tips for small businessHaving recently won an award for her own personal brand, guest blogger Chrissy Newton shares her advice on building a personal brand that works. This post appears in our series Small Business 500.

What is a personal brand? A personal brand is what you get when someone has crafted a business around or out of their personal persona, and has packaged themselves for the mass public.

Today, personal brands have to work overtime to achieve acknowledgement in a world filled with brand pollution. Here are five steps you can take to establish a personal brand from scratch.

1. Find Your Angle or Niche: What Are 3 Key Messages?

Every brand should convey key messages to stakeholders and the general public, to express how it's different from the rest. What makes you different from all the other personal brands out there? Find a particular angle or niche that demonstrates your talents or strength within a specific topic of field.

It's useful to have 3 key messages to focus on. Think about these things as you build your messages:

  • How do you want your audience to view your personal brand?
  • What are the positive assets of your personal brand?
  • What’s your objective?
  • What’s your industry's lexicon?
  • Is your brand easy for people to remember and believe in?

2. Know Your Audience

Who are you directing your personal brand to? Knowing your target audience will help you communicate your personal brand messages in a direct and persuasive manner.  By understanding your audience's likes and dislikes, activities, interests and goals, You can build a personal brand relationship that is strong and lasting. Learning how to communicate to your audience is sometimes the hardest task for a personal brand. Since you now understand your personal brand's audience, the next step is learning how they want to be spoken too.

3. Personal Brand Vocabulary

Using words from your industry's lexicon is a great way to build trust and understanding with your audience.  Keeping your key messages in mind while speaking with your audience will help influencers and trendsetters recognize that you’re different from other personal brands in the same industry and that you have a great understanding of what defines the industry.

4. Trust: Live Your Brand Belief Everyday

Love what you do and live what you say. Having a personal brand is NOT only about having lots of followers in your industry but about having a voice that is trustworthy, transparent and educated. Applying this every day will help build a stronger foundation for a larger brand in the future.

5. Social Media Engagement

Now that you have found your three key messages, decided who your audience is, started to build your own brand vocabulary and begun putting it into practice, the next step is engaging the mass public by the use of social media.

Both Facebook and Twitter are two great social media outlets that allow personal brands to speak strategically to a large audience of people with a targeted message. The use of social media will give your personal brand a global voice and audience.

Your brand is your personal reputation and your business. Protect it with proper execution, and avoid becoming brand pollution.

Personal Brands, in the Small Business 500

—Chrissy Newton runs VOCAB Communications, a boutique public relations and promotions company dedicated to influencing lifestyles, attitudes, opinions, and personalities for a company or personal brand. She recently won the "Best Personal Brand" award at the 2011 Notable Awards.

personal branding from Vocab Communications

VOCABcommunications.com “Everyone and Everything is Brand”

Twitter.com/VocabComm

Facebook.com/VocabCommunications

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