Have you ever thought about your personal brand?
It’s well known that people buy products and services from those they know, like and trust. In the aesthetics space, when clients are putting a lot of trust into the skills and aesthetic vision of the person treating them, they will naturally gravitate towards the injectors, therapists or surgeons they feel they know and share aligned values with. So, it’s more important than ever for your clients to understand who you are and what you stand for. In other words, your personal brand.
Simone Landes is the Founder and CEO of The Lifestyle Suite, an agency that specialises in managing Australia’s leading experts in the health and lifestyle spaces. Whether it’s media appearances, content creation or events, Simone’s helped plenty of experts define their voice and share it with the world so has some useful tips to help you define and build your own personal brand.
Can you start by telling us a bit about your experience and how you came to starting The Academy by The Lifestyle Suite?
I first established The Lifestyle Suite in 2013, compelled to act for a better, more inspiring and healthier future. After fielding countless calls and questions from people interested in developing a media profile, I realised that for professionals that are experts in their field, navigating the media landscape is completely foreign and that there was a need to help more credible voices cut through and be heard. As a business The Lifestyle suite is committed to educating the communicators of tomorrow, delivering them an understanding of the importance of authenticity, credibility; and of building the diversity and fabric of Australia’s media and communications industry.
Our Academy program introduced in 2020 aims to bring together people from diverse industries and areas of expertise, and develop a cohort of true experts by providing them with the tools and guidance to develop their brand and create impact in the Australian market. The intent of the program is to encourage participants to grow as individuals and broaden their perspectives by learning from others just like them.
What does it mean to have a personal brand and how can it help a business owner’s career?
A personal brand is really all about expressing your unique value. How you can better understand and more importantly, articulate: WHO YOU ARE, WHAT YOU DO, WHY YOU DO IT, WHO YOU DO IT FOR, and ultimately what makes you UNIQUE.
There is of course the obvious benefit to any business of being clear about what you stand for and how you differentiate from others. It can also help your potential customers as well as the media more easily understand your values and what you have to offer.
What steps should someone take to begin building their personal brand?
Just like everything in life the path to building your brand isn’t linear. It’s all about creating building blocks. I like to think of it like rock climbing, you reach one rung, then you work out your next move and reach for the next one. Sometimes you have to move sideways or you get stuck, but eventually you can reach the top.
You also need to be really clear on where you’re trying to get to and the brand you’re trying to achieve because that will dictate the map you design to get you there.
When you’re building your personal brand, it’s worth asking yourself a couple of key questions.
- Are you clear about the types of opportunities you want to pursue?
- How important is it for you to position yourself and your brand across the media?
- What are you good at?
- And, are you clear on what your strengths are and what makes you unique?
Your answers to these questions will dictate your behaviours and actions to get you closer to your end goal and ultimately help you position yourself with a personal brand that fits and is authentic to you.
What are your top dos and don’ts for someone wanting to become an expert in their space?
I always like to focus on the dos. So,
No 1. Model the masters – there is almost always someone who has done what it is you’re trying to do in a way that you find interesting: find them, follow them, and if appropriate maybe even ask them if they’d consider mentoring you. At very least pay attention to how they conduct themselves and look for clues you can borrow to apply to yourself and how it aligns to your personal brand.
No 2. Be adaptable and flexible – resilience and the ability to bounce back is the best tool you have – and you need to find a way to always be moving forward. Being prepared to pivot (yep, I said it) because of something like a global pandemic is key to ensuring you can come out on top and often what feels like a blow now can deliver new and exciting opportunities you never thought possible.
No. 3 Never stop learning. Your experience and relevance are key to being a sought-after expert as is keeping up to date with the latest evidence. There’s always more to learn – and those who get to the top, and stay at the top, do so because they are continually evolving in line with the way the world and their audience is shifting.
No. 4 Don’t discount hard work and kindness – yep, good old-fashioned manners, respect and hard work are the behaviours that are going to get you there but most importantly keep you there. People want to work with people they like and can trust.
And finally, don’t let fear hold you back – go out there and be the expert you always dreamed of being. Remember the building blocks keep stacking, keep climbing – and they will take you where you want to go.
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