

It's not enough to wait for people to work out what you do now; if you are actively working towards transitioning and evolving your brand, it requires a more strategic approach.

For example, if someone pivots their business from servicing small businesses to targeting large corporations, they need to create a new focused body of work to raise their profile in the corporate landscape. Otherwise, they will forever be known as the "small business service" to their audience.

It's essential to remember that the founder/brand decoupling process is not easy and requires consistent effort. Many people will associate you with the brand you have worked for, and it can take some time to change that narrative.

In my case, I was with River City Labs for seven years, and it took about three years for people to stop introducing me as Peta from RCL. However, I never gave them a new story to share. My 'who' and 'why' ( what drove me, my role In the world and industry) were the same, but the WHAT ( who and where I was applying myself ) wasn't clear.

When you don’t give people information, they go with what they know, what they can find or what they make up. During that time, I had co-created two other businesses, but I didn't work to promote them; in fact, I was running under the radar for different reasons. This was damaging both to the businesses and both of our personal brands. I didn't actively work to replace the old narrative with a new one.

If you want to build a personal brand, you must focus on your outbound communication and ensure that people know what you stand for and your new unique voice.

This requires clarity and consistency, but it's ultimately worth it.

Remember that when you leave an organization or start your own business, you need to manage your own reputation carefully. This means building awareness for your new brand, focusing on the "who" and "why," and leaving the "what" to align with the doing/product/service side of the business.

To summarise, raising personal profiles is about returning to the core of who you are and what you stand for.

Building a personal brand is not a one-time event; it's a continuous process. As you grow and evolve, you must keep updating your message, story, and unique voice.

It's also important to remember that building a 'public stamp' is not just about promoting yourself. It's about creating value for your audience and solving their problems. Your brand will naturally grow and evolve when you focus on delivering value.

Another critical aspect of building a personal brand is networking. Building relationships with other entrepreneurs, influencers, and industry leaders can help you grow your brand and business. Attend events, join groups, and connect with people on social media to expand your network and reach.

Finally, don't be afraid to be yourself. Authenticity is key when it comes to building a personal brand. People want to connect with real people, not just a polished image. Share your story, your struggles, and your triumphs.

Be honest and transparent; people will appreciate and respect you.

Building a personal brand is a necessary part of being an entrepreneur, business owner, thought leader, community leader and change maker.

Doing so can create a personal brand that will help you achieve your goals and enable you to impact the world in a way that aligns with your personal legacy.

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