Personal Branding, Podcast

How to Build a Personal Brand in 2020 and Beyond

After laying those personal branding foundations, I’m sure you’re getting impatient to dive into the how. Don’t worry, this episode has you covered!

First up we need to address some of those stories you might be telling yourself about why it’s too difficult or not important for you to be thinking about building a personal brand. Specifically…

  • Aren’t personal brands for celebrities and influencers?
  • How am I supposed to start out when the market is so crowded? 
  • Isn’t it too late to start a blog, YouTube channel or podcast?
  • I do so many things, how am I supposed to build a brand if I’m not a specialist?
  • I’m too old – who would want to see me on video, in photos, on stage?
  • How do I build a brand if I don’t even know what I’m selling?
  • I’m already so busy, how will I find extra time to build a brand?

And once I put your mind at ease, I’ve got 5 really practical steps for you to follow to start getting more intentional about your personal brand today so you can see real results in 2020.

Keen to know what they are? Well, you’d better start listening!

Resources mentioned:

Download my personal branding blueprint


Instagram: @iamkatelizabeth
Facebook: @iamkatelizabeth
YouTube: KatElizabeth

How to build a personal brand in 2020


You’re listening to episode four, how to build a personal brand in 2020 and beyond. If you’ve been thinking that you need to get serious about your personal brand, but you feel like the internet is already too crowded, that it’s too late to start a blog, YouTube channel, a podcast, or maybe that you’re even too old to be thinking about it, then you need to keep listening. Welcome to the personal branding project. I’m your host, Kat Elizabeth an actor and personal branding coach who is obsessed with helping creative entrepreneurs like you feel personal brands that change your life for good, from attracting bigger opportunities, more joy and freedom in your life, and the ability to get paid to do the things that you love most. Each week. I’m bringing you inspiration, practical advice, and the occasional dose of tough love so you can stop dreaming and start doing what it takes to make those dreams a reality.

So we have been laying some foundations for personal branding over the last few episodes and if you haven’t actually listened to them, you’d better go back because they’re really important. But now I really wanted to take some time to address some of the biggest concerns that actually hear from my clients and students and friends and family about building their own personal brands. And then we can dive right into the practical steps about what you’re going to need to do to start building your own. So make sure you stay right to the end. Now these concerns are by no means an exhaustive list, but there’s some of the really common ones. So let’s just dive straight in – concern one is “who am I to be thinking about a personal brand, like personal brands just for celebrities and influencers?” Well, as you may have heard from, you know, episode one, I actually believe that us, mere mortals need personal brands even more than these people because they kind of already have their fame behind them and they already have a platform almost by default.

Whereas we have to build ours from scratch. And that is why it’s really important to start getting intentional now so that we set ourselves up to have more freedom in the future to pivot and launch new things and change roles or do whatever we want to do. And is what comes from building a personal brand. Okay. Concern number two is “how am I supposed to get started now when the market and the internet and all of that is already so crowded?” and the reason that you’re worried is actually the reason you need to be thinking about this. The fact is, yes, it is a crowded marketplace. The internet is noisy and busy. The noise is what I hear and see when I open up my computer every day, but the fact is we all need to make livings. We all want to somehow create our dream life and if you just allow yourself to get swept along in that crazy, crazy current, then it’s going to be a lot more difficult you to make that happen.

Whereas by creating a strong personal brand, it’s not about adding to the noise. It’s actually sort of about putting down an anchor and getting stronger in knowing who you are and what you represent and what makes you different so that it’s easier for other people to find you and go, “Oh cool.” Like “yes, that’s what I’ve been looking for.” And you’ve probably heard this before but we are actually like, there is so much information that’s getting thrown at us every single day. I’m not just talking on the internet, I mean all around us, how our brains are processing all this information, all these cues. And the beauty of our brain is that we’re able to actually filter out the majority of it and simplify it so that we’re only really picking up on what our brains believe is relevant to us. And so even though there is a lot of noise out there, what is going to happen is that if you start getting strong in your brand story and you know, finding a way to stand out and, and you know, use the language and the imagery that your ideal client or customer is looking for, then they will be filtering through this information.

