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Are you an expert, teacher, practitioner or have you always wanted to write a book or share your story with a wider audience? Do you long to become self-employed and turn your passion to profit, your hobby into a small business? Or if you already have a business are you aware that you could be making a greater impact? Then it's time to create a personal brand, so as to stand out from the pack and attract the business you want. BBC Radio 2 host Janey Lee Grace and author of YOU are the BRAND shows us the way to go...

Step one: recognise that YOU are the brand
I believe it’s important for you to see that YOU are a brand in order to be able to become more visible in terms of getting your message out to a wider audience. It’s simply a way to enable people to know that they have found the right person, the right company / organisation for them. If you have a strong brand promise and people know what you stand for, then you will attract the right people for you, those that you can help.  
You need to put the ‘You’ into your business. Your personal story is your ‘gold’.  When we say the name ‘Virgin’ we immediately think of Richard Branson. Mention The Body Shop, and we think of Anita Roddick. The brands that we love usually have a person, representative or a great story behind them.

Step two:  get clarity on your USP and ideal client
Define what it is that sets you - your YOU-nique brilliance.  Do a big ‘show-off’ chart and write down everything that’s great about you, it’s critical that you get in touch with all the ‘facts’ of you.  By the way this isn’t an ego trip, it’s about being connected to your authentic self so that you can make the right connections in your work and your life. It’s not vanity – its clarity! And remember the saying: "People do business with those they like know and trust."
Get clarity too on the ‘ideal client’ for your brand. Imagine a single person who you know, who could be your ideal client.  You may think your product or service can help everyone but the chances are if you try and market your brand message to everyone,you will attract no-one! 

Step three: create compelling content
Conventional advertising rarely works but you can attract potential clients by offering them awesome content. Think ‘education based’ content marketing: write content about the subjects your potential clients are interested in - and then -  the benefits you can bring them. Blogs are brilliant and easy for making you visible on a regular basis.
YOU CAN WRITE THAT BOOK.. they do say there’s a book in us all. Your book is a calling card, and it positions you as an authority in your work. Take the word author and add three letters and you become an authority  (AUTHOR + ITY = AUTHORITY). Press releases will need to be crafted too. Make sure you get them exactly right so that journalists know that whenever you pop up in their inbox, it will be great content that's pitched correctly for their target audience. 

Step four: increase your confidence and charisma
I’d love to encourage you to find the confidence to stand in the spotlight and be seen to share your information. Usually what holds us back is that we fear we may be judged, and in most cases low self-esteem that tells us we might fail. It’s critical to learn the secrets to confidence building and the tricks of appearing confident - even when you're nervous!   Real confidence comes from knowing that you are well prepared and authentic. Record yourself and listen to it back (yes this can be excruciating the first few times!),  then film yourself enthusing about your business - just for one minute.
Ask for feedback - and don't be afraid to use NLP techniques they can be surprising helpful for literally re-programming the subconscious mind so that you can stand in the spotlight and shine.

Step five: make connections, attract and maximise PR opportunities
Don’t wait for journalists and producers to contact you.  In addition to attracting clients and community to help build your brand through your social networking, marketing and sales funnel, it’s important to attract PR and media attention too. Gather a media list: there are some lists and directories that you can buy but, as editors and journalists move around a fair bit, by far the best way is to trawl the internet or local newsagents with a pen and paper or go to a big local library where they have all the magazines and jot down the email addresses that are pertinent to your subject.
You're going to need a compelling press release - it’s not a sales puff or an advertising document. Rather think of commenting on a news or seasonal story that can also promote your new product or service. Remember the importance of your own personal  story, and remember  lead times, for example glossy magazines work around 3.5 to 4 months ahead. Local media works much closer to the print deadline. Obviously include all your contact details too and ask them to keep them on record for future news stories in our specialist area.  

Thanks Janey! You are the Brand – PR secrets to fast-track your visibility and skyrocket your success (Filament Publishing, £12) is out now. To purchase a copy, click here 


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5 steps to building your personal brand
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