‘Your backstory is your business backstory’. TEDx Sydney co-founder Fleur Brown shares her secrets to creating a powerful personal brand

31st August 2020

Building your personal brand is vital in order for your business to grow. A personal brand allows something real for the audience to connect with, which is how a loyal brand or business following is formed. This is often achieved by sharing your story or values, often referred to as a backstory. Creating this business backstory is where the growth happens.

We spoke to Fleur Brown, inspirational speaker and author of The Business of Being YOU – Personal Brand Secrets of Celebrities and CEO’s, about how to start building a personal brand and how to grow your business message. Having worked with leaders such as Sir Richard Branson and celebrities like Paris Hilton, the TEDx Sydney co-founder has dished out on some key learnings when it comes to marketing, building and growing your personal brand.

It Starts With a Leader

No matter the size of your business a common denominator will always be the people, and all people need a good leader. Your business leader will need to be someone that’s prepared to step forward and be visible. Having a visible leader makes a business more relatable as the company message is being conveyed by a human face.

Take a look at social media, more often than not it’s always a person to follow and connect with. Paris Hilton, for example, is the original personal brand it-girl. She has used the power of her personality to meet her own objectives and has become an icon as a result. Kim Kardashian picked a good mentor to associate herself with back in the early 2000’s and, to this day, the acronym KUWTK is one as well known as SEO, UGC, and SME.

Sharing Your Message

Something Richard Branson has incorporated into his business brand is imbuing his own cultural ethos right through his set of companies. You don’t have to think too hard about what the message you’re trying to share through your brand is – it’s actually your own personal story and connection to the business. What will make an audience genuinely connect with you is the reason why you started, the problem, or aspiration you personally had. Your backstory is your business backstory. Share it. 

An example of this might be someone like Nick Molnar from Afterpay. Afterpay is quite a successful brand and Nick was really clear on why he started the business as a millennial and he really targeted the millennial customer base. And he was solving a problem for them. He stayed very true to that kind of focus in a lot of his communication. Take a leaf out of Nick’s book and stay true to your personal message.

Related: Brand storytelling on social media – how and when to use it

What’s In a Bio?

A picture tells a story worth a thousand words, and in this case, the story is one of trust. Be sure to have a clear, up to date photo with eye contact. It must be a photo where people can clearly recognise you – not a cool helicopter shot or one where your eyes are shaded by sunglasses. Keep it professional.

That all said and done, don’t forget the words. A five-paragraph description of who you are, what you’re focused on, and what you’re passionate about is key. These few paragraphs are like a free ad for you to paint yourself in the picture you want to be seen in. Within the first sentence or two, you want to make your objective really clear and what your focus is. Then follow that on by adding a little glimpse of your passion and your backstory which, as you now know, is your business backstory. Be human, let your audience connect with you.

Practice What You Speak

When you’re running a business there are many times presenting skills will come in handy. Trying to pitch for funding, for example, is all about presenting. Negotiations are all about conveying a clear message and presenting your point of view to achieve an outcome in your favour. 

If you are a CEO or aspiring leader you will be asked to speak, even if it’s just to inspire your staff. Successful presenting will all come down to practice, don’t rely on the adrenaline on the day. And if you don’t like what’s on offer or you are struggling to actually get those opportunities, create a forum and achieve it through partnership. There might be a group of four or five of you who have something to offer to the same type of customer, combine your customer bases and run a little event. Everything starts small, that’s how TEDx Sydney started. You can grow very gradually and beautifully from there.

The most important thing is being brave enough to share your true, authentic message. The one that made you start your business or brand. Half the battle is just being willing to go there and to be visible and to actually have something to say. Be bold and be willing!

Want to learn more from Fleur Brown?

So, there you have it. All of Fluer’s top tips and tricks to help you build a powerful personal brand.  Do you want more branding tips for you and your business? Listen to Episode 8 of the Metigy Podcast, where Fleur explains why your network is your net worth.

To read the full podcast transcript, or listen to the podcast with Fleur, click here

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