We know what brands are. We see them and readily identify them. Think of Nike, McDonald’s, and Under Armour. These big companies understand the need for branding so that when you think of running, you think of Nike, when you think of burgers, you think of McDonald’s, and when you think of sports performance, you think of Under Armour. Having a nice logo helps too, but the gravy is really in their ability to get you to think of their company off the top of your head when you need something they are known to offer.
Now, in this age of smaller, individualized businesses, branding is still important, but many business owners do not realize this. They believe their product or service can stand on its own, but those are worthless without the person behind their creation or distribution. Society has come back to wanting to know the person behind the business. In other words, you are the business.
What does this mean in terms of branding? It means you have to brand yourself.
Personal branding does the same for you as it does for the big companies. The difference is that instead of