Part 1 - Know Your Brand
We all have a personal brand, but defining what it is is not always obvious. Personal brand is key to nailing those sponsorship relationships. You need to be honest with whose attention you’re trying to get and the story you’re going to tell. I read a great analogy the other day – personal brands are like wardrobe choices. Sometimes we buy a fancy item of clothing that we feel we ‘should’ own – a smart suit for example. But if it’s not our style, we never wear it. A personal brand that you do not believe in will not make it out of the wardrobe. However, a personal brand that we know, love and relate to will feel like those very comfortable breeches we go to again and again. It will make you feel unstoppable, and will likely lead to you nailing that deal.
So how do we define our own brand?
- Define your goals
This is where it is important to establish not only your riding goals, which are very easy for most riders, but also your coaching and online presence goals. Here are a few questions to get you started:
- What are your competition goals for the next 12 months?
- What are your social media goals for the next 12 months?
- If you coach, what are your coaching goals, who and how many people do you want to help, and what do you want to help them with?
- Do you want to do demos at any big shows, appear in magazines or podcasts? If so, what topic do you want to cover?
- Define your Unique Selling Point
You wouldn’t market a business without defining the unique value it has, so why wouldn’t you do the same for you? Fundamentally, you are a business! So it’s time to work out:
- What benefit do you offer others? Is it knowledge, inspiration, advice?
- Who are these people? Likely horse riders, but what discipline/level/type?
- How do you solve their problems? Do you teach/show by doing?
- What makes you different? No two riders are the same!
- Tell your story
How did you get to where you are today? People relate to stories far more than just random competition photos. Feel free to grab a friend and a glass of wine and chat through this one!
- Master your personality
The easiest way to do this is to ask friends and clients what three words you would use to describe you. Consolidate this into one big list, and pick the ones that resonate most with you.
- Create a brand statement
Once you’ve got all the above you can pop this into a statement that follows along the lines of:
“I am a [noun e.g. coach/show jumper etc.] who helps [your audience, don’t just say horse riders, be specific!] with [result] so they can [benefit e.g. enjoy their horse]
Keep it emotive and interesting, if you read it and find it boring, that won’t be your final brand statement!
Once you have it, you will instantly know if a brand is actually a good fit for you and your team, or whether to steer well clear!
If you have a brand statement and are happy to share, please do pop it in the comments below.
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