When you’re starting out developing your personal brand for your online business, it’s so easy to be pulled in a million directions and overwhelmed by all the decisions to be made.
However, when you take the time to build your personal brand and your online business goals around your values early on, it enables you to get your footing on a rock-solid foundation that feels truly authentic to you, and a lot less like copying what someone else out there is doing.
And, in case you already have a personal brand and you're wondering if it's too late to do this exercise, the answer is no! Even if you've already got some branding out there, it's never too late to try this exercise and keep refining how you come across to your ideal clients.
What kind of values are we talking about here? Isn't it obvious that we all want to provide things like “quality work” or “honesty”? Well, one would hope so! But beyond that, your core values might be quite different from someone else’s, and the particular combination you choose will likely be entirely unique to you.
Your core values are an essential component of your personal brand because they’re part of what makes you (and what you offer) stand out from everyone else.
With your chosen values at the heart of your decisions, you will be able to:
Set the correct (and consistent) voice & tone for all your offerings, products, services, packages, events, etc
Better inform your marketing decisions: colors, font choices, imagery, copywriting, and selling style
Facilitate your business growth and scaling decisions, giving you clarity of purpose and vision
Feel good (and dare I say excited?) about your image, and best of all it will be easy to stick with because it comes from you
In the long run, correctly identifying your values will help guide you in numerous ways. It will remove a lot of uncertainty from your business life. Why?
Because when a new idea or opportunity comes along and you’re struggling to decide what to do, arriving at the answer becomes much simpler: does it fit with your values, or not?
There is no grey area. It either aligns with your core values, or it doesn’t. Simple.
Take a moment to think about that -- a life where you face little to no struggle in making business decisions -- because your core values give you more clarity and, because you identify with them strongly, they should remain your reliable and unwavering benchmarks.
This values-based container inside which to decide things truly helps everyone, especially those who struggle to take decisive action quickly and confidently.
So, will you give it a try?
Finding Your Unique Personal Brand Values
How to take action on this:
The goal is simple enough: determine your top 3 values from the list.
Start by printing out your free worksheet
Read through it, circling 10 values or concepts as you go, looking for the ones that really resonate with you.
Then, of those 10, whittle it down to 5.
Finally, pull your 3 favorites. That's it!
Note: For some, this exercise will feel easy. For others, it's super difficult!
If this task seems impossible, I've got you! There are some more helpful tips and three additional filters for you to use further below.
Some Do's and Don'ts Before You Start:
Remember, really tune in and trust your gut on this exercise. Try to do this without many other distractions going on.
Consider allowing some time for this to gel within you, especially if you’re just starting out with your business. Your favorites -- the ones that “just feel right” -- might not become apparent right away. Just put it aside and come back to it tomorrow.
A close friend or supportive partner can be a wonderful sounding board for this exercise
There's only one!
Do not pick “the values you think you should have”! By their very nature, these values will be inauthentic to you and therefore impossible to work with in any meaningful or consistent way. If they don't come from you, you'll struggle to communicate your ideas in a voice that's unlike your own. So, forget what others are doing out there! This is all about you :)
The personal brand that you’re building is an extension of yourself; it’s a professional version of you that you’re presenting outwardly.
It may be helpful to think of these values as a mix between how you genuinely see yourself, and how you wish to be perceived by others in order to move your business forward.
Ready to get started? Download your free printable worksheet below!
Extra Tips On How to Reveal Your Personal Brand Values
You've printed out the free worksheet. You got started... and maybe you're thinking 99 is a heck of a lot of options!
If you circled dozens of words on your first pass and are feeling like you’ll never make it down to 10 (let alone 3), don’t despair! I have some extra bits of advice for you:
Go through your circled words again and pass them through these additional filters. Ask yourself:
Filter Question 1:
"Would I be pleased/would it be a ‘win’ if someone said this about me/my business in a conversation when I wasn’t in the room? In other words, would it serve to convince that other person to hire me/utilize my services?"
This framing should eliminate values/concepts that seem nice... but are not specific enough to why or how you do what you do so well.
Then, pass your remaining selections through the next filter.
Filter Question 2: