Companies spend millions of dollars to create, promote and maintain brand awareness. Present a woman a light blue box and she will automatically get excited thinking it’s a gift from Tiffany’s. When a child sees “golden arches” they will immediately start asking for French fries. Branding is defined as the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies a product from other products. Using this definition, Tiffany’s and McDonald’s are examples of branding at its best!
Branding is not a practice only associated with corporations. Individuals should also brand themselves, which today is termed as “personal branding”. Personal Branding involves defining one’s areas of knowledge, physical appearance, social and executive presence and overall self-packaging in a way that uniquely distinguishes one individual from another. Your personal brand represents who you are both personally and professionally. So I ask you…”what’s your personal brand”?
In an effort to ensure that everything I do or say represents who I am I started my own personal brand campaign, which included the following:
1. Establishing and owning my mission which is to “equip, empower and educate career professionals with proven systems to help align desired results with their passion(s) and purpose – thus positioning them for optimal success”.
2. Designed a website that provides a virtual representation of me – down to the colors, the simplicity and the verbiage. www.impactbusinessinstitutellc.com
3. Started a Facebook community (CEOpreneur Suite) to help motivate, educate and inspire others.
4. Writing and posting blogs in the areas of self-improvement and entrepreneurship. www.impactbusinessinstitutellc.com/blog-page/
5. Taking on projects and making decisions that are in line with my mission/values.
6. Seizing every opportunity to motivate, inspire and empower others – through mentoring, coaching, writing, workshops and retreats.
7. Co-hosting YANA (You Are not Alone) Retreats; helping women on their journey purpose.
8. Maintaining a voice on social sites that represents my brand.
9. Actively ensuring my brand is evident in everything I do, whether it’s in the workplace, at home or in an informal setting.
10. Always being authentic; always being myself thus representing my brand.
These are just a few things that I’ve done as part of my personal brand campaign. And although I feel my campaign has been successful, there’s always more to do. Similar to corporations, one’s personal brand campaign is an ongoing initiative; it may be altered and/or adjusted but it should be something you continuously work on.
So for those of you who are working on or just starting on your personal brand remember your brand is determined by the following:
· Your image; the way you dress, your verbal and written communication, your actions as well as the activities you are involved in says a lot about who you are.
· Your passion(s); how you spend the majority of your time tells a lot about your values and what’s important to you.
· Your presence on social media sites; what you post on these sites is a direct reflection of your brand so make sure you are represented correctly.
· Your circle; you can tell a lot about a person based on the company they keep.
· Your reputation/perception; after all people’s “perception is their reality” and no matter how hard you work to establish your brand, it won’t matter if people do not relate to you as such.