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The Ultimate Personal Brand Messaging Guide For CEOs and Founders

brand-messaging

The digital marketplace is becoming more congested with new startups every day. Knowing how to leverage your brand messaging is the only way for your company to stand out. 

You may have a groundbreaking product or service that you’re eager to share with the consumer world. Still, the likelihood of your brand leaving an impression that encourages people to buy your product is slim to none…

Unless you know how to craft the right message.

You have to learn how to connect with your audience through a consistent, relatable marketing platform that excites them enough to invest in or purchase from your company. 

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But here’s the kicker – you should have all of this nailed down well before you even think about launching your brand. 

If you’re feeling skeptical or just straight-up confused, don’t worry. I’ve included why you need to elevate your marketing strategy and the core components of a strong brand messaging framework that will resonate with you, your product, and your audience. 

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What is Brand Messaging?

The initial idea for your company may have come to you in a dream or maybe over dinner with colleagues. But in order to take this idea from a dream to a reality, you need to develop a solid foundation. That’s where brand messaging comes in. 

Chances are, you started your company from a set of deliberate core values and passions. It’s these pillars of your company (and yourself) that should make up your brand messaging. You should consistently refer to those core values and ensure that you highlight them in everything you do to market your business. Whether it’s a LinkedIn post, Youtube video, or email, people should be able to define what you’re brand is all about. 

Too often, entrepreneurs make the mistake of not considering their marketing strategy until after they’ve fully fleshed out their product, company, or service. If you’re going to operate your company using brand messaging efficiently and effectively, you need to prioritize what your marketable content will look like. Otherwise, there will be a ton of rehashing and headaches once your company takes off. 

To feel confident about your business, you’ve got to hone in on your personal brand. And part of knowing your personal brand requires knowing how to best market yourself. 

All of this starts with your brand messaging. 

Tap into those core values that helped to foster your company and craft your brand messaging framework. Once you’ve got your message nailed down and you’re feeling good about it, you can deliver everything else surround your personal brand with great intention. 

Brand Messaging versus Brand Voice 

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If you’re ready to delve into the value of brand messaging, let’s get one thing straight: it’s entirely different from your brand’s voice. 

On the surface, this may be confusing. That’s understandable. The two can (and should) have a bit of overlap.

You can define your brand voice as something more tangible than your message. Your brand voice comes down to the actual copywriting associated with your company. This means your email campaigns, blog posts, YouTube video scripts, and social media captions. 

Your brand voice should mimic how you want people to perceive you in real life (and online). If you’re a serious, business-focused person, you’ll want to avoid cultivating a comical, lighthearted voice for your brand. You’ll exhaust your efforts, and your audience will see straight through the BS. 

Allowing your voice to reflect who you are as an individual results in genuine connections with your ideal audience. It’s what will drive them to take action rather than just scrolling past your carefully crafted LinkedIn post. 

Those genuine connections are directly tied to your brand messaging. 

Messaging is how you want people to feel about you and your brand. It’s less concrete and requires a bit of social psychology to fully understand. Still, as fellow consumers, it’s something that we’ve personally experienced when we decide to purchase from a company. 

If a brand echoes your same values, you’re more inclined to invest in what they’re offering. For example, suppose environmental impact is important to you. In that case, you’ll be more willing to purchase from a transparent, ethically sourced company than from a big-name corporation that isn’t vocal about its green efforts. 

If done effectively, your brand messaging should evoke an emotional response from your ideal audience. It’s that deeper connection that will urge them to support you, your mission, and your personal brand. 

The Brand Messaging Framework 

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So, you know that your message is a crucial piece of your brand’s marketing puzzle. Now what?

It’s time to build your brand messaging strategy. 

Though it can be considered conceptual, a solid messaging strategy incorporates four key points that require some serious thought. You have to think of a process that is not only effective but also sustainable. 

But how can you keep your branded content from being forgettable? 

Just because you’ve got a polished feed and flashy logo doesn’t mean that you’ll hook the right clients. If you want to keep them around for the long haul, you’ve got to create substantive messaging. 

Feeling confident in your company’s mission and voice will aid you in figuring out how to connect with your audience. 

Think of it like a first date with your pool of potential clients – if you’re not on your A-game, you may miss out on a second date.

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Step 1: Find Your Focus 

Mapping out a plan of action is impossible without a reasonable destination. Finding your brand’s focus will help you get your company where it needs to be: in front of your ideal clientele. 

If you don’t already have one, create a personal brand statement. This is, essentially, your mission statement which outright defines who you are and what you do. This will help you land closer to your audience because, right off the bat, they know the type of content you provide and who you provide it for. Make sure you keep it short and sweet because you’ll need to call on your brand’s statement when introducing yourself to new people and for your social media bios.

Now that you know how to signal your brand’s message to your ideal client, you need to know what to post. 

Knowing the details and interests of your audience will help you to devise your brand’s content pillars. 

Content pillars are sets of topics and themes that resonate with your target audience. You’ll refer to these pillars for all the content you produce for your brand. 