But you will stand out. You will be one of the things that they do actually process because they’re like, “Hold on, this is relevant to me. This person could change my life.” So can we stop worrying about how noisy and crowded it is out there and start focusing on how you can be this pillar of strength and and clarity in all of this noise? Another the concern is that it is just too late to launch a blog, a YouTube channel or a podcast today because there’s so many already out there. And I mean I’m talking to you right now from my very new podcast and I’ve got a YouTube channel that’s less than two years old and people are still launching blogs every day. And the fact is that if you know who you’re trying to reach, if you know, like if you have that clarity that I talked about, you know, in the five SES and then you can work on the confidence and the communication and the consistency.

Basically, if you can follow all the pillars that I gave you, then it is never too late to start something new because there are always new people being born and you know, reaching points in their life where they need your help. And the beauty is that, you know, things like podcasts and YouTube and what not is that because of, you know, search engine optimization and things like that. If you are really strategic about the content you’re putting out there, people will find it. I’m not saying it happens magically. It takes work, you know, anything that you’re going to launch is going to take work and it’s not going to happen overnight. Yes, there’s those occasional supposed overnight successes, but often what you’ll find, especially with things like viral content, you know, if you think that you really need viral content to blow up, you’ll usually find that that viral content and had it in, you know, a huge and a huge budget behind it.

And it’s, it’s not as random as you think. And those people that land their dream roles or you know, land that recording deal or end up like multimillion dollars in this supposedly first launch of you know, their course… Like no, I’m sorry, but that’s not how it works. They would doing the work behind the scenes, they may not have shared that part of the journey with you, but no one just wakes up and has it all happened. So what I’m saying here is that no, it is never too late to start. Definitely start. But you are going to need to play the long game here. You’re going to need a strategy. I you need to, you know, you need to be prepared to show up every day and keep doing the work for as long as it takes. And really if you are setting out to create your dream life, that should be unconditional.

It shouldn’t be like, “Oh if I don’t achieve it by this date, then let’s just give up on it”. It’s your dream life. Wouldn’t you just keep fighting for it until the end of days? So if you’ve got your head in the right place and you are prepared to play the long game, then you can make any of these platforms work for you and you will be able to get your message out there in front of a lot of people. And now the huge concern and one that I can definitely relate to is that I do too many things. How am I supposed to build a personal brand if I’m not a specialist? And I’m happy to tell you that this is one of the most beautiful things about a personal brand, is that it doesn’t require you to focus on one thing.

A personal brand actually allows you to be multi-passionate and have it make sense to your audience if you know how to frame it properly. I have done all the different things and I’ve literally, you know, worn the hats of like, you know, dance teacher, actor, singer, real estate agent, makeup artist, personal trainer, barista, retail person, whatever they’re called, retail assistant? Retail assistant. Okay. I’ve done a lot of different things and I’m not going to say that if I just like talk about them all all the time, like yes, that could be very confusing to people and they’d be like, what the hell do you actually do? But I’ve done the work in figuring out my own brand story and what parts of my story are really relevant to my audience. What’s going to build that confidence, build the authority, build the trust in them. And so I share the right parts of my story and occasionally, like now I’m letting you in on some of the other stuff that basically it’s all on you.

You can have your audience perceive you any way that you want them to. So if you can write a story that helps weave in all of the interesting things that you do in a way that makes it relevant to your audience and can increase their trust in you, then the multi-passionate can be this incredible gift instead of feeling like a curse, which I know it does to a lot of people. Okay, here’s another one. I’m too old. Who would want to see me on video in photos on stage, like who would care to listen to me? And I just want to ask you like who do you follow? Do you actually care about the age of the person you follow? I mean, I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m more trusting of people that are older and have more experience than people who are younger than me.

And you know, I feel like they’ve not lived their life enough to really know. And you’re probably listening to this right now and going, well, how would you know? You’re not old enough to know, but it’s all relative. But the fact is that we follow people who inspire us, who teach us, who make our lives better, who make us feel better about ourselves. And in my opinion, it rarely has anything to do with what you look like, how old you are, whether you have a degree or not. You know, because we’re kind of selfish people. We just want to feel good. We want to follow people who make us feel good. So therefore I want you to stop worrying about what package this comes in, like what your package is, and just start thinking about how you can serve your audience and just know that not everyone is going to want to follow you and that is totally fine because you don’t want everyone to follow you.

