Branding is big business these days and quite often, in noisy, competitive markets the only differential that matters. The same is true for your individual brand, in fact, your personal brand makes an impact before you even mention your business or product. So what messages do you project and are they getting you what you want? What is your lasting impression? Do people remember you for the right reasons?
I work with entrepreneurs and organisations helping them get clarity on this fundamental issue all the time and feel strongly about the congruency of messages versus actions.
Do you deliver what you promise? Do you walk the talk? Do you live by the values you profess to embrace? Is your story supporting your brand or confusing it?
First impressions really do count, but this is not simply about the clothes you wear or the way you shake hands! It is about your body language, physiology, voice tonality and pitch the language you use, the values you defend, your beliefs and how you express them, your behaviour and unique personality and not to be underestimated, your energy.
All of this is hard to fake. If you try your duplicity is transparent and your brand is destroyed beyond repair. And believe me I have seen many people attempt to own a personal brand that does not belong to them. The end result is never pretty!
The only approach to defining your personal brand is authenticity. Be real, be credible, be true to you because anything less is self sabotage and pretending you are something or someone you are not is madness and NOT sustainable.
Think about this when you are designing and creating your logo, your website, a presentation or a sales pitch. Or when you meet a potential client for the first time, or start blogging! You must be you, you must own your voice and your opinions.
You are unique, no one can copy you nor blossom doing so. Be confident that you will attract and retain the right clients, suppliers and staff by putting you in the room, not some caricature of the so called perfect business woman or cloned sales person.
People will not always remember what you say, they rarely remember the detail of what you do, but without exception, they will always remember how you made them feel. We live in an emotional economy, people want to feel connected, valued and part of something and you can only give them this if you are willing to share the real you in all your Technicolor splendour! This is the only branding necessary to build a tribe, a business, a profile, a community, a career and a legacy. So be brave, be bold, be YOU! You are enough.
If this subject resonates with you and you would like to spend more time on it. I facilitate workshops and deliver a high impact keynote on this topic for a wide range of organisations and groups. Just get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org