An Interview with Manny Torres
Author, Speaker, Co-Founder
Rockstar Professional Mastermind (RPM) Leader
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In this article, we’re going to cover the five steps to your personal branding blueprint for success. Those five steps are your values, your style, your message, the experience and the IT factor.
From “The Business Card Guy” to Author & Speaker
When I first moved to Jacksonville, I started my own business. I had a printing and graphic design company. I ended up buying a franchise and quickly went to work networking and meeting as many people as possible. The great thing was I was able to grow my business and was able to get a lot of new customers and meet new people and getting integrated into Jacksonville.
The problem lies in that somewhere along the line I’d lost my identity and people started to know me as “the business card guy.” And for someone who grew up as a designer that has creative skills and takes great pride in the work that I do, being called “the business card guy” just didn’t fit who I was. And that’s what I want to help people avoid. So if this article can help you work on your personal brand so that you ensure that you stay true to who you are and your authentic self, then I’ll call this a success.
So let’s jump right into the 5 steps to your personal branding blueprint for success.
Personal Branding Blueprint for Success
Step 1: Your Values
Who are you? This is where we really need to start out and this is where I went wrong when I first started my print franchise. I didn’t think about who I was and what my values are and ended up with a business model that wasn’t going to allow me to grow into my full potential. So, you want to take some time and write out what the values are for yourself and even think about the values of your friends, your connections, your clients, and everybody that you surround yourself with. You want to make sure that all those values are aligned so that you’re making sure that the choices that you make within your business and your life are the right ones.
The next part of your values is going to be what you stand for. So what is it that you stand for, who do you stand up for and if you can’t think of something that you stand for, what are you against? Is there something that you want to eradicate from the world? These are going to help you to find yourself and let people know who you are in a very quick way. So in the world of print, just to stay on that theme, if I was for eco-friendly things, I would stick with recycled papers because that would be something that’s true to the values.
The third part about values is how do people perceive you? There are two parts of communication: there’s what you put out and what people receive. You’ve got to be very mindful of the way people receive the messages that you’re putting out. If you know who you are and you can start to identify the way that you’re communicating and seen with how people receive that. You want to make sure that those are aligned with your values because sometimes if you feel that you’re being genuine, but someone sees as you as fake, there’s a disconnect. So you need to be very careful on the words that you use to make sure that that’s coming through.
Step 2: Your Style
The first part of your style is your appearance. Now, this goes for everything including when you’re out networking – the way you dress and how you groom yourself. Those are making an impression. There’s a quick little sentence I’d like to say, which is your branding is either done by default, which means that you have no idea what’s happening and it’s just being designed without you or it’s done by design where you’re actively working on it, making sure that you’re putting forth the image that people want to see. So, think about the way that you look when you go out and also every piece of marketing that identifies of who you are to make sure that those things are corresponding back to those values that we talked about earlier.
The second part of your style is your communication. What’s your tone, your charisma, are you smiling, are you happy? The tone that you use when you communicate both in person, on the phone, and in any type of marketing that you do. Once they have the same communication style, tone and charisma that you want reflected of your brand.
The third part of your styles is the visuals. This is the thing most people think about when they talk about branding. This is your visual colors, fonts and elements. You want to make sure that colors reflect who you are and also the target audience that you’re going after. You want to pick fonts that communicate those same tone and charisma that we talked about earlier. Also fonts and elements that communicate the values that we mentioned that are the foundational elements of your brand.
Step 3: Your Message
What is the message that you’re putting out there to your market, to your prospects, to your suspects that maybe doing business with you? Every message that you put out should be adding value to someone. You shouldn’t always be selling. What you want to be doing is providing different ways that people can interact with you. Take little bits of values so that they build trust and credibility with you. So that down the line, they want to hire you or use your services or buy your products.
You want to make an impact. So, your messages shouldn’t be vague. You want to take a stand and make sure that your messages come across in a way that has an impact. We’ve all seen that when there’s controversy on TV, radio, or in print as a bigger response, and that’s because people took a side. Don’t feel like you’re worried about offending someone or alienating a certain portion of your audience. Think more that you’re talking very directly to the people that you want to talk with, those people that value you the most.
Another key component of your message is that you need to have an original delivery. You want to make sure that you have your own unique style. This is what’s going to draw people to who you are because there’s no one else out there’s just like you. So, by having an original delivery on your messages, it’s going to set you apart from your competitors and it’s going to draw you and closer to your ideal clients and make them read in advance of you and your business or your product or service.
Step 4: The Experience
This is the experience from the beginning to the end of doing business with you. So, before someone even knows you, the first time they experience who you are or your brand or see you. All the way until they talk to you, interact with you, and maybe visit your website, see videos, anything that has to do with you and your business and your personal brand should all be very consistent. So, if you can maintain that great experience from beginning to end, that will be helpful for you and your business.
First, you want to aspire to fascinate and what I mean by that is that people are drawn to awesome, unique ways and you want to take the values that are inherent to you and natural to you and lead with those advantages.
You want to lead with your fascinating advantages so that people are drawn to you. Sally Hogshead says, “Better isn’t better. Different is better.” So, really stick to the pieces of what make you unique and do more of those things.
Next you want to be memorable. So being memorable doesn’t mean that you have to do something outlandish. But if you can find unique ways to set yourself apart, there’s work called lagniappe and it talks about doing something extra that’s not expected. So, if you go to a hotel and they have a chocolate on the pillow or they have a goldfish in the room just for you. That’s something that’s unique that they’ve done to be memorable.
And that brings us to the next part of the experience which is build it into your process. You can build it into your process in a way that each customer or prospect has a way that they felt like you’re taking time out to do something specific for them that gives them a great experience.
Step 5: The IT factor
This is the biggest part of personal brand that a lot of people miss. There are three parts of this that really help define the people that have the “IT factor.”
Number one is you going to set the attitude and that attitude is that you’re going to be the best in your industry. Now, it doesn’t mean that you have to be the best across the world; it means that for your specific audience, you are the best fit. Instead, you know exactly what you’re great at, you know why you’re unique, and who you can help.
Number two is you want to develop the expertise. You want to take the time to continually learn and invest in yourself so that you can be that expert in your industry and be seen as a thought leader for those people on your audience that are looking to you for advice.
And number three is you’re going to ignite the drive. Most people fall short on this because a lot of people want success overnight but real success takes time. And you’ve got to have that drive, that will power that’s going to keep pushing you even when you hit someone’s clocks so that you can power through those and be that rock star that we know you are. So those are the three pieces of the IT factor. You want to set that attitude, develop that expertise, and ignite your drive. Now, if you do all five of these, you’re going to become a rock star professional. And remember as Jim Rohn says, “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job and you’ll be doing great.” Thank you.
Are you ready to elevate your personal brand so you can be paid for who you are and not what you do? Download your Personal Branding Checklist to get started today!