In our society the endless pushes and self-promotion can kill brands. So we need to create a strategic personal brand.
The truth is a brand is a trust and a promise. What you say, post, tweet, and take action on determines your message to the world.
There are three ways to ensure you create a strategic personal brand. These steps will be your guide to attracting the customers/clients you want, the relationships you want, and the life you want.
Check what you believe to be true.
Let’s look at your truth and the lies you may believe about yourself.
Did you know you were branded as a child? You may not have a physical brand on your skin, but the nicknames you were called or the stereotype of, “Your the sick one, the athletic one, the smart one or the pretty one,” impacted what you believed about yourself.
As you grew, you embraced the brand, lost focus of it or fought against it. A brand is a trust. It is your promise to the world.
I build brands for a living, and I see what kills brands. Psychology teaches us it is the same thing that destroys human potential.
Before I share the killer of brands with you, let me ask you: Do you believe a brand is built externally or internally?
If you went to a restaurant because someone told you the food was fabulous, and you saw a billboard with a cool logo for the restaurant, but you had horrible customer service, would you go back?
The restaurant brand had a disconnect. The packaging and exterior look was good, but the promise was not delivered.
So it is with people. Talk of personal branding is pick a color that reflects you and wear it all the time. Sorry, but it takes more than that to build your brand.
Create your brand with research by setting Google alerts that send you free information on topics and projects that build your knowledge and your brand. Example: I own a marketing, public relations, and training firm, so I set Google alerts on those topics in order to have the latest information, which I can use to help clients build their brands.
Learn from the best. Find the person who is doing what you want to do. Example: My person was Lou Tice. He created training to help people and teams succeed. Learning from Lou made me realize I needed to create team training to help people create their brands and grow their companies’ brands.
Now, let me ask you a question. If I put you on international media, what would you say to the world? When I ask clients and the audiences that I speak to, they struggle with this question, which surprises me because any post, tweet, video or photo you share can go viral. So invest the time to decide how you will answer this question.
Find a quote that reflects the truth you have discovered and the purpose you want to achieve. Example: “Respect yourself and respect others” is my quote. It guides me in my communication and actions. Before I speak or share on social media, I ask is what I am about to share with the world in agreement of my quote, “respect myself, respect others?”
Now let me ask you again: “If I were to put in front of International Media for an interview, and the whole world was listening, what would you say?”
Your answer becomes your campaign. The best advertising has a campaign, and you do too. But how you communicate that campaign can build your business and your relationships? Your brand is communicated best by sharing your vision, your campaign (which is the action), and then backing that up with behaviors that reflect your brand.
Consider the consequences: Be your brand but understand the consequences.
A great example is any celebrity, politician or professional athlete that makes a poor choice, which then becomes breaking news. The brand they once created and the respect you gave them can disappear when they stop focusing on their purpose (their brand) and looking at the whole picture (the world around you).
You may not be a celebrity, politician or athlete, but your brand is judged by every tweet, post, word you share and behavior you display. I have found many people who try to be a brand that they are not. On the outside all looks good; on the inside the struggle never ends.
Your strategic personal brand is your GPS. It guides us to becoming the person we desire to be.
To help you with the three steps we discussed, here are the three C’s:
- Check what you believe to be true
- Create your brand
- Consequences: Consider the consequences of your brand