Your personal brand is more important than you think, and it is critical to the success of your business. It determines if companies will hire you and how much you can charge for your products and services. Personal branding is a part of marketing, sales, operations and human resources. Your brand is even a reflection of your revenue. Ask the teenagers making millions on YouTube. They get it!
I resisted cutting my hair for years. On February 13 I decided to cut my locs, and I don’t regret cutting it at all! My brand was more than my hair. Your personal brand is about more than one item of clothing or physical trait. Body language and communications expert Lisa Mitchell says your personal brand is what people say about you before you walk into a room. Serena Williams, Warren Buffet and Oprah Winfrey all have a strong personal brand. Entrepreneurs and employees need a personal brand. Here are five steps to establish and maintain yours:
- Direction – A strong personal brand demonstrates direction. We have all worked with people who we could tell “were going places.” Whether they owned their own business or they were working for someone else, they had clear objectives and goals. Your direction is not “to make more money.” My goal is training professionals to use mobile technology and social media to increase sales and build relationships. Scientifically Speaking is hyper focused on achieving that goal. My brand is strengthened by focusing on that direction, and it shows in my training and consulting.
- Simple – Don’t over think it. Apple’s brand (logo) is very simple: an Apple with a bite out of it. Without the logo, people understand that Apple designs and builds great phones and computers. Consumers understand these devices come at a premium price. Scientifically Speaking trains businesses on everything social and everything mobile. Your brand conveys an immediate emotion and feeling in your clients and customers. McDonalds makes cheap fast food. They don’t do gourmet dishes or organic delicacies. They make cheap food fast. If it can’t be made fast, they aren’t going to make it.
- Visual – Your customers should “see something” when they think of you. I deliver engaging, educational and entertaining programs. Even without my long loss, people can see me with a bright smile, animated movements and signature bow tie. My clients can see the audience asking questions, laughing and smiling. Even more importantly, my clients can see themselves and their teams being more productive after my presentations. They can see where they want to be following my presentations. Your personal brand paints a picture.
- Consistent – My daughters are constantly on Instagram and Snapchat. I am constantly on LinkedIn – or so it seems. Your personal brand is consistent day to day and year to year. It consistently evokes the same feelings and emotions in your customers. Branding is a way of life. Effective Entrepreneurs and employees don’t build their brand on Monday and then go silent for a month. I share information about social media and mobile technology everyday, so people know my website is where to go for training.
- Unique – “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” – Steve Jobs. Observe how other people built their personal brand, but then build your own. Apple built a brand completely different than IBM, and that skill propelled them to be the first company with a $1 trillion valuation.
Building your personal brand takes time, but it’s worth it. What do people think of when they think of you? What is your personal brand? We’d love to help!
Scientifically Speaking, of course…