The COVID-19 pandemic is bringing us closer together in a connected world, during a period of time where we may feel more disconnected in some ways than ever before.
Despite the disruption to our routines, the swift changes to social norms and the instability we may be experiencing, one thing remains constant:
The need for resilience.
To rise above the challenges, to persevere amidst a dynamic, shifting business landscape.
This is a time where more of us are working, living and staying at home than at any time in the new millennium. We desire connection, empathy, understanding – and a trusted voice – now, more than ever.
The more resilience you build into your personal life, the more resilience you can infuse into your personal brand.
Today’s blog post is all about the power of building a resilient personal brand.
Are you ready?
Let’s launch right into it 🚀
What is a Personal Brand?
Personal branding is all about building a relationship to your “volks” – your people.
It’s about harnessing your core values and beliefs with your voice – across all channels – and speaking in a consistent tone.
Building relationships and speaking consistently develops trust, respect and empathy – three of the core ingredients for building a relationship with your volks. (We’ll talk more about volks in a minute.)
People like to see you sharing your passion and solving problems. In order to do this effectively, you need to define the problem you solve.
You can start defining this by creating a personal brand statement, similar to the examples below:
Why is Personal Branding Important?
The digital era is rapidly breaking down barriers to entry. Nowadays, anyone can tap into the attention economy to build a successful brand – you don’t have to be a celebrity or person of privilege to empower your clients and develop a supportive community around you.
While anyone can build a personal brand, there is no guarantee of success. Without a solid foundation and carefully managed plan, even the flashiest of personal brands are at risk of failure.
That’s why building a resilient personal brand is so important. Resilience means the ability to get up quickly if you’re knocked down. It means being able to persevere in the face of adversity and rise above challenges.
To build resilience into your personal brand, you need a framework to anchor it down and ensure you can focus on doing what you do best – sharing your passion – while managing a sustainable growth trajectory.
We’ve developed such a framework at The Trusted Voice. It was built on a foundation of my 7Vs that I use to successfully grow my own personal brand, and those of our clients.
Introducing The 7Vs - The Framework of Personal Branding
1. V is for Vision
Your vision is your North Star; it’s your pin on the map, your goal on the horizon.
The French call it raison d’etre: Your reason for living, the purpose that drives you forward through each day.
Your vision is at the core of your being the first step towards defining what you want, what problems you want to solve and how you plan on achieving these goals.
2. V is for Values
Your personal values are the ultimate expression of what is most important to you. Values give you clarity and provide a foundation upon which to build a brand that is driven by purpose, meaning and a clear path forward. In other words: Your brand is valuable when it is a values-driven brand.
Examples of your values include:
Align your personal brand with your personal values and seek out clients, partnerships and sponsorships who share your values. The more in touch you are with your values, the better you can build a community of like-minded volks who will like and support you.
3. V is for Volks
If you’ve been wondering what this ‘volk’ word is all about, you’re in the right place! Your volks are your folks; your people.
The German noun volk – commonly known as forming part of the automotive brand Volkswagen – translates to people, one of the most critical factors separating an unknown personal brand from a successful one!
As much as personal branding is about representing who you are, it is not entirely about you.
Resilient personal brands are built on the notion of serving others: Doing good and empowering others to become better versions of themselves. When you focus on supporting your volks with acts of service, your brand becomes bigger than you – it becomes a community, a closed-loop ecosystem that nourishes and supports those who contribute to it.
A good question to ask yourself is:
When you know your volks, you have an audience, a channel with which to broadcast your voice. You develop a symbiotic relationship with your volks: You depend on them as much as they depend on you.
Resilient brands withstand the test of time because they become valuable to your volks, not just to your bank account.
4. V is for Visuals
Your visuals are the catalysts that trigger a chain reaction in people’s minds and help them to remember you.
You are the face of your brand. Your face is a visual. When people want to connect with you, the first thing they see is your brand – your face.
Thoughtfully designed visuals become your brand identity. When you repeat your brand identity in a consistent manner, it becomes a brand association that others can remember.
- When you think of fried chicken, you think of me. That’s visual branding.
- Think of tacos and you think of Noah Kagan.
- Think of McDonald’s and you might feel like a Big Mac.
Resilient brands are seen and remembered, long after everyone else has faded from attention.
