Maybe you believe you can brand yourself, maybe you don’t. Maybe you don’t even know how to define a brand. Do I mean branding livestock or do I mean a brand like Zappos?
The word brand began simply as a way to tell one person’s cattle from another by means of a hot iron stamp. Then brand became the identity of a specific product, service or business. The word brand has continued to evolve to encompass identity – i.e. the personality of a person or a company behind the product or service.
A brand can be a business, state employee, retiree, stay at home mom, etc.
A brand can take many forms, including a name, sign, symbol, color combination, tagline, signature outfit, signature style, etc.
Now that you are understanding what a brand is, let’s go over the three key steps to branding yourself. The first step is figuring out the essence of who you are. The second step is realizing what you do best. The third step is communicating your unique brand.
Step 1 — Who are you?
This is the core essence of your brand – i.e. what makes you, YOU?
What makes you stand out from the crowd?
What do you stand for?
This is your whole personality, the whole enchilada. This is where being authentic comes into play. Just simply be yourself. If you are trying to be what others think you should be or how others think you should appear…it WON’T work.
Step 2 – What do you do best?
This is what makes your product or level of service get noticed. This is your P.O.D. (Point Of Differentiation). It is the combination of your experiences, talents, knowledge, lessons learned all translated into results. It is your uniqueness.
Step 3 – How do you communicate who you are and what you do best?
Communicating your brand can be accomplished in an unlimited amount of ways, which brings up three very important points to communicate your brand successfully:
- You must know who you are and what you do best, inside and out.
- You must be comfortable in the communication venue, whether that be networking, email, phone calls or something bigger like a trade show. At a trade show, communication and presentation come hand in hand; you can’t have a good presentation without good communication, while good communication counts for nothing if your presentation is not up to scratch. A good way to ensure good presentation at a trade show is through a good trade show display, which can make your brand stand out from the rest. If you are looking for a quality and reliable trade show display, you may want to check out a site like Exponents Houston trade show booth rental for more information
- You must never forget that you are always communicating your brand. (Even non-communication is communicating)
At a 2010 Power up!® Seminar in Phoenix, Bronston Jones, a 6’7” comedian shared his story about living his brand every day: “Life’s Short, I’m Not.” When he starts and finishes his comedy or seminar routine, he states: “Life’s Short, I’m Not.” During his routine, he continuously reinforces his brand by going beneath the surface to show the essence of his brand, which is: Don’t put limits on yourself, think BIG. Don’t get caught up in have to’s, should of’s and could of’s. His style of living, believing and talking continually communicate his brand. (Obviously, if he was 4’3” this “Life’s Short, I’m Not” bit wouldn’t work very well!)
Now that you understand what a brand is and the 3 steps to branding yourself you have what you need to get started branding yourself!
Kathy Bass, The Branding Lady®, is an entrepreneur, lifelong learner and Brand Identity Strategist who founded http://www.LadiesWhoBrand.com in 2010.
She loves to help other solopreneurs Power up!® by discovering, creating and communicating their unique brand value with simplified, understandable and actionable branding information. Her motto is: Start small, think BIG and always enjoy the journey!
Kathy is a skier, foodie, traveler, observer, author, speaker and VoiceAmerica™ radio host on the Business Channel who holds Marketing, Psychology and Graphic Design degrees. Everything she speaks about is from real, live, hands-on experience and experimentation as she strongly believes we must all lead by example and help each other by sharing personal expertise and experiences that can elevate others to their next level of success.