With more than 20 years of experience and numerous accolades for her work, Sarah Cichy is one of Australia’s leading PR practitioners and the visionary behind Piccolo PR. Sarah’s passion and dedication is at the heart of her PR agency’s success story and her proven reputation as an industry trailblazer enables her to offer valuable advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
In a sit-down interview, Sarah discussed how to build a personal brand in Australia, sharing the strategies she implemented to hone Piccolo PR’s own powerful brand identity.
Personal Branding will Position You as an Expert in the Field
This allows the thought leader (and, by extension, their company) to feel more legitimate, trustworthy, and credible in the eyes of the public.
Piccolo PR has helped 1000s of entrepreneurs build a personal brand in Australia. BY becoming recognised as thought leaders, it secures them potential-rich opportunities to hi-jack the news, and provide commentary on topics and issues relevant to their field.
Personal branding is particularly important for a business because it’s how you project your brand and your values to the world. It helps to educate your target audience about who you are, what you stand for, and the value you provide over your competitors.
Your personal brand explains what you do and, importantly, why. Building a personal brand establishes trust to your audience, employees, journalists, prospects and your wider network.
Personal branding also helps build meaningful connections with your wider network. As your reputation builds, you will gain more exposure, leading to a positive influence and stronger referrals.
Effective Personal Branding Should
- Set you apart from your competition and help you stand out from the pack
- Strengthen your ability to build a deeper connection between you and your audience
- Build credibility by showcasing your achievements and position you as an expert in your field
- Help you advance your career and achieve your professional goals.
Your personal brand should actively build credibility by being relevant, authentic, values-driven, visible, unique, flattering and consistent — with messaging that is maintained across all platforms.
To help you craft an unbeatable strategy to amplify yourself and your brand to the next level, Sarah from Piccolo PR joined us for a conversation to share deeper insights and tips about personal branding:
What is the meaning of personal branding, and how significant is it in the business world?
Personal branding is critical and needs to align to your truth, values, intent and purpose with the work you do. Investing in a strong brand profile is also the foundation of networking, as it allows people to quickly gain a sense of who you are and what you have to offer.
The test of razor-sharp personal branding is being able to meet someone and be able to tell them who you are and what you do in a way that’s clear, concise and enticing.
Are consumers more discerning about branding these days?
Absolutely. We live in such an information-rich world that customers, clients and consumers are so much more discerning today – and will be even more so in the future.
Successful brands need to do much more than merely keep up – they need to stay ahead and be seen as leaders and visionaries.
Great PR helps brands understand how to do that by learning what to showcase to the world and how to ensure it has genuine, sustainable impact.
Could you share your experience in building your brand? What were the main challenges you encountered and overcame along the way?
I believe in the power of integrity – and that begins with being authentic and true to your self. That has underpinned my approach in building the Piccolo PR brand so successfully. It wasn’t easy.
When you launch a new brand into a competitive and dynamic sector, you have to make your value visible to potential clients, as they have a lot of choice.That’s the biggest challenge, really. It never truly goes away as even clients you perceive as loyal can be swayed in other directions for no reason other than their own desire to occasionally mix things up. In many ways, the task of proving yourself never completely ends – in the PR world, many people just look to your last campaign and how successful that was, rather than the measure of your entire story. It drives our entire team to keep learning and ensuring we stay relevant to the evolving needs of the next generation of clients.
As the owner of a successful PR firm, what PR strategies do you recommend to Australian entrepreneurs for establishing a strong personal brand?
Know your vision and what you stand for and draw on that knowledge to establish a clear voice.
It really does always just come back to that integrity and authenticity that is so vital for any brand – no matter what industry you work within.
As a PR firm, creating a successful campaign is built on a foundation of our team gaining a thorough understanding of the voice of the brands and businesses we work with.
But that groundwork begins with the brand and business themselves, however, under our guidance, they can nurture and sharpen it – and in that way we work together to create truly effective campaigns that achieve amazing results.
Personal Branding Demands Commitment
To remain agile and relevant, Sarah says personal branding is a commitment that is supported by ongoing education and awareness.
Truly great branding never sleeps, she says.
Ensuring you listen to the needs of your clients and customers is always important but being motivated by a mission statement and vision must be the guiding force for every decision you and your brand makes.
Effective PR is informed and intelligent – and that is what gets measurable results.