Thursday, 11 August 2011

Brand Yourself. Sell Yourself.

Sometimes, just sometimes, people look at me as if I am a total wally... Ok they look at me like that a lot – but concentrating on branding for a moment – there are three main reasons:

1. When I talk about branding, impact and personal branding.
When people are asked about branding, most think - company logos, names and tag lines (eg. Just do it. Nike) and maybe even uniforms; but there's a lot more to branding than just colours, logos and names – and it is exactly the same for individuals.

It drives me slightly over the edge when I hear people talking about personal branding and in the same breath list off typical corporate clothes - ie cream suits or red ties as the answer to everything.
That’s just not it!... We already know that most of us get in a flap about what we should wear to an interview, a first date or a big event ... but what about the rest?

So if personal branding isn’t just about the clothes or shoes or matching bicycle clips - what is personal branding about?
It's about conveying who you are and the value you bring. It’s about communication. Not just the words you use - It's how you use words. It's how you interact and react. It’s your body language. It's the entire presentation of yourself.

2. When I say people need to 'sell' themselves.
We all have to sell ourselves at some point. And like most people you probably don't want to seem hugely conceited  or self-serving, however there is a balance and you need to present yourself, your product or service in the best way possible that also allows you to maintain your dignity and self-respect.

Properly promoting yourself and using your brand to help can open doors, but at the same time shameless, loud self-promotion can damage your public image.
Personal branding is not hard – I do it, so it must be relatively easy, but it doesn’t happen over-night and it takes a bit of time - but it really isn’t rocket science.

Main Personal Branding Aims
  • Define yourself. If you are clear about yourself, then people will find it easier to understand and ‘get’ you.
  • Identify your value(s). Clearly identifying what you offer and what you do – your core products/services. 
  • Define your over-riding message(s). Every public touchpoint – ie website, social media account, business cards etc need to relate the same clear message(s)
  • Create your public image. With the Internet so much is possible – I would suggest you need professional photos, business cards, readymade materials that can be tailored for when people want more information, a website and/or a blog, consistent social network presence – that doesn’t mix your social, family side with your professional, business side.
  • Ensure consistent brand delivery. Once you have things is place you need to maintain a consistent brand – anything else will undo your personal work, confuse and dilute.
3. Imagine that you’re not you.

Of course what I mean is – imagine you are your target audience, your customer of choice.

The fact that you have been an international trifle decorator for the past twenty five years might be of huge importance to you but from a client or potential customer’s point of view, first and foremost they generally want to know that you can provide a perfect solution to their requirement.

Cos let’s face it ... no one actually want to spend any money with you....

What they really want is the solution - and by that I mean what they perceive you can help them achieve, or how you can make them feel.

So in pretty much any situation where you are looking to promote yourself or your services or your company, the best place to start is by figuring out what your audience or potential audience wants.

Once you understand your audiences' needs you can tailor yourself and your wares to their requirements. Leading with their priorities, rather than your own.

For further information, help with branding or personal branding or if you want to argue a point email

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