Consider your branding is a silent salesperson. It tells the story of the business, product, or person with the brand – using both visual and emotional cues to evoke a response and build recognition. Brands take on a personality of their own and speak on behalf of the owner in their absence.
First, let’s go over some questions to consider about business, or corporate, branding.
- Who is the brand’s audience? Its customers, employees, suppliers, investors, and competitors.
- What does the business brand communicate? High value, customer service, best products, low prices, satisfaction, results, etc?
- What are the company values? What does it stand for, what does it support, and who does it speak to? Can you tell from its advertising, products, and services?
- What do people say about the business? How do customers, employees, suppliers, investors, and competitors see and speak about the business to others?
- Why does it matter? A business brand involves far more than the owner or board. It takes on life of its own, and is spoken of as if it’s a living, thinking thing. It’s critical to manage a corporate brand in order for the business’s messages to be appropriate, honest, and accurate.
Personal branding is just that, personal – one person following their passion. Be the best at the one thing you love.
- Who do you communicate to? Every person you come in contact with. Be ready to add your contributions, and improve the larger network you are a part of.
- How do you communicate? Stand out, narrow your focus, be noticed for being different, being specialized and focused.
- Where and when do you communicate? On interviews, talking with clients, giving presentations, through social media, when volunteering and socializing.
- Why does it matter? Personal branding is the process we use to market ourselves to others – as freelancers, entrepreneurs, business owners, job seekers, and socially. All of our words, choices and actions become part of our personal brand, whether intentional, or not.
Some personal brand examples, like Oprah, Martha Stewart, and Richard Branson, have become much more than a personal brand, they are bigger than the individual who started them. Super heroes are perfect examples of personal branding: they way they dress, their specialties (powers), their names, their arch enemies (competitors), their symbols (logos), etc.
The elements of personal branding.
- Your Body
- Your Clothing
- Your Physical Appearance
- Your Written and Spoken Words
- Office Space / Vehicle / Equipment
- Digital / Online Presence
- Area of Knowledge / Specialty (Niche)
All together these things create a unique impression, memorable, and different from your competition.
Your branding includes: printed materials, web/online materials, social media, your vehicle and equipment, your presence. It also includes advertising, if you’re in business or your resume when you are an employee or job seeker.
A business coach once told me, convey abundance even if you can’t afford it right now. The way you are perceived by your audience is part of your branding. If you broadcast a high value image, you will attract high value clients.
List your services and credentials:
- Stand out from the crowd
- What makes you special?
- Who have you worked with that people recognize?
Share your work:
- It represents your brand
- Any pro bono or volunteer projects?
- Share testimonials
What else do you do?
- Hobbies and interests
- Travel and vacations
- Family and friends
- This makes you human and approachable
- Do you have a special offer?
- Something your audience finds valuable?
- Something you can give away to collect leads?
Don’t forget your contact info!
- List all the ways you can be reached
- Give your audience a choice
Points to Remember:
- Be Authentic and Real
- Be Approachable and Welcoming
- Be Recognizable and Memorable
- Create your Visual Voice Intentionally
- Remember: your branding is a Silent Salesperson