Today I’m talking about “building a brand.” But I’m taking a different approach. Today I’m talking about building YOU, the brand.
Brand is a word that’s thrown around like confetti these days. But what does it really mean?
Today we’re keeping it fairly simple. Think of “brand” as:
- What you’re all about
- What you stand for
- The impression that you make on other people
Basically, your brand is how people see you.
I believe there’s 3 items that create your brand: the professional, the personal and the social brand
A) PROFESSIONAL BRAND
This is the “9-5 you.”
- It’s how people know you at work.
- This is about what you do for a living, how well you do it – your proficiency, your credibility.
Basically, it’s the reputation you’ve built.
B) PERSONAL BRAND
This is the you we see face to face and actually have some contact with
- Includes things like the way you talk and sound; the way you move
- Includes many types of interactions such as how you act on the phone, the way you deal with crowds, the way you act on a date, etc.
- Includes secondary interactions like watching you speak in front of an audience; seeing you on a video or watching you on tv; listening to you on the radio or a podcast.
In essence, it’s about experiencing YOU.
C) SOCIAL BRAND
I’m not sure if many people consider this as part of their brand, but I don’t think we can ignore it. Social media has become an intrinsic part of our lives, of our interactions.
- This is how you act online.
- Your tone, the way you write posts
- The kind of things you post
- The things you choose to share.
Basically, it’s the way you behave online.
Over time, all 3 of these will blend together to become “your brand.” I believe this will happen simply by virtue of being you.
But it all starts with knowing who you are. You need to figure you who you are, who you want to be, be clear about it. The end result of brand building is (and should be) AUTHENTICITY. That means becoming more of who you really are at your core. Social, personal and professional should blend and there should be a lot of continuity and consistency between all three.
But more interesting is why people seem to interested in “building a brand.” I think it’s because building a brand is really a process of putting together all the wonderful things that make you YOU, into a neat little package; distilling all that information into a quick snapshot of who you are.
Without being aware of it, I think we all do this-because it’s a way to help us all figure out where we fit in the world, where others fit in our world. We live in an age where we’re bombarded with information 24/7. A brand can help us make sense of all that info so that we can quickly build connections and find something relatable.
The 50/50 rule
I believe your brand is 50% controllable, and 50% perception.
You can do everything you can to create a brand that will resonate with people and make them connect with you. Just remember that half of that is up to the other person, because your brand lives in their minds.
That means is no matter what your efforts are, your brand is only 50% under your control, because the other 50% depends on who’s receiving. And they may not receive your message as you you intended.
If this is the kind of conversation you think you need to continue, please contact me and we’ll have a chat over coffee. And if your company or organization would be interested in this topic, I would be happy to be your speaker.