You Are Your Brand. What Are You Selling?
Often when people think of the word brand, they think of organizations such as Target or Apple. Now, especially in the era of social media, one will see individuals selling anything from face cream to protein shakes and, at times, it’s the same individual selling both.
Having an open platform to openly sell products, one ultimately sells their own brand. When individuals sell more than one product, consumers can’t help but think, “What does that person really stand for? What products do they really believe in?” And therefore, the personal brand of the influencer becomes diminished.
But, there is another facet of a brand and it’s you, both personally and professionally. I had a mentor early in my marketing career who taught me the lesson of “owning my brand.” What does this mean?
Owning Your Brand
Owning one’s brand is key when developing personal and professional relationships because, at the end of the day, your actions and words sell the brand that is you.
For instance, are you constantly late to work or meetings? On your phone during conversations? Missing deadlines or important events? That is the brand of you that you sell. And this tells people that their time doesn’t matter.
Or, do you actively listen to people’s stories and participate fully in conversations? Show up on time and share ideas in meetings? Encourage leaders and colleagues to share their voice and visions?
Both the above-mentioned scenarios will eventually construct how people at work, in your life and community, will view you.
Invest In Your Brand
Many people forget to buy stock in their personal brand. They forget to invest in themselves. And, just like any stock, if one doesn’t add to it and continue to check in, the brand suffers. One’s personal brand fluidly moves between personal and professional, therefore it’s so important to
If an individual is authentic, confident and punctual at work but disconnected in conversations, rude and late in personal situations, this will affect the work brand one has labored hard to build.
In today’s environment with social media and multiple networking opportunities, if your personal and professional brand do not align, no one will believe in what you’re selling, and people will not hesitate to share this thought process with you and hold you accountable.
Here are a few tips when building your brand that flow between personal and professional atmospheres:
This seems so simple, but as mentioned if the platforms one uses, such as social or a blog, don’t match your everyday life, it will catch up to you quickly. Be authentic. Be real. People will identify with this. We all eat pizza and have bad days. This will make you relatable, trustworthy and have a sustainable brand that people will resonate with and tap into.
Show Your Skills.
Love to write? Is photography your passion? Highlight these skills and let others know about them. Not only will this expand your brand, but your networking opportunities. This will also give you more street cred and make you more dynamic.
Build value in your story.
Like I mentioned earlier, if you are scattered on your platform and sell everything from soup to nuts, there will soon be no value to your voice. What are you really selling? It’s like that old saying, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” Great brands have strong sustainability, consistency and value in their product. You are your own product. If your story isn’t telling an employer, a future investor or any interested party what your jam is, then it becomes cheap.
Owning your brand is one of the most inexpensive commodities you can invest in that will yield the highest return. Don’t sell yourself short, literally. Take the time to evaluate your qualities, skills and areas of improvement. Be constantly evolving and learning. Invest in yourself and those around you and eventually, your brand will sell itself.