Branding in business is like oxygen to the human body. You don’t always notice it, but when deprived of good quality branding, you’re gonna watch a business choke. Any business owner will talk about the importance of branding, but what is a brand? And how do we build a personal brand?
A brand is the collection of values and perceptions of a certain business. It’s not about what you say about your brand, but about what other people say about you and your business. Building a brand isn’t about what you say about yourself, but what others say about you.
A personal brand built well will do for you what no amount of ad spend and marketing campaign will ever do.
We build brands through symbols, designs, service, reputation, emotions and public relations. It’s managing our message and how people take it. Sounds like a lot of work doesn’t it. Believe me it is!
But building up a brand is important. Some people ask, “But what if my brand is just me? What if I don’t have a team per se and I’m running my business on my own?” A one-man Photographer, Speaker, Florist, Designer, Accountant, Lawyer, Plumber or Consultant. That’s completely fine. In fact, you should even be focusing then on building a personal brand.
A personal brand built well will do for you what no amount of ad spend and marketing campaign will ever do. Do you want a good business? Then you need a good personal brand. What does it take to build a good personal brand? Here are three things to do when building yourself up to be a personal brand.
One important facet of good branding is leaving a positive emotion amongst your audience. The essence of a business or service is to provide a solution to a problem. It’s hard to convince people that we have something that they need when we put out a negative vibe.
Some people make this mistake by putting on Facebook about negative things. They complain about hard customers or even destroy the reputation of competition online. Let’s stay away from these practices. It’s better to choose to focus on positive messages instead. Offer solutions and talk about things you are passionate about and so on.
Branding is not a one-way conversation. It’s a conversation that goes both ways. For a brand to grow it needs to be reachable. That means you’re ready to listen and to respond to your audience as well.
Fortunately, social media has made that so much easier. You can now comment on and comment back to audiences, direct message them and interact with them online. On top of that we also become reachable when we keep our lines open. Communicate with audiences and customers as frequently as possible.
I don’t think it ever works to have a brand that is opposite or different from who you are. If you want to build a good brand, it has to be you and it has to be authentic. Authenticity asks that we be true to ourselves and not present something that we are not.
The big temptation is to try to be too many things to too many people. We try to become the like the next top designer, marketer, lawyer, actor, musician and so on. But you’re not them. You’re you. And that’s good enough to build a brand. Who are you? Be that person and you will build a good personal brand.
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Kiko is the Marketing Manager for Pluggas. He started Marketing early on and has consulted with various businesses in many industries including tourism, technology, banking, consumer goods, BPO and B2B. His skills include graphic design, web strategy, social media and business development.