You just want your people to follow you. The ones that where you know you can change their lives. Okay, here’s another concern. “I don’t actually have a product or service to sell, so therefore I don’t know what I’m aiming for.” Like how would I know what to post about? And that’s an interesting one because I do talk about reverse engineering it and you know where you want to go and writing that story. But if you don’t know yet, that is so fine because you’ve got this beautiful pressure-free time to figure it out. Start from a place of whatever brings you joy and whatever you think you know about that could maybe enrich someone else’s life and start sharing it. And what will happen is that in time you will start to hone in on things that seem to stick more with you, the things that you feel like get more traction, the things that make you more excited to talk about.

You’re going to get feedback from your audience and eventually you might stumble across an idea of a way to turn that into something that makes you money. Who knows, but the fact is like celebrate the fact that you don’t have to aim for anything right now and just start sharing your story with the world and see what happens. It’s a great problem to have. Okay. Concern number seven — this is the last one that I’m going to mention — is that I’m already so busy, how in the world am I going to have time to build a brand? And this is another one, it’s a really simple answer. It might sound obvious, but like work it into your own schedule, like it’s not actually a full time job – keep that in mind. So much of it is an inside job. So much of it is just about finding some clarity and understanding who you are and who you want to serve that it’s not that it’s about being a full-time content creator, it’s just making sure that what you do put out there into the world is telling your story properly.

So you know, it’s about just making choices, like in a day, it might just be you putting on, like if you know you’re going to a networking event or something like that, you choosing an outfit that you think really speaks volumes to what you’re trying to do and what you represent. If you are going to be posting on Instagram, just taking a moment to go, okay, how do I frame this in a way where I could actually use it to help someone today instead of just having a vent about my day? All those kinds of things. So right now I’m just talking about being intentional and I’m talking about laying some foundations. I’m not saying that building a brand has to take over your life, so please don’t let a lack of time get in the way of any of this because it actually has nothing to do with it.

Okay? So you’ve heard all the concerns and hopefully if you’d heard some that you know they were thoughts that were bugging you, you now have put them to rest and we can just get on with building your brand. And now that we’re through that, you probably actually want to know how. So what I’m going to do today, because I think it’s simplicity, is just so important. I could give you this giant manual and you just get bogged down in all the details. But I want to give you five actionable steps that you can take. You know, you can start today that are going to help you reach new levels with your personal brand in 2020 no matter where you’re starting from. So number one, I want you to set some goals. And as I said, like you don’t have to have the very end goal set just yet.

If that’s not, like, if that freaks you out, don’t worry. But let’s maybe set a six month goal, you know, maybe a 12 month goal or if that’s still too much set, a three month goal, I don’t care. Something that is just enough to motivate you and get you to put some structure in place. So what do you want to achieve in that three, six or 12 months? Write it down and then break it down. I’m talking down to the tiniest little detail like I want you to break every big thing into sub goals and then I want action steps. What are the little things that you can do every single day to get you closer to it? But then even more importantly, why is this goal important to you? Why are you even trying to achieve it? If it’s something random you picked out of thin air, then it’s probably the wrong goal for you.

You have to feel so driven by this goal that it’s going to keep you on track even when you’ve not really feeling like it. Like cause you have to keep taking those action steps every single day. So make sure you do some work on this. Don’t just pick the first goal that pops up. Pick the one that lights you up and you think, yes, this is something that even though I’m busy and I’m tired and I’ve got all this stuff going on, I am still going to do everything I can every single day to get closer to it. Number two is I want you to actually run an audit of where you’re at right now. So based on the things that I’ve been talking about in the last couple of episodes, you know, if you’ve downloaded the personal branding blueprint — you can find the link in the show notes.

I want you to run through and have a look at everything that you’re putting out there. So look at, if you’ve got a website, have a look at that. Look at your social media profiles. Have a look at the other communications you have, whether that’s personal emails, automated emails, text messages, phone calls, how you’re dressing. I want you to just really run a very objective audit of how you think you’re doing right now and, and if what you’re doing regularly and you know, the way you’re showing up in the way you exist online is in line with what you are trying to achieve for that goal that you’ve just set. And if it’s not or are there areas that aren’t “in line” I want you to figure out how to adjust them and get back on course. It’s never about starting from scratch.

We never start from scratch. Everything that we’ve ever done helps us move forward, even if it seems irrelevant, ’cause we learn from it. So I don’t want you to see it as like, “Oh no, I have to throw this all out and start again.” No, just make tweaks. Just adjust course and you will get back on track. Next step. I want you to, like I mentioned about surveying your audience. I want you to ask your audience, I want you to check in with them and see how they’re doing with you. So this is a lot easier when you’ve got, an email list or you know, a good social media following so that you can actually survey them. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You may even want to organize a couple of discovery calls and this is a really fantastic time to check in on firstly how they’re perceiving you, like to see what their audit of your brand is.

You could ask fun little quiz questions of like, what are three words you would use to describe my brand? Or you could ask them to choose between, you know, a couple of colors that you’re trying to decide on feel brand or you know, anything like that. But I want you to start checking in with your audience and start making it more of a conversation. So using questions in Instagram, getting people to reply to your stories, you know, all those kinds of things is going to start to give you some more clues. If you’re feeling a little bit like, “what do I do next?” you need to find out what’s working and what isn’t and why. But then also this is a time where I want you to, if you’ve set a goal to launch something, create something, start something new.

You need to check in with the people who are potentially going to be your ideal client or customer and kind of find out if what you’re thinking of creating is actually what they want or need. And if it is how you can deliver it in a way that is going to suit them. So you know, you can call these clarity calls, you know, so many different programs I’ve been in – it always starts at the beginning with you having to reach out to some people that you trust, but also who that kind of align with your customer avatar and asking them some questions to help make sure that what you’re planning on doing on track and is in alignment with what they really need. It’s a scary step and it can be a little bit time consuming. It’s not going to just happen overnight.

But I think if you can start training yourself to, you know, get back in touch and you know, maybe it’s every quarter, every six months, do some sort of mini survey. Offer them a reward for taking part in it. You know, it’s just like a way of getting to know your audience even better and just keep making your offering even better. Step number four is stop hiding. So if you don’t already have a hero platform to share your message. And when I say hero platform, I mean the one that you show up on regularly and can show you a message to the world. So that could be a podcast. It could be a YouTube channel, it could be Facebook live, it might be an Instagram live that, or it might be IGTV. It’s up to you. The ones where you can actually get into the meaty stuff and really offer some value.

If you don’t have one of those chosen, you need to choose one. And if you have a chosen and you’re not showing up consistently, you need to actually start to set some goals around that and figure out what you can do. As I said, you can’t sell a secret, so it doesn’t matter how beautiful your personal brand is and how clear it is if you’re hiding under a rock, you know, by putting yourself out there in the scary way, like doing what I’m doing right now, which is trust me, it’s scary. You know, you are actually then putting yourself in front of people whose lives can potentially be changed by your message, who are going to be, you know, have their awareness raised about what you do and who you are. And, and this is where the life changing stuff comes in. Not overnight. I mean sometimes someone can literally just like stumble across your content and be like, Oh my gosh, this is what I’ve been waiting for my whole life. And they’ll sign up to work with you and it does happen.

But then sometimes it could be years, but the fact is until you actually commit to showing up and being visible, it’s not going to happen, ever. So just make a commitment. And number five is show up consistently. So just because you have a platform and you share something every now and then, that’s not enough. I’m afraid you need to do this consistently, day in, day out or you know, week in, week out on a schedule and you need to stick to it because people, they need to know what they can expect from you and you need to keep delivering on your promise time and time again because otherwise, how do they know they can trust you if they’re thinking of working with you. Now, this was still a lot to take in as always.

I do this – I’m sorry – but if you want some extra help with this, keep in mind that my free personal branding blueprint, geez, I nearly couldn’t say it and it’s my own name, which is a workbook and it’s linked in the show notes or if you go to personalbrandingproject.co/004 it’s available for you to download and it’s going to give you all the prompts… So it’ll give you the framework, you can fill it out, you can do your brainstorming, do your mood boarding and it’s going to hopefully guide you if you’re feeling a little bit lost and stuck in any of these areas. And if you are 100% committed to building your personal brand in 2020 and beyond, then make sure you’re subscribed to the podcast so you don’t miss out on any of this good stuff because I am going to be here week after week delivering on my promise to give you all the resources and motivation and occasional dose of tough love that you need.

And if you enjoy this episode and learn something new, please, I would love it if you could review the podcast, wherever it is that you’re listening to it, and please share a screenshot with your biggest takeaway on social tagging at @iamkatelizabeth and I will re-share it. Well, thank you so much as always for listening, and I look forward to seeing you in the next episode.


Kat is a copywriter, brand & messaging strategist personal branding coach and the founder of The Personal Branding Project whose mission is to help you go from best-kept secret to in-demand brand.


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