5. V is for Voice
Your voice is the medium carrying your message to the world. It can be amplified across many channels, well beyond audio: Think video, livestreaming, podcasts.
You want to leave a lasting impression on your clients, and for that, you need a voice that speaks to your volks. This goes back to your vision and values. When they are aligned with your volks, your voice will resonate with them, which builds trust.
Resilient brands have a voice that volks want to hear.
6. V is for Validation
Your validation is the means by which you evaluate success. It is how you measure the achievement of your goals and the effectiveness of your vision, values, volks, visuals and voice in building a successful personal brand.
This, in turn, leads to self-validation: The process of recognising and accepting yourself as a unique, powerful individual, capable of empowering success in others and contributing to the world beyond your own.
In order to achieve success, you must have a means of measuring it. That’s why setting realistic, attainable goals is so important: It gives you a benchmark that you can use to work with.
Resilient brands have a validated means of achieving success.
Finally, the 7th V is for Victory
Your victory is about achieving the means to live your vision every day. Also known as: Affording to do what you love, and living with the means to sustainably support yourself.
You need to find a way to monetize your personal brand and become a trusted voice of influence. If your personal brand is anchored by the framework we’ve described above, it becomes an asset worth investing in. The more you attract volks who want to invest their hard-earned money and time into your personal brand, the easier it will be for you to achieve victory.
What goes around comes around. When you value yourself and have a voice that is consistent and speaks to your values, you provide your skilful abilities to your volks. And bringing about a revenue out of your expertise is true satisfaction!
Resilient personal brands have a clearly defined path to victory. They are an asset volks want to invest in.
Let’s use a real example to show the 7Vs in action. Meet Jay 🙂
Jay is working closely with The Trusted Voice in content and learning development. He loves to express himself by combining spoken and written words, and is clear about his value and the direction he is taking his personal brand.
He aspires to further develop his voice via voice acting (Also known as voiceover)
To be a trusted voice(over), focusing on narration, podcasting and livestreaming. Utilising my range of accents, tones and sound effects to continue building a personal brand that is values-driven, low-ego and high-empathy: A brand that listens as well as laughs with my volks.
Alongside my vocal vision, I will continue honing my wordcraft – the art of the written word – with content/UX writing and learning design. Writing, speaking and voice acting skills all complement each other.
A system of values that revolves around:
- Shared accountability and transparency with my clients and volks
- Honesty in all things (Speech, word, thought etc)
- Being a trusted voice of reason. Researching and validating my information sources before I speak – or write
Creators, entrepreneurs and professionals who minimise their ego and maximise their empathy; who are not protective of their work, are open to feedback and are never complacent with the status quo.
Volks who are keen to develop their spoken or written voice, and create their own podcast or livestreaming identity.
My brand visuals are curated from the expressive photography I like to take – typically natural, urban and night-time scenes, as well as some abstract compositions.
When conveying heart-felt, emotionally impactful messages I tend to gravitate towards natural and night-time visuals. When sharing creative vibes, I tend to use more of my abstract work.
Once I have a proper website developed, I can create a cohesive visual branding language that is consistent across all of my channels. My visuals tend to be mostly shared on my Instagram stories and feed at present.
It’s literally my ultimate branding power, using my voice for voiceover to make written content more accessible in audio format. Using my accents and sound effects for entertainment, bringing life to words on a page.
Voice is the epitome of expression; that’s literally why the name of the podcast we’re working on is The Trusted Voice.
When I see 100 to 200 downloads of our first two podcasts episodes within a month, and SEO signals such as referral traffic via links to the podcast, native embeds of podcast episodes on other websites or social media feeds.
If I start to see that kind of organic traffic on our chosen podcast platform, and referral traffic back to the website and socials, that is a decent indicator, that my voice is resonating with an audience.
An own-brand/co-branded podcast and/or livestream that is bringing in passive income, giving me the freedom to work on my own choice of voice acting and writing engagements.
The freedom of creative choice, with a foundation of consistent passive income, is the epitome of what victory means to me.
Are You Ready to Build a Resilient Personal Brand and Take On the World?
Personal branding is a long-term commitment to yourself. It demands hard work, sacrifice, patience and resilience. It is anchored by a strong framework that ensures you are building on a rock-solid base, ready to take on the world.
Are you ready?
Develop your personal brand with your own 7Vs.
Join The Trusted Circle, a membership programme to help you build your personal brand on LinkedIn.