How to Choose a Personal Branding AgencyJun 21, 2022
Contributed by Chase Fitzgerald
If you are an entrepreneur looking to become the face of your business, you are thinking of building your personal brand but do not know where to start.
Recently, the importance of having a personal brand has been recognized in the business world. For an entrepreneur, a personal brand is a game-changer when it comes to increasing visibility, building portability, and generating a platform. Without it, on the other hand, you lose control of your own narrative, which can be damaging or at the very least ineffective.
As a personal branding agency, we are approached by GenX Founders and CEOs who see the value in having a leadership brand but have concerns. They typically don’t want to:
- Come across as narcissistic or “loud.”
- Post on social media platforms they’re not familiar with.
- Dedicate copious amounts of time to content creation.
You probably share these concerns. Having the wrong personal brand strategy can easily affect your reputation. This is where seeking out the right partner to build the winning strategy will be a gamechanger.
Personal branding agencies do a myriad of things for you, but you want to ensure that you find the right one for you. The best ones will catch the smallest details, help your brand shine through content, and help you make the impact you intend. The worst ones will never accurately reach your audience and will lean on tactical execution rather than strategy.
To help cut through the noise, here are three things you should consider when choosing a personal branding agency:
1. Do they have a process in place?
Every great agency should have a start-to-finish process to guide clients through discovering, building and scaling their personal brand. It is vital that they don’t jump the gun and completely give in to your initial idea of what your brand should look like. They should also dedicate time to a deep dive and strategic planning before discussing such tactical items as what you should be talking about and on which platforms.
The brand guide they provide you with must include your brand positioning, brand descriptors, brand tone and voice, and a marketing plan.
2. Is co-creation emphasized?
Any firm that tells you they can handle the entire content-making process by itself is misleading you. For your content to remain authentic and current, you still need to take part in the creation phase - even if it’s in a small way. Anyone can create content quickly - but having it tailored to your unique brand requires the thoughts, perspectives and experiences only you have. Accordingly, co-creation is vital - but ensuring it doesn’t end up becoming an arduous or unpleasant process is even more crucial for sustainability (how much does strategy matter if the execution doesn’t feel effective?)
Making the content process as seamless as possible is critical. There are numerous ways to “capture and co-create” (our firm has tried many variations). Today, we’ve settled on an efficient, low-impact and fun method that entrepreneurs can actually enjoy. Here is our process - try it for yourself and see if it clicks with you:
- We build a series of curated “thought prompts” tailored to each entrepreneur’s brand. These thought prompts trigger reflection (sitting and thinking of “what to write about” is hard; responding to questions that make sense to us is vastly easier.
- We ask our clients to answer in whatever capacity they can: whether that means via short bullet points, a quick 20-minute video call or voice recordings while driving in the car. Nobody creates “perfect” nuggets of content; the goal is to transfer to your personal branding agency the sometimes messy, erratic and passion-driven thoughts and stories which uniquely shape your life.
- We take that “raw content” and apply our writing skills to it - and transform 20 minutes of voicenotes into a month’s worth of content for your social media platform of choice (the majority of our clients look to achieve brand-building on LinkedIn).
3. Do they have a dynamic strategy?
While social media content is a (key) component of building a personal brand, the content created can be extended into other channels to create a dynamic, holistic branding strategy.
While a smart personal branding agency will remain their “lane” of expertise, the firm has been acting as the “guardian” to your brand - and they can support your other brand-building initiatives. From supporting speaking engagements by helping with talk design to facilitating podcast appearances to writing long-form articles for publication in traditional media outlets, a personal branding agency will support you everywhere you appear.
Quality over quantity matters. While a smart personal branding agency will never advocate for overwhelming the internet with your presence, they will take pride in ensuring your brand remains consistent across all channels (online and offline) and will accurately reflect who you are at all times.
Ultimately, despite it seeming obvious, personal branding is an exceptionally personal experience: so many of our clients at Brand of a Leader have told us how “surprised” they had been at just how personal the process truly is. Entirely different from corporate branding, the personal branding process is introspective, makes an entrepreneur question themselves, and will shine a light on strengths, weaknesses, unique elements and more.
With the stakes so high, and with your personal brand in play, having an agency that genuinely cares about your brand journey makes a significant difference in the results you will achieve, the strength of content you will create, and the experience you will have. Find a personal branding agency that shares your values, is willing to invest itself into your vision, and that cares about having fun (could we not all benefit from more fun in the work we do?).
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