In 2018 it seemed that everyone became a personal brand consultant, a public motivational speaker or a life coach.

I understand that the power of Social Media can drive success in many areas, but I caution the buyer of these services. It is too easy to add a prestigeous title, awards, and accolades to an online profile.

Here are three keys of a genuine personal brand:

Longevity

Always check how long the person has been in business. Experience in business says a lot, even if the business owner doesn’t have millions in the bank. The wisdom they have gained through failures, wins, and numerous connections can be an unparalleled resource. Even mildly successful, but bountifully experienced entrepreneurs can offer great value and insight for your business.

The longer I’m in business the more I understand about myself and what it takes to retain my customers. It also took time and lots of testing to know my value and price my services; knowing who my best clients are, and who I work best with. Once I learned these things I was able to target my offerings skillfully; that didn’t happen over-night.

I no longer look for the highest paying client, as I find more satisfaction in being able to help my clients succeed online so I look for those I can truly help. I most cases I can tell almost immediately the areas where my clients are going to need help and where they will get the quickest wins to grow their business consistently.

Original Thought

Do not confuse original thought with original packaging. Anyone can take the content of a sage leader, rebrand and repackage it and make it seem like it’s their own. In fact, many are franchising out their content to individuals who take a weekend course on how to present and sell it.

However, it’s a whole different ball game when you’ve actually lived it and worked with a client through their challenges. Solutions will be much more authentic and practical which is better than theory; especially when it’s your money and business that’s on the line.

Unbiased Praise

Don’t believe everything you see and read online. Check who the praise is coming from. On Social Media there is a trend now where a group of like-minded individuals get together to promote each other and like each other’s posts to boost ratings/rankings to make it look like they’re popular.

Look for unbiased feedback and proof. Check their clients and not just the ones they list. Ask if they’ve ever lost a client and why.

I’ve lost clients because of my own mistakes in mishandling expectations for the account, but I keep going and working hard to ensure I don’t make the same mistakes again.

In summary

A genuine personal brand is more about your customer’s experience than it is about what you can post online and the accolades you can accumulate.

My goal is always to have my integrity intact and let others vouch for me. I don’t need to promote and superficially inflate my “likes”…that should take care of itself if I consistently look out for my clients’ best interest.