When people think about brands they are usually thinking about big companies. Procter & Gamble. At&T. Fedex. Who doesn’t know these companies? But while folks readily agree that big companies have brands we should also recognize that small companies and even solopreneurs have brands as well.
After all, what is a brand? Sure it has to do with your company name, logo, design and anything that has to do with identifying your company. But it’s more, and while I’m not a marketing professor I believe that a brand, especially a personal brand, is what people say about you. It’s what you stand for and your points of differentiation and value.
Creating a personal brand is a tall order but not insurmountable! Here are some tips on how you can build your personal brand:
- What do you want people to think about when they hear your name? What words do you want associated with your name? What are your core values? Once you decide what you want to be “known for” you can start to take actions to put substance behind your brand. For instance, do you want to be associated with being philanthropic? If so, you need to align yourself and become active in doing philanthropic work. Want to be thought of as someone that speaks his or her mind? You need to be comfortable verbalizing your thoughts and opinions. Regardless of your brand, you need to “walk the talk.”
- Consistency is key. Building a personal brand takes time and you can’t change horses midstream if you want to complete the journey. OK, I know that’s a hokey cliché but it’s the truth. You can’t stand for one thing on Monday and another on Tuesday and develop a coherent brand that is recognizable to your business associates. It just won’t happen. Be consistent in your actions and the marketing materials that you put out to the world and watch your brand image start to solidify. (That’s not to say you can’t change your brand at some point in time. Just be aware that changing brands can impact your business!)
- What’s your tagline and elevator pitch? After you complete the mental journey of determining “how” you wish to be known, the next thing you should do is make certain that you are using the most accurate words to convey your message. It starts with your tagline as well as your response to “what do you do?” These short verbal and written statements help to solidify your brand message. (I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you that promotional products offer a very powerful way for you to communicate your brand! Family Affair can help you decide what products would be perfect to tell the world “who” you are!)
We’re getting ready to close out the year. Ask yourself if your personal brand is working for you or if your message isn’t resonating with the marketplace. And please let us know if Family Affair can help in any way.
Here’s to a powerful brand—YOU!