There is a LOT to this whole personal branding thing if you're serious about establishing yourself as a thought leader and building a brand that's authentic, magnetic and unforgettable.
For this reason, it's easy to get overwhelmed and feel like you need to do it all at once – only making things MORE challenging and slowing down your progress.
In my years of building my own brand and working with countless clients, I've come to see that there are 5 distinct phases of this process.
And when you know what to focus on in each one, you reduce the overwhelm, increase your results and lay the foundations to unlock your next level so much quicker.
So in this episode, I'm breaking down:
Wanna put all of this into practice?
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LinkedIn: Kat Elizabeth
[00:00:00] One of the most common struggles I hear about whether I am talking with existing clients and students, or even people who are inquiring about working with me is what should I be doing next? There are so many options. There are so many things I feel like I could be doing and should be doing keyword, should to build my brand, to build my business.
[00:00:26] How do I know what is the right thing, the best thing? And the thing is, my answer is always gonna be. It depends, but what I wanted to do is help finish that sentence for you in this episode, because obviously we are not talking one-on-one right now, so I can't ask you all the questions about what's going on for you, what you're trying to achieve.
[00:00:49] So instead, I'm gonna give you a bit of a high level look at my approach, which is, All about there being five very [00:01:00] specific phases in the brand building process and these phases help us know what to focus on next and then also make sure we're laying the foundations for what happens next. Because this is the thing, like there is such thing as much as there is, as I've said before, there is no.
[00:01:25] Right and wrong way, per se, as in, because there's no specific formula for building a successful magnetic personal brand and business. By skipping steps, by not having foundations in place and trying to jump ahead in this process, you can cause yourself a lot of drama. You could be overinvesting in things.
[00:01:49] You could be just not seeing the results that you want. You could end up in a lot of overwhelm, and again, that mean overwhelm. Is the number two thing that I have [00:02:00] people coming to me struggling with, and it is all connected to this. Just not understanding that there is a process. It just needs to be personalized.
[00:02:09] So in today's episode, we're gonna dive into these five phases, and I'm gonna explain how this process is also not quite as linear as you might think. You are listening to becoming Magnetic, where we believe that magnetic personal brands are built from the inside out. I'm your host, cat Elizabeth, personal branding coach, entrepreneur, brand builder, and tough love deliverer.
[00:02:35] And I'm here to bring you some much needed real talk about what it really takes to get known for your brilliance, paid to do what you love, and to show up as your most magnetic self so you can experience success on. Your terms. So with no further ado, let's dive in. Welcome back. Once again, I have cursed [00:03:00] myself by saying I'm just gonna quickly record a podcast and then sure enough, some sort of truck lands on my doorstep.
[00:03:08] Practically the on the road outside of my office window, I think it's a garbage truck and is making all sorts of noise. Oh, can you hear it? Can you hear it? Okay, it's gone. I'm hoping it's gone. So we're just gonna keep rolling 'cause I've got limited time. I've promised my fiance that we'll have a coffee in 20 minutes.
[00:03:25] So I'm under the pump now. This needs to be a concise episode. Can she do it? Who knows. So these five phases that I wanna talk to you about, so I call this the cycle of magnetic evolution cycle, meaning, yes, there are five phases. But that does not mean they're all one and done. This is a cyclical process when it comes to building a personal brand in particular.
[00:03:51] You may see some overlap when it comes to business brands, but the reason it's so cyclical, With personal branding is 'cause you [00:04:00] are a human being who is inevitably going to change. That's one of the big things. But the other thing is in time we continually build more clarity, confidence, ability, potentially resources and support systems that allow us to.
[00:04:19] Change or adapt. Yeah. Evolve our approach to building a personal brand, meaning I really don't believe that a personal brand strategy should be static. It's the danger zone of going and working with a strategist who then just puts together this document and says, here's your brand.
[00:04:40] It's not super helpful. It might. Fill in a few gaps. It might give you a jumping off point, but it is not including what is really required of a personal brand strategy, which is guidance on how to navigate this entire journey, this entire process, which [00:05:00] looks different throughout these phases that I've identified now, it's taken me years of.
[00:05:06] I looking at my own process, being a fly on the wall, trying to look at myself and what I've gone through, and then also observing all of my clients and students to start to see that there really are these clear phases. And it's not to say that they all happen naturally, but it's, I'm saying that there is this necessity for them because when we do this, it allows us to be like to, to nail.
