Personal Branding Guide: Getting Started

If you've downloaded your FREE Personal Branding Guide from my website but need a little guidance on how to practically fill out all of those little boxes, you've come to the right place!

Here, you see my own actual branding guide that I filled out as I prepared to launch Hope Lauren Creative.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to fill out this guide, I want to make sure that you understand the purpose of it. This branding guide is designed to help you navigate through all of your many thoughts and ideas about your business so that you can verbalize the motivations and purposes that are foundational to your brand. Once completed, this guide is also a valuable tool to reference and filter all of your future content through as you seek to promote your business both online and in person.

1. Core Content

Your core content is made up of the categories or aspects that are foundational to your brand. You should have a minimum of three core content categories, and a maximum of five. These categories should be balanced between things that are business related and things that are personal to you. You are more than a service or product, and your customers and clients want to connect to you as a person - not just a provider. You can think of your core content as the things that you want people to think about when they hear the name of your business. They should be authentic, positive, and professional; these are things that you will be connecting with your customers/clients through.

2. Target Audience

This section is all about who you are seeking to serve. Not every business will serve the needs of every customer, so you need to identify who your target group of potential customers will be. For example, if you are seeking to provide tutoring services to middle and high school students, you do not need to spend a great amount your time and energy marketing yourself to single college students when you could be focusing on reaching parents and teachers of sixth-twelfth graders.

3. Problems I Solve

This section follows closely behind the target audience. Here you want to identify what problems that your target audience may have and how you solve those problems for your customers. Sticking with the example from above, maybe your audience of parents of 6th-12th grade students doesn't feel equipped to assist their child with the current methods that are taught in math classes. You solve that problem by offering your knowledge of the current methods and your ability to teach them well through tutoring sessions after school hours. This is important to identify and verbalize, because you will want to be able to communicate what value your product and/or service will give to your audience.

4. My Colors

This section moves a little further away from the foundational motives and purpose of your brand and instead focuses on the consistent and recognizable look of your brand. By establishing a color palette that you will draw from for all of the content you produce, you will be able to easily create a look for your brand that is recognizable by your customers no matter what platform they see it from.

5. The Experience

The experience section, similar to the colors, focuses a bit more on a consistency aspect of the look of your brand. This is where you will want to identify what you want your audience to feel when they encounter your website, social accounts, and other content. What things about their interactions with you through the web and in person do you want to stand out in their mind?

6. Checklist

You've made it to the last box! The checklist is more of a tool to help you take inventory of the avenues and tools that you are currently using for your business and which ones you may want to look at pursuing. You likely won't check every single box in this list, but it is important that you use this section to ensure that your brand is being properly represented on all of the platforms that you are currently using. What does that mean exactly? If you have a facebook page, does your cover photo, profile photo, and content that you post match your core content categories, colors, and feel? Are you targeting the right audience, and are you sharing how your product or service can help address their problems? If you answer yes to all of those questions, then you're doing great! If your answer was no, you have now identified what changes you can implement going forward to better represent your brand.

Congratulations, you've filled out your personal branding guide and you're now keenly aware of how to effectively share your brand and connect with your audience! Keep this guide handy as you prepare to produce content moving forward - I think you'll find it to be a valuable tool!

If this guide has alerted you to some changes that you'd like to make, but you just don't know how to do it or when you'll find the time, let's talk about how I may be able to help you through web design services or marketing support.

Still have questions? Contact me and I'd be happy to chat with you!