Before talking discussing personal branding tips, let’s pause for a second and ask the most important question. Why do you need a personal brand as a consultant?
Because people don’t like to work with assholes. When a team chooses a consultant to work with, they will not only evaluate their professional background but also how the person will fit into the culture of their company. Not everyone is a good fit, so they will definitely check out who they want to work with.
Your personal brand communicates who you are as a consultant, your work philosophy, way of doing things, and core values. Having these pronounced in your personal brand and marketing communication will not only help you to attract more clients but also attract clients with who you will enjoy working.
You might want to check out two of our audits that can help you to understand what people like and dislike about your personal brand.
Most people confuse marketing with branding. Marketing tools focus on connecting with the target audience to convince them to purchase products or services. The main aim of marketing is driving sales. Branding is all about defining who you are. It also entails communicating your mission and values to influence the public perception of you. Personal branding drives recognition and loyalty. As a consultant, you need both. Better even, you have to start with personal branding strategies that will foster trust with prospective clients and help you in your marketing efforts. Let us look into some personal branding tips for consultants:
Tell your story
As humans, we desire connection. One of the best ways to connect with your prospective clients is by telling your story. Create an authentic narrative that speaks about your passions and the various adversities and uncertainties you have endured getting where you are now. Your audience wants to know that you are human. You can share your story on social media platforms or your website. Consider your profession and identify the people that you would want to reach. Identifying their interests and motivations will help you know what things about yourself they will find relevant.
People buy from people, and your potential clients want to work with someone they feel they know well. The only way you can let them in and make them understand your prospects is by telling your story. Talk about the formative experiences that have molded you into who you are and the challenges you have overcome to serve your clients better. Your narrative does not need to look like a resume. Make it engaging and authentic. You could create a simple elevator pitch that captures your experiences in a few words.
Have a Unique Value Proposition
People notice the things that stand out. Out of all consultants in your field, why should a client pick you? Your distinctiveness is what makes you memorable. Create a Unique Value Proposition (UVP). Your UVP should highlight the unique characteristics that make you stand out from the crowd of consultants. You can start by identifying your strengths and your distinct abilities. What are the achievements you have enjoyed as a result of those strengths? What do people compliment you for mostly? Your unique feature could be your personality. You do not have to be bubbly, gregarious, and outgoing to build a positive public impression. Some people prefer to work with people that are quiet and self-effacing. That could be your unique selling point. Your distinctiveness could either be in what you deliver or how you convey it. You are more likely to draw more people and build credibility with your authenticity.
Establish a solid social media presence
People need to be able to find you. The increasing number of social media users makes it the best place to grow your brand. People go to social media when researching people, products, or services. Your target clients will not trust you if they cannot find anything online about you. You can conduct a personal brand audit to know what your potential clients think of you and the services you offer. It will help you optimize branding, content, and communications to boost your reputation.
Potential clients are more likely to trust your expertise when you have a consistent brand offline and online.
You can always say nice things about yourself, but it is always better to have someone else sing of your praises. In this social media era, testimonials and recommendations are critical for building a powerful personal brand. People trust recommendations even if they are from people they do not know. They want assurance that they are not the only ones using a product or service. No one wants to go alone when making a decision. To build your personal brand, you need to gather testimonials from clients.
Testimonials will build trust and validate your credentials. You can ask for feedback at the end of successful projects. Your clients are more likely to leave enthusiastic and glowing reviews when they are still thrilled with the results of your work. Ensure that the process of submitting feedback is simple. Your clients are busy and may not have the time to sit in front of a blank page to leave a testimonial. You can use online forms that are less intimidating or time-consuming.
Create a personal website
A website is an excellent touch for building your personal brand online. Your website can be the place where you talk about your services and your Unique Value Proposition. You can also have a portfolio of your work on the website. Create content that is relevant to your industry and post it on your website.
Creating content will establish you as a top expert in your field and boost your credibility. You can even build a community by asking people to sign up for your newsletter and join the mailing list to get your articles. Ensure that your website is user-friendly and visually appealing. You can use Squarespace or WordPress to build your website.
If you wish to become a successful independent consultant, you need to find a specific area within your domain of expertise and own it. Having a niche gives you a competitive advantage since it differentiates your offers from other consultants in your field. Narrowing your focus not only differentiates you in a crowded market but also gives you the potential to dominate an entire segment of the market.
A narrow focus demonstrates expertise in that particular sector. It shows that you have an in-depth understanding of your client’s unique needs. To carve a niche, you should start by brainstorming all the areas you could offer consulting services. After brainstorming, evaluate your experience and expertise against three factors- joy, money, and expertise. Which one gives you the most pleasure? Which is more profitable? Finding a balance between these three factors will help you determine your unique niche.
As a consultant, you represent both yourself and the business. An authentic and consistent personal brand is essential for the growth of your career. Your personal branding strategies should be the guiding light for all your decisions and behavior as a consultant.