[00:05:33] Whatever we need to nail based on where we're at now, what we have now, and then get us to the next point. Because another one of my big things that I bang on all the time about to, I'm sorry. If you're a client or student listening to this, you're like yeah. We know is the importance of focusing on getting from point A to point B.
[00:05:52] Not jumping all the way to point Z or Z for my American friends, because there is just so much that [00:06:00] happens in between those points that could change even what that final destination looks like. But we'll also if we're trying to map out the entire plan, let's say we've got a five year plan. Even, let's say we've got a one year plan for our brand, if we try and map out every single detail.
[00:06:19] Having, where we're just standing here right now at point A and we are trying to figure out to say, let's say that at the end of the year that 12 months is point D, and there's like these different checkpoints, we may get to point checkpoint B and then realize that, hang on, C needs to look different. And then also D is gonna look different.
[00:06:37] Anyways. I'm getting too abstract now. So let's just dive in. To these five phases, and hopefully you'll be able to identify where you're at so that you have a bit more clarity on what needs to come next. So the first phase is explore. Explore is about actually getting clear on what in the world you're [00:07:00] even trying to achieve.
[00:07:02] So we're starting to shape that vision and the very specific goal of understanding what even is. Point B right now, and then just as importantly, Doing some active experimentation to figure out what might be the best way for us to get to point B. Because at this point, especially if you're in round one, let's say you are starting from scratch and you haven't necessarily been creating content.
[00:07:30] So far, you haven't, have, you haven't been on podcasts, like you have no idea whether it's better to do a podcast or a YouTube channel. Your. You are not super sure of what maybe your strengths are in certain areas. We wanna find out in real time, as in, in a practical way, what those strengths are, what your preferences are, so that then we build a plan around those so that it's the smoothest trip possible from point A to point B.
[00:07:57] So many people at [00:08:00] this point where they're just getting started basing, there's kind of two approaches. We've either got the shoulding or we've got the spaghetti throwing. We've got the shoulding, which is, oh, someone said that the best way to do it, you have to have a YouTube channel to, to build a brand, or you have to have a podcast, or it has to be blah, blah, blah.
[00:08:19] And so they come about it saying so that's my plan. I'm gonna do this thing because I've been told that's what you're supposed to do. It's the best way. That is obviously dangerous because just 'cause it's the best way for someone doesn't mean it's the best thing for you. There are so many variables we're not taking into consideration.
[00:08:36] But then on the other side, we've got the spaghetti throwing, which is I'll just grab anything. I'll just start and look. It's not to say this is a bad thing. I, in some ways, There was some spaghetti throwing for me early on, but it was still very well researched. So it's not that I would just throw myself into something with absolutely no idea of what I was getting myself into.[00:09:00]
[00:09:00] There's always a lot you don't know upfront, even with my YouTube channel, I spent a solid probably three or four months. Studying, researching, trying to understand what is involved, learning some skills, and then committing to my YouTube channel. Now, this is still not I, what I necessarily recommend because I went all in without an experiment, without a test.
[00:09:22] Thankfully, it did pay off, but if I had been doing things, if I was starting from scratch today, I would not have necessarily, no, I definitely wouldn't have done it this way if I knew what I knew. So we've got these two different approaches of how people normally do it, but what we want to do instead is figure out.
[00:09:40] At least based on where you're at today, like what skills do you have available, what resources, what ability, capacity, like how much time do you have? Do you have any support systems in place that we can lean on? Are you already using certain platforms, certain softwares? Do you have any teams supporting you?
[00:09:58] Let's factor that [00:10:00] into the plan because we want this to be as sustainable as possible, and so we're gonna be running short. Experiments, relatively short experiments to dip your toe in the water to test a few things that are big question marks right now, as well as really spending good amount of time.
[00:10:16] Figuring out what do you want this experience, not just to look like, but to feel like to what? Develop what I call your magnetic positioning system, like your internal navigation system that's gonna already help you make so many decisions. I. In a much more aligned way. And then also mapping out your magnetic potential, which is all about, okay, so what are your strengths?
[00:10:39] What is your story? What is your unique perspective, your stance, your spirit, that's your essence, your personality. How could that potentially best come across? All these things help us figure out what is gonna go into the next phase, which is when we actually like commit. To a plan for a while. Okay, and so [00:11:00] since I need to keep this one snappy, we're moving on to phase two, which is establish, this is where we actually lay the foundations.
[00:11:09] It's where we commit to a plan. For a certain amount of time. It might be that you stay in this phase for 12 months, but I'm still gonna be saying, look, let's plan out 90 day sprints so that we go, okay, so the plan for the next 90 days is this. Then we can reassess and go, how doable was that? How did it go?
