5 Simple Steps To Personal Branding

As a personal brand consultant and It girl mentor, I believe personal branding is a beautiful process of becoming your best self (the "It" girl you were born to be). It’s about knowing and owning your It (your unique intrinsic value). It’s about styling a personal and professional life you love filled with passion, purpose and prowess. It’s about following your bliss and attracting the right people and right opportunities to you. It’s about sparking a movement and leaving your mark on the world. How can you achieve all of the above with your personal brand? Follow these five simple steps brought to you by (Femme & Fortune friend and new contributor) Michela from The Lovely It Girl! 1. CLARIFY This is the inside part of The Lovely It Girl's inside out approach to personal branding. In order to become the It Girl you were born to be you have to first get super clear on your It Girl Identity. The Lovely It Girl's Personal Branding Class includes an It Girl Identity exercise designed to help you tap into your inner It Girl. The most important thing to remember here is not to focus on what your inner It Girl looks like, but rather what it feels like to be her.

Think about the It Girl moments in your life: like the time you killed it in that job interview, or made the first move with that guy you had been crushin' on for-like-ever, or had a spontaneous dance party with your besties. How did those It Girl moments make you feel? The core It Girl emotions you identify are the foundation of your personal brand identity and the key to discovering your "It" (hint: the intersection of your passions, purpose and prowess where your inner It Girl shines).

Once you are crystal clear on your It Girl Identity, then you can start to get clear on who you would like to organically attract to your personal brand: your Clique. Your Clique is your niche of personal brand cheerleaders who love you and all that you do. They're your social media followers, blog readers, email subscribers, and eventually your best customers and clients.

2. COMMUNICATE After you have clarified your It Girl Identity and Clique, the next step is to clearly and compellingly communicate your "It" through your personal brand messaging, which includes your "It" Message (who you are and what you do), Mantra (personal tagline), Mission Statement (who you serve and why), Manifesto (your values and vision), and My Story (the story behind your personal brand).

Your personal brand messaging is the key to attracting the right people and right opportunities to you, so take your time to define and refine your messaging until it is short, sweet, and signature to you! Your visual personal branding (website, logo, fonts, etc.) is also part of your personal brand communication strategy.

3. CONNECT Communicating is different than connecting. Creating a successful personal brand isn't just about having a gorgeous website and crystal clear copy. It's about creating and sharing valuable content that informs and inspires your Clique every single day. When you create custom, branded content that is written through your distinct editorial point of view, you will eventually cultivate a strong personal relationship with your Clique who will keep coming back to you for more information and inspiration (and eventually your products and services!)

4. COLLABORATE The best way to grow your personal brand is through strategic collaborations with like-minded brands and influencers who currently connect with your Clique. Think about blogs and online magazines that you both personally love and know your Clique reads: reach out to them and pitch an article you'd love to write for them. You'd be surprised how many editors will say yes! If you prefer speaking to writing, contact organizations in your city who you'd love to present to on your area of expertise.

I used to be terrified of public speaking, but after I decided to embrace my fear and just go for it I booked speaking engagements with some of New York's most amazing women's organizations including Levo League, Lean In NYC, Girls Raising, and 3W Circle. I can't tell you how invaluable those opportunities were in getting my brand off the ground!

5. CONSISTENCY Creating your personal brand is all for naught if you don't commit yourself to consistently clarifying, communicating, connecting and collaborating. Set daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly goals for each of these C's to keep you going and growing. For example, your quarterly goal could be to clarify your personal brand identity and communicate your personal brand messaging on your website and social media profiles. Your monthly goal could be to reach out to two editors and two organizations with the goal of securing one writing gig and one speaking gig per month. Your weekly goal could be to create and promote one blog post. And your daily goal could be to share five pieces of valuable content (either your own or curated from your favorite sites) on social media.

What are some ways you try to achieve a stronger personal brand? Let us know in the comments below!