Alexia Leachman, Personal Brand Coach, Blossoming Brands:

My name's Alexia and I'm a personal brand coach and head trash clearer with Blossoming Brands.

What is the importance of personal branding?

Personal branding is really important to ensure that you are consistently communicating what you are about and what value you can offer other people. If you get your personal brand right that means you are going to improve your chances of being referred, recommended or remembered and that's important if you want to get new businesses coming to you, if you want the recognition to know that you're doing a great job so if you're seeking investment or if you want people to work for your business then to have a strong personal brand means that they're going to buy into you as an individual and they'll want to get behind you.

What are the common mistakes that people make in personal branding?

I think the challenge that most people have is they're not very clear about what they are about and who they are so when it comes to introducing themselves, for example at a networking event or writing their personal bio that might go on their LinkedIn profile or a document they might need to send to somebody then they don't know what they need to be saying about themselves and they can't communicate clearly what they are about. That's a big challenge because if you can't introduce yourself with confidence then your confidence goes through the floor and then suddenly you're tripping over your words and you haven't made a great impression. So it's really important to introduce yourself clearly and have impact so that people remember you and want to find out more.

What is the concept of storytelling in personal branding?

Storytelling is a really powerful way of telling people what you are about and the great thing about stories is that you can share stories about things that have happened to you and your journey in life and get people to buy into it. So you might be on a personal mission to solve a problem, to solve the answer A to the question Q of what your life's about and the challenges that you've experienced. By putting that across through stories means you're going to engage on an emotional level and people will remember you and remember the story about you and that's a lot more memorable than dry facts about when you worked for such and such company and then you did this the year after that and then you achieved this accolade. Business brands use story all the time and the great brands have all got a great story behind them so a great personal brand will also have a good story. The great thing about stories is that you can get other people to get involved in your story and want to get behind your story and if your story is bigger than you and people get into it and join you on your mission then you're more likely to get people to buy into you and want to support you on your endeavours and that's a really key tool for influencing people to help you achieve what you want.

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