[00:11:33] What needs adjusting? And then we can move on to the next. 90 days, but essentially in establish, we are looking at what we learned from the explore phase, and we are making decisions about what feels right to stick with for the time being. What is the plan moving forward and what's like the minimum viable version of everything that we can get going with, [00:12:00] so if you do require any software, can we be on the most basic version? Is there a free version that we could be sticking with just for the time being? Okay you need some sort of platform set up for your content to support your content creation.
[00:12:13] Great. Let's keep it as simple as possible, because in this phase what it's really about is just get making it a habit. Just getting started and seeing if you can stick with it for a while to find your groove. 'cause you're gonna learn so much from this phase. You're gonna learn more about your own preferences.
[00:12:32] You're going to learn more about your capacity, how long it takes you to do certain things. Where there might be some gaps in a skillset. And so in this phase, this is one of the two of the five phases that I would recommend that it does make sense to do some intentional training and up-skilling on those more tactical skills because I certainly don't want you doing that back in the explore phase 'cause it'll just get you stuck and you could end up just taking on all this information that just [00:13:00] overwhelms you.
[00:13:00] And what we really want is just messy, imperfect action. Is the way to , . Always, but especially now. So all of that stuff that we learnt, including how you're finding the platform, how well are people responding, gives us enough to then make some decisions about how to tweak and potentially stay in this phase for longer, but commit further to things.
[00:13:20] It doesn't mean we, mindlessly stick with this. For the next 12 months we are still figuring out. Okay. Is this working? Once we have it's not so much found our groove, but we feel like the foundations are laid like, this is the plan. systems are set up. I've been doing this consistently for a little bit.
[00:13:36] I feel like I know what I'm doing. Even if it doesn't, might feel a little bit clunky still. We are then moving on to phase three, which is embody. Now this is the phase most people don't give themselves time to be in 'cause it's not even on anyone's radar. But this can be the difference between you staying as your industry's best kept secret, sharing things that are very forgettable.
[00:13:59] Not [00:14:00] stopping the scroll for anyone, not standing out, not having any real obvious point of difference. And also for on your end, your experience staying in the, ugh. This feels still a bit heavy and unnatural and an I just, I'm not sure I'm really enjoying this. Embody gives us the chance to just breathe, just be settle in to the plan that we've set up, and then also start to gain more confidence and color outside the lines.
[00:14:29] In this phase, we are wanting to go from feeling like it's all a bit robotic and we're still just going through the motions and checking the boxes. And making sure oh, is that right? Is that right? Is this the best subject line? And maybe having a bit of a reliance on some templates and guidance from elsewhere to just going, I know what I'm doing.
[00:14:49] I'm gonna trust my instincts, and I'm gonna start following them and seeing where that leads. And so that could lead you to tapping into more creativity. It could also just [00:15:00] give you a period of time to get way more familiar with your audience the person that you want to really connect with. 'cause often if you're in round one.
[00:15:08] But even if you're in a next cycle of this process, often being in a future cycle means you have actually shifted in some way. You may be wanting to speak to a different kind of person. You might be niching down or niching up. Some sort of adjustment is being made, so you are then reconnecting with who that person is and this understanding of your ideal person.
[00:15:34] Is where we go from. Okay. The sort of the personal branding thing being all about you being quite self-conscious of okay, how am I showing up? Is this right to wait a second, this is about who's on the other end? And it might be a potential customer or client, it might be a potential collaborator.
[00:15:49] You might be wanting to position yourself to get a promotion, a new role. So it your ideal person who's paying attention to you, it like, it's gonna be different for everyone but. [00:16:00] We want to understand whoever is on the receiving end of our content and our brand. Like we wanna understand 'em on a really deep level so we can develop a really clear resonance with them, number one.
[00:16:16] And then number two, we want to. Find our way of doing things uniquely so that we start to eliminate the competition, not by Getting rid of them, sabotaging their, their brands and businesses or stealing their customers. No. By making it so clear who you are for and who you're not, that people just know that you are the person or you're not the person and that's different to the supposed competitor next to you.
[00:16:44] Like it just becomes irrelevant 'cause you you know your people. And so this enhanced phase, and you're probably wondering at this point, like how long do each of these take? Again, it depends. But when we're spending time in this enhance phase, it's not about forcing anything. It's not about having a particular [00:17:00] goal.
[00:17:00] It's just about being, building momentum, building that clarity, building more ability to articulate your value, finding ways of enjoying this process more. And while we're in this phase gathering, Data and it, so it can be data based on the messaging that you are learning about. your ideal person and the way they're describing their struggles, their fears, their desires.
[00:17:25] It could be that it could be feedback from your clients. It could be feedback from Audience members when you've got speaking opportunities, social proof type data, like we want to be just collecting. ' cause this is gonna help us with learning more about what we can do even better, learning more about the value that we are already providing and then also providing proof for future people that, hey, like we're legit.
[00:17:51] This is really where we are gonna be able to take our credibility. So if you remember from the previous episode, credibility is huge, but like that takes [00:18:00] time to develop. So trying to rush ahead and not take the time to actually become that person who is highly valuable and a true thought leader.
[00:18:10] By the way, there's yet another truck outside my window, so that's great, but I'm pushing through. So this, embodiment. Is where you step into your thought leadership and you become someone who is really truly worth following. 'cause you are not just filling in the blanks painting by numbers.
[00:18:29] You are not just one of these internet experts who is just regurgitating something. They've just learnt. No, this is where you are sharing from lived experience. When we move out of the Embody phase. We never stop embodying. Okay. Once you're there, that's it. But we can move then to the next phase where we do get a little bit more strategic and analytical again because we've been getting all of this insight.
[00:18:54] And it can be, like I said, feedback. It can be data, but it can also be from you just paying [00:19:00] attention to your experience, like what's working, what's not, like what feels good, what doesn't. We can then, run an audit of our brand. We can take a look at all of our metrics and we are now in the enhance phase, which is where we start building on what exists and improving it.
[00:19:17] We could be doubling down on what's working well. We're looking for these 1% improvements. If you've got an E M L list, how can I improve sign up rates? How can I open, increase my open rates or click through rates? If you're on social media and you're, you are one of the metrics you're paying attention to, is comments on your posts or replies to your stories, how can I.
[00:19:36] Work with what I've been doing, but then make it even better to increase those metrics if it's to do with sales conversions. It's up to you. And it also may be that you now have so much clarity in how you wanna show up what your brand is all about. As in what you are all about and you're looking at your brand going, okay that's not all coming across.
[00:19:54] How do I improve this? And so you might be booking a personal branding photo shoot. You might even [00:20:00] DIY it and just realize, I just need one, I just need a better profile photo. It could be that you improve your visual brand guidelines at this point. Make it clear okay, these are my fonts.
[00:20:10] These aren't, here are my rules to make sure that my feed is more, aesthetically. Pleasing and consistent. There are so many ways we can enhance, but a lot of this work is what we often try to force at the very beginning. Like we wanna have everything in place back in at day dot, at point A and that means that we are doing all these things without really knowing what we are doing, making a lot of assumptions, often trying to use resources we don't necessarily have, like spending money we don't have, or spending way too long on things that aren't necessarily getting us moving forward. And I just don't recommend that.
[00:20:48] I don't recommend you really look at trying to refine things in this way until this point, but I understand perfectionism is a thing. Okay? So the struggle all the [00:21:00] way along to not do more is it's real. But hopefully you're starting to see why, perfectionism earlier on it's not necessarily helpful to, oh, it needs to be perfect, but what's perfect? I mean, Firstly it doesn't exist, but really if we're talking about your standards for your brand, it should be based on what is going to help you achieve your specific goals for your brand. And so if that is actually about reaching a specific kind of person.
[00:21:26] If it's about trying to connect with potential collaborators or joint venture partners, if it's about landing podcasts or speaking opportunities, then we need to run our goals and the work that we're doing, the standards that we have through through that lens. And that helps to alleviate the perfectionism.
[00:21:45] 'cause it's it's either getting you closer to reaching this goal or not. And it shouldn't be about you and your ego. But anyways, that's a whole topic for another podcast. So we've enhanced, we've made all these tweaks. We are streamlining things [00:22:00] like, so we're trying to improve the results, but we're also trying to improve workflow efficiency, how you feel about what you're doing.
[00:22:06] We might be tightening up boundaries, like there's, the list goes on and then at some point we naturally reach phase five, which is evolve. And this is where it's just the culmination of all the work you've been doing. The time that you've spent in this process leads you to your next cycle. And so in the evolve phase, this is where we really start to tune into what has changed about us and our goals since we first started.
[00:22:34] Is it that we've outgrown our brand? Is it time for a rebrand because it no longer feels aligned or authentic with who we are? Is it that we are ready to pivot in some way to launch the next phase of our career? It might just be a more about. Okay. I just have so much more clarity on what I'm actually trying to do.
[00:22:52] Now, let's now go back to the drawing board. I e phase. One, explore and let's look at [00:23:00] how we can tighten everything up. So revisit, the magnetic positioning system our map of magnetic potential. And then the, I call it the magnetic master plan, which is the actual brand strategy meets marketing strategy, and let's look at what needs adjusting to make sure that on this next cycle through we are even better at achieving that goal, and then so on and so forth. So to wrap this all up, have a think about, okay, where do you feel like you are at in this cycle right now?
[00:23:34] And I would encourage you if you haven't actually spent some really intentional time in your own version of. The explore phase where you're doing that internal work to figure out what do I wanna do? How do I wanna feel? What? What are my standards for myself? How do I wanna operate? And then also testing some things out to figure out what do I actually want to commit to doing to build my [00:24:00] brand?
[00:24:00] it doesn't really matter where you are in the process, I say, Go back to the explore phase, do not pass, go. Do not collect $200. Just head to the explore phase. And answer those questions and everything else starts to become clear and this entire process really gives you that. Okay, so point A to point B.
[00:24:21] Cool. I'm at point B. What's point C? And so much of the overwhelm is going to just fall away. At least that's how what I've experienced. Now, this can sound like a lot and you're like, oh my gosh, there's so much too this. Yeah, of course there is. I've never said that it's a piece of cake.
[00:24:38] It's a walk in the park to build a personal brand. But that said, doing it in this way and focusing on one thing at a time and having really intentional purpose for each phase makes it feel way less stressful and big than if you were just trying to, scale the mountain in one leap. So with all of this said, if you
[00:24:58] want some guidance. [00:25:00] If you would like to go deeper with with this, with me at some point, there are two ways that we could do this. So this entire process, all of those essential foundations for the explore phase and then also for the establishe phase are all built into the framework for unmistakable my self-paced program, but that also my one-on-one clients get access to as well.
[00:25:25] So there is an entire module dedicated to your magnetic positioning system. Then one where we are really diving into your potential, so your. Spirit, your strengths, your stance, your story, your service, aka your unique mission or your niche of one. Then we move into breaking down what the master plan looks like.
[00:25:44] What are those five? Pieces of the master plan, I will talk about them on an upcoming episode. Then we move into understanding like there is actually a phase by phase breakdown, a lesson dedicated to each one, and then a downloadable guide that helps guide you through giving you an [00:26:00] actual checklist of like, what am I meant to be thinking about during this phase, and how do I make sure the foundations are laid ready for the next phase?
[00:26:07] Then we move into. Specifics of how do you plan those 90 days? Rinse, like how do you run an experiment? How should I be tracking the metrics? And then setting up your brand magnetism hub, which is going to be one of the most valuable support systems for you, that helps you manage your content, track your metrics track relationships, manage your brand All of the things are in this one hub, and so that is in unmistakable, which you can do self-paced and because at the time of recording this, I'm still building it out and putting in extra bonuses and extra resources and everything.
[00:26:41] It is still at a pilot pricing point that is much lower than it'll be in the new year. So now is a very good time to jump on board. But if you are someone who's not really into the self-paced thing and you want
[00:26:54] me with you in this process helping you answer these questions and [00:27:00] bringing more clarity and especially if you do already have a brand and or business and you're like, what do I do with what's here versus all the new stuff or the new plan like that is where one-on-one can be really powerful. Whereas when you are just getting started, honestly, I think it's a really good idea to just even start with unmistakable and start doing some of this work on your own to find some of those answers for yourself.
[00:27:26] And then if you get stuck and you're like, no, now I really want an expert to just speed up this whole thing, then we could work together. So regardless, I'll put links to unmistakable and information on my coaching packages in the show notes. And if you ever have any questions, Do not hesitate to email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
[00:27:47] It's me managing my inbox. It's not something I outsource at this point in time. I like conversation. And then the other option is to send me a message on either LinkedIn or Instagram. We can voice message [00:28:00] or we can text message. It's completely up to you, but I'm happy to chat more about where you're at and especially if you are like, I'm actually not sure where I'm at.
[00:28:07] I'm not sure what should happen next. Then, let's chat about that, but I hope this was helpful. Please, if you did find it helpful, I would love it if you would leave me a sneaky five star review on Apple Podcast. It really helps get the message out to the rest of the world. But otherwise, thank you so much for listening and I will chat with you on the next one.