This year I've decided to spend quality time focusing on my personal branding.
What is branding, you ask?
Branding in my personal definition is the art of creating perception and reputation with intention. Since our reputation is made up of what comes to mind when people hear or see something about us it's important to be strategic when creating personal or business focused brands. The goal for branding is to set a clear identification or distinction for a service, product, personality or entity.
As I help my clients with their branding needs, I always make an effort to ask important questions so I can align with their vision such as:
Who's your target audience?
Why should they do business, connect, partner, sponsor you?
What's your key differentiating factor(s)?
Even more than asking the basic "branding questions" I think its important as a visionary and designer to remind my clients that YOU ARE YOUR BRAND.
Let me explain...
Before people follow, like, buy, collaborate, share or support your business, event, church, book or other endeavor you might want to share...they must BUY YOU. They buy your way of thinking, your experience, your reputation.
People connect with and do business with people they - Know, Like, Trust, Respect and Relate to.
When you create a logo, put on a conference, market a new product or service don't forget to market you well. Why? Because every day we leave impressions, thoughts and words in the minds of those we come in contact with (especially on social media). Over time these different elements create the perception/reputation that will encourage or repel people from connecting with us for friendship, business or otherwise.
Here's 7 Ways to make sure you are branding yourself well:
When using social media - be yourself, but be professional. Post things that are relevant to your life, your business or endeavors that may attract people of similar interests to you. Use quote, books, online events and other content to showcase your involvement and well-roundedness. Stray from being negative and a gossip (we all hate working with those kind, right?!?)
Use quality, professional photos of yourself (at least sometimes). Whether its a photo with your high-end iPhone or a professional brand shoot with a local photographer...invest in providing your audience with clean shots of your, your personality and what you do. It's worth the investment, promise!
Join groups and events that expand your knowledge and reach. Over the years I've learned so much by just "putting myself out there" to explore and discover. No one knows it all...we are all creatures of habit and on the constant spin wheel of learning. Friends, go immerse yourself in different social circles, cultures and events.
Become strategic and intentionally share what you do (or offer) with boldness! I can say there were times in my entrepreneurial journey where I wasn't as direct to share my offerings. Needless to say that day is OVER! If people don't know what you offer they won't know how to support you or connect you.
Be confident. Be excited. Energy is contagious so if you're going to give it out, make it be good. By default, the world has enough of the bad stuff.
Be authentic. There's no need to be a copycat. What you offer is unique to you because there's only one of you. Sit and define your unique qualities and strengths and mix it with your services, products, events, etc. This will create a special brand people will want to be loyal to.
Get professional marketing support (when needed) Marketing Collateral (including but not limited to business cards, letterhead, logo, social media graphics, corporate merchandise and websites) are very important elements of your brand. Many people get overwhelmed trying to design and manage their company/organization's marketing. If you are creative person I suggest try DIY resources. If you spend more than 1 week struggling on how to create something... call me (614.407.8887)! Learn to delegate. Your brand will THANK you for it.... and you'll save your time too.
This blog post belongs to Amber Mabry, visionary and graphic designer. Stay connected link up on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter. @AmberMabryThrives @APaynesDesigns