HOW TO BRAND YOURSELF: THREE WAYS THAT DON'T WORK AND FIVE WAYS THAT DO
The idea of consciously branding yourself is a relatively new one in the scope of business. For the longest time, you did work and business with the people you liked, know, or were in your area.
Now that the limitations of location and communication are off, our prospects don’t know who we are. For good or bad, we are unknown. The story we tell to others is up to us.
Let’s start with what doesn’t work anymore.
Letting The Work Speak For Themselves. Many people like to let their work speak for themselves. A noble perspective, but one that is infeasible in this day and age. Our society is shifting from one of giving credit where credit is due to taking credit solo and separate.
It doesn’t matter how amazing your time with your client was. How much you helped them. Don’t expect too much public praise.
2. Referrals. Referrals use to be the gold standard of a successful and beloved business. On many levels they still are, but now referrals have competition from affiliate marketing, social media sponsors, and the latest guru’s teleseminar.
3. “The right people will find me” mentality. Though true on some level, society is training people to” see and do” not “seek and find.” If you are hiding yourself deep inside, behind a waterfall, deep in the rainforest, people won’t find you. You must promote.
Now that we talked about the negative. Let’s talk about the positive.
Write YOUR Story
Far too often when we attempt to brand ourselves, we end up repeating what others have wanted for us. The reasons, the methods, the industries we choose to work in are not our choices.
Take time and think about your “whys” and write the story that best expresses what you want out of your life.
2. Don’t Limit Yourself Because "The Experts" Say To
There is an awful lot of talk about “choosing a horse and riding it.” Though seemingly sound advice, this motto can be ridiculously suffocating. If you know in your heart, that you aren’t meant to do one thing one way, then don’t. Maybe you are meant to be a solo rider. Maybe you are meant to be lead a team of horses.
3. Be The Real You
Clearly branding yourself is about you. But the real you. Not the you you think you or tell other people you are or other people tell you are.
Branding yourself is a deeply personal and intimate experience.Get personal with yourself and discover who you really are.
4. Don’t Be One Dimensional
You aren’t 100% the same person with your besties on a Friday evening enjoying a few drinks as you are on Wednesday afternoon presenting a major proposal to a potential client. Nor should your brand be
Different platforms and locations require you to speak, act or be slightly different. So don’t say, do, or post the exact same content always.
You aren’t a cardboard cutout. Don’t act like one.
5. Be Smart.
Now being your true self and sharing who you are is key, be smart about your brand. Your audience doesn’t need to know some things like how you put your pants on, what just came out of your nose, or how dirty your house is.
If it is gross, truly common, or could potentially bring harm to you or others (ie don’t tell people you are heading out of town- stranger danger is real) don’t share it.
Creating a personal brand is key if you are an entrepreneur, work in corporate, or a stay at home parent. A strong personal brand gains you more relationships and connections. And you never know when those are going to come in handy.
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Branding yourself is a deeply personal and intimate experience. Get personal with yourself and discover who you really are. @thealicraig #youknowyou