This week on the Do the Damn Thing Podcast, I had the honor of speaking with Marketing and Branding Expert, Lauren Tukuafu. Lauren is a mastermind behind helping “mompreneurs” build and scale their businesses to six figures while only working twenty hours a week. I brought Lauren on the podcast to answer some often-asked questions about how to build a personal brand. Lauren and I dive into what it means to have a personal versus commercial brand and how to create a unique voice in an often saturated market. Today, we’re expanding on some important points with informational bites on key vocabulary we touched on.
We talked about some fundamental branding techniques and vocabulary that are important for the entrepreneurs reading this. So, if you’re gearing up (or even in the middle of) building a personal brand, we’re diving into the pillars of creating a successful brand and how to market your unique voice.
But first, what is a personal brand? A personal brand markets YOU! You are the face and voice behind your brand. Rather than a product or offering taking center stage, you are the foundation behind the brand. Your products, offerings, and even coaching suite are built upon who you are and what transformation you’re offering.
What’s my personal brand? Intentional Living, of course. La.Rue embodies what it means to live a purposeful and intentional life. I highlight that message every day in the content I publish, the podcast, and my coaching. My transformation process is the mantra behind the brand: I assist creative people in clarifying the fine details of their life–habits, routines, mindset, and motivation–to support their BIG DREAMS.
So let’s chat about some of the keywords popping up and how to build a personal brand!
Essentials for a Personal Brand
Nailing Your Niche
What’s a niche, and how do I figure out what mine is? Lauren hit some fantastic points on what niche means and how to clarify it on the podcast. Your niche is the message behind the brand, the transformational statement or exclusive offering that declares what you’re giving to a follower, reader, listener, or client. For example, an Instagram influencer whose niche is thrifting and repurposing vintage clothes offers her followers an inexpensive way to elevate their wardrobe. This is an example of a nailed-down niche and clear transformational offer.
To nail your own niche, you need to identify your passion and what you are, or can become, an expert in. Once you’ve discovered your niche, you’ll have a clear direction for content creation. When I first began creating my brand, I was all over the place with what I wanted La.Rue to be. I thought about fashion and photography within the lifestyle category. I also thought about publishing my professional writing pieces, and then I wanted developmental incorporation.
The point of nailing your niche is to very clearly direct your consumer. This means that when they show up to your website, blog, Instagram, or even podcast, the message is uniform and obvious across all platforms. Your audience wants to know immediately what value they’re gaining from your content.
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Identifying Your Ideal Client/Reader
Now that you’ve nailed down your niche, it’s time to identify who exactly that content is attracting, reaching, and even relating to. The same woman with the affordable fashion Instagram isn’t going to attract an audience interested in shopping for motherhood. It’s essential to get incredibly specific in this area. Not only do you want to know the age and sex of your ideal client, but you want to be thinking about their budget, what problems they face daily, what they do day-to-day. This helps you get clear and concise about A. Who you’re helping and B. What problem(s) you can solve for them.
You want to get clear on what exactly your offers are and how they will provide a solution. At La.Rue, our ideal clients face concerns with their daily life and mindset that may not support or even inspire them to achieve their big dreams. Our solution is offering intentional living-centered content—through both free and paid platforms—that assist in changing your lifestyle to achieve ANY success. When you get to that specific, easy-to-understand niche, you’re able to create an attractive elevator pitch.
Knowing Your ‘Secret Sauce’
Now it’s time not just to highlight your uniqueness but let it shine. You’ve nailed your niche, and you’ve identified your ideal reader. Now it’s time to research Instagram and blogging to see that thousands of other creators have the exact same niche as you. It’s time to identify what sets you apart in this saturated market. Your secret sauce clearly pinpoints why someone should follow you, your advice, and purchase your offerings over another creator. Throughout this process, it’s important to identify a few other creators that you feel are similar to your content. What about them inspires you, and what about their content is different from yours?
In this process, it’s best to work backward to find your secret sauce. Ask yourself, what creators may make you feel imposter syndrome? Then, identify at what level you emulate them and where your content sets you apart. In this process, I found that it’s not necessarily the content I put out that differentiates me, but it’s my story. The message behind my Intentional Living brand isn’t that you should live intentionally for the sake of it. But rather to live intentionally because life is short, and we don’t want to get to the end of the line, filled with regret. The La.Rue brand was developed through a process of healing, growth, and grief, and I believe that message is carried across in every piece of content I publish.
My secret sauce has always been being a young content creator aspiring to build a personal brand that inspires those who know their DREAMS ARE BIG and letting the emotional side of life inspire those dreams rather than hold them back.
Building Your Brand
Building a personal brand requires a lot of give and take. You give, give, and give to the brand to create a vision that nurtures client relationships and bonds. What does it take? You have to let go of your ego entirely. If you’re someone like me who fears (or feared) judgment initially, it’s going to hold you back immensely. You have to dive into the deep end with your whole heart and with wild confidence that it will be a success. Remember that to build a personal brand won’t offer the instant gratification aspect we often crave. It takes time to build a brand that incurs an income. But that dedication, that drive, and that grit, are what make you and your business a success before the first dollar even comes in.
listen to the podcast
Want to know more?
Head over to the Do the Damn Thing Podcast on Apple or Spotify and listen to the conversation on this week’s topic! The podcast is an open forum conversation where we dive even deeper into all that is intentional living.