For example, a fitness brand’s pillars may include healthy living advice, workout tips, and nutrition tools. Every piece of digital media produced by that brand should fit into one of those three categories. 

Content pillars serve as a starting point for establishing your brand’s digital presence. By this, I mean SEO keywords for your blog or YouTube channel and hashtags for all your social media posts. 

Know your pillars, do some research, and start optimizing your content. When you’re focused and consistent in your marketing intentions, your brand messaging will naturally emerge.  

RELATED: HOW YOUR PERSONAL BRAND CAN FUTURE-PROOF YOUR CAREER

Step 2: Create Excitement

Make sure you’re happy with your personal brand statement because you (and all of your clients) should be saying it… a lot. 

Creating excitement around your brand involves having a message that can be easily repeated and understood. 

For example, when I’m speaking with a potential client, I try to avoid saying that I’m a “brand strategist.” That title is, more often than not, met with confusion or lack of interest. And I can’t blame them – who truly knows what a brand strategist is anyway?

Instead, I’ll say, “I work with CEOs and founders on their personal brand to help them get noticed by the right people.” 

It’s short, simple, and true to what I aim to do with my business. Plus, it’s easy to remember and repeat when meeting with potential clients, creating branded content, or networking with other professionals.

And now your clients can repeat it when they refer you.

Creating hype around your work has to come from a genuine place. You should be excited about your own journey, so don’t be afraid to share it with your followers and clients!

Jump on social media, YouTube, and your blog to tell personal stories about your experiences with success and failure. The more relatable, the better. 

People want to be able to connect with the faces behind a company. So rather than sitting behind the sidelines hoping your players (aka your employees) will accurately portray your brand message, you need to be out there, creating that excitement. And not just so your clients can see your passion for your business, but so your employees will feel appreciated and inspired.

Plus, once you’ve fostered a trusting relationship with your clients, any buzz or excitement you create around your product or service will get them feeling genuinely excited (and motivated) to make a purchase. 

RELATED: WHAT IS A PERSONAL BRAND CONSULTANT?

Step 3: Put Your People First 

Above all else, you must treat your audience as the priority in your brand messaging framework. 

I know, I know. You probably didn’t get into entrepreneurship to put your needs and interests aside. But people need to feel heard, seen, and understood. 

You need to focus every bit of content on captivating your ideal client. 

Before updating your feeds or writing up a YouTube script, ask yourself this: Are you speaking to your audience’s needs and wants… or your own?

If you’re leaning more toward the latter, you’d better get back to the drawing board. Because – no offense – your content should never be about your own needs or wants. 

This all may sound contradictory to the idea of sharing personal stories, insights, and experiences to boost your digital presence. But there’s a true method to this brand message madness.

Yes, you should use your personal stories to validate your message further. However, at the end of the day, it’s about what they will get out of your story. Don’t just tell a story to tell it. Back it with a meaningful message or purpose that contributes to your brand message.

Being mindful of your content’s direction is vital to maintaining a consistent, trustworthy brand.

Getting sidetracked by other people’s feeds, marketing tactics, or even your own influence poses a threat to your end goal of delivering your message to your audience. 

Clarify your message so that you’re only speaking to your ideal client. This is where your brand voice comes into play to help further amplify your message to the right people. 

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Step 4: Be Consistent 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… Consistency is key! Sure, this applies to a ton of things required to operate a successful business. But, it’s especially crucial when you’re trying to establish trust between you, your product, and your target audience. 

Finding the right balance in being genuine with your content while remaining consistent can be a challenge. Owning your message will help you know what’s best for your brand.  

Your brand voice should be blended, meaning you should incorporate human elements and certain relatable tones in your content. Your brand messaging should also be integrated but consistently aligned with what it is that you provide. 

For example, I’ve built my personal brand and expertise around being an authentic online presence, and my content focuses on tips for building your personal brand. I would never change my content to talk about creating logos or how to cultivate an Instagram aesthetic.

That’s not what my brand is about, and it would throw off my brand message. 

When it comes to an example of somewhat bad brand messaging, look no further than the recent Rachel Hollis mishap. Rachel built her personal brand around being relatable. But she defended herself by saying, “If I’m being relatable, I’m doing something wrong.”

Yikes… If you’re confused, imagine how her millions of followers and devoted fans felt. 

Moral of the story: don’t falter on your brand message. 

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Conclusion

Being consistent with your audience is pertinent to building trust and familiarity with your brand and the message you’re trying to get across. And that’s what it’s all about, right?

If you’re a CEO looking to take your company to new heights, then it’s time to ditch the company mission statement and start with your personal brand messaging.

You can start by taking my FREE 5-Day Personal Branding Masterclass or sign up for a strategy call!

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About Claire
Claire Bahn is a personal brand strategist and the CEO and Co-Founder of Claire Bahn Group. She has been helping high achieving entrepreneurs, investors, founders, and executives create their best personal brand for over 10 years. She helps entrepreneurs leverage their personal brand to develop the authority, influence, and trust they need to exceed their business goals.
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