The world is filled with so-called personal branding consultants and experts, but it doesn’t start and end with the ability to build up a social media following. It takes much more than that. However, for those of you who are passionate about branding and helping people, here is my advice on how you can get started.
Here are 7 steps of how to become a personal branding consultant.
- Educate yourself
- Build your own brand
- Build a portfolio by helping others (even for free if you have to)
- Network and be everywhere
- Build up your social media following
- Package your services and sell it
- Market yourself
Now we all know that these few bullet points alone are not gonna get you anywhere, so let’s dig deeper and I’ll show you step by step how.
What Does a Brand Consultant Do
Before we get into that, we should just establish the basic definition of what a personal branding consultant does.
A personal branding consultant is someone who is an expert in branding and specializes in, either exclusively or among other things, helping people who want to create, build and maintain, rebrand or manage their personal brands.
Now that we’re clear on what a branding consultant does, for those of you who didn’t already know, let’s get into the 7 steps.
STEP 1: Educate Yourself
You have to research, study and familiarize yourself with every possible aspect of branding. The branding process, what goes into creating a brand identity, branding strategies, examples of great and not so great branding, the technical design aspects of it, the creative writing aspects of it, the emotional aspects of it, consumer behavior, competitive analysis, etc.
It might seem like a lot of work, but it is essential that you understand everything that goes into the branding process. Learn how to use all of the individual elements and apply them in a unique way to each brand that would add to their overall brand strategy and identity, delivering the best result for them.
You can check out my YouTube channel here, where you can learn everything you need to know about branding and the branding process, among other cool things.
STEP 2: Build Your Own Brand
Once you have educated yourself on the process, it’s time to put your new-found knowledge to the test by creating your own brand and brand identity. You have the choice to create a consultancy under another name, but with yourself as the face of the company, or just as yourself in your own right as a brand consultant.
Work through the entire process without leaving anything out, it’s all important and you need to get as much experience in the process as possible. If you have any questions in this stage or need any feedback, feel free to use our free “Ask Anything” service on the site and I will gladly assist you wherever I can.
I would advise that you even design everything yourself and including building your own website. It would be ideal if you already have some basic graphic design and WordPress skills, otherwise, there are tons of tutorials on how to use Adobe products and WordPress. Adobe Photoshop, InDesign & Illustrator would be my design preferences, and WordPress for building websites.
STEP 3: Build A Portfolio By Helping Others (even for free if you have to)
Once you have your own brand and you feel ready to take on the world with your shiny new brand identity, business cards, social media channels, and website, it’s time to gain some real-world experience. Ask around in your family or friends about someone that might need help with their branding.
Don’t slack off if you have to do the first few projects for free. Remember that you are building up a portfolio, which is critical in the beginning stages of your journey.
Once you have a few of these small projects under your belt, create some cool mockups of your work, or photos if you prefer, and put them into a nicely designed presentation to start sharing it with people who you think can benefit from your services.
STEP 4: Network And Be Everywhere
Connect with anyone and everyone that can help you on your path. Get onto your social media and connect with small business owners, personal brands, marketing professionals, freelancers and pretty much everyone who you can be of service to or learn from.
Don’t spam them or try to sell them your services. Try to offer value to their conversations and be as helpful as possible. It’s all about building up a network. Answer people’s questions with some helpful tips, offer free advice, be supportive and just get creative while engaging with people.
Network within your local community/town/city. Be everywhere you can where your potential clients are. Go to business forums, town hall meetings, golf clubs, etc. and network with people, offering them advice and let them know who you are and what you’re all about.
STEP 5: Build Up Your Social Media Following
Building up a large social media following is important if you are aiming to become a personal branding consultant. No one would take you seriously if you say you can consult them on how to build their personal brand if you haven’t been able to do the same.
It’s debatable how large of a following you would need, but I’d say at least a few thousand on most of the platforms. This is very doable if you start this from the beginning, as soon as your own brand is created. Having a good social media strategy from the start is something that I would highly advise.
This is the one step that I have never fully started with. I have managed to build up a great offline personal brand for myself, but only recently started committing to building my brand on the various social media platforms. So we’re on the same page on this one, you might already be ahead of me. But don’t worry, I will catch you soon.
STEP 6: Package Your Services And Sell It
I am a big fan of packaging services into nicely designed, well-organized, easy-to-understand packages. It just makes you look much more organized and professional and tells your clients exactly what they are getting.
It also allows you to create a system with templates, and to streamline the whole process as much possible. I have had a lot of success with branding packages and have created a very streamlined process myself.
If you want to learn more about branding packages, check out my article on how to create branding packages in 3 easy steps.
STEP 7: Market Yourself
Marketing at this point would be to constantly show your work, engage with your audience and sell yourself and your services.
Creating content regularly is a great way of marketing yourself on social media and growing your audience.
Facebook ads, Google AdWords and other paid advertising options are a great way to reach your specific client avatar, as long as you are communicating the right message to them.
Being a personal branding consultant looks a lot easier than it is, and that’s why so many people are trying or claiming to be one. Becoming a personal branding consultant that you can turn into a successful business, and a career that you can sustain over many decades, requires a lot more work, commitment, and patience. But if you are like me and passionate about branding, then it can be a very fulfilling career and bring an immense amount of satisfaction to you.
If you have any questions, use our free “Ask Anything” form and I’ll try and answer all your questions.