Here’s something you may or may not already know as a professional, consultant or entrepreneur:
You are your brand.
What this means is that whether or not you are aware of it or know how it works, when people think of the work you do, your private practice or your company, they identify it via the existing brand which you have created, (albeit a lot of the time inadvertently).
Think of a brand as the lenses in the frames of the glasses worn by onlookers through which they perceive you or your business. Ideally you’d want those to be rose coloured right?
When it comes to branding a lot can be said but my aim with this blog post is to bring to the fore something often overlooked when treating with this topic.
What I mean when I say the term personal branding is a redundancy is that a brand is already a personal thing. The same also applies if the ‘person’ is a company because branding done properly brings out a distinct personality with distinguishable traits which customers can identify with and relate to.
I would even go as far as to say that the more personal you get with your branding the better. Let me explain.
Everyone is clamouring for that magic combination, that winning sales pitch, the USP which will blow their investors and customers away. The winning attributes of the present day are originality, uniqueness and authenticity and those in tune with this are aiming to achieve these qualities.
Let’s face it though, there are only so many ways you can differentiate yourself if for example, you are selling a commodity. And some of the ways people attempt to do so not only fail but ends up making them look downright silly.
You want to be truly unique, authentic, original and build a brand that no one can copy?
Then be yourself.
Be the best you that you can be; no one else would be as good at it. And that’s the thing. If you figure out who you are, where you are now, where you want to go and who you want to be; once those things are clear in your mind (and you have a plan to get there) you have all the necessary elements for good branding. The same applies to people as it applies to companies.
From then on you must stay the course, avoid distractions, (there will be many) – block out those trying to tell you that you need to be more like X because he did it this way or more like Y because it’s worked before. What may have worked for them won’t necessarily work for you.
Know who you are and don’t compromise it, give excellent service and be good at what you do.
Not everyone will like you, agree with what you stand for, buy your product or patronize your service and that’s ok. Not everyone will appreciate your brand for what it is.
What you will find however is that some people just ‘get it’. To them what you represent or are portraying will ring true. These are the ones who will stand by you through thick and thin, be your loyal customers, become brand evangelists. To them there will simply be no replacing you. And this is what all branding activity seeks to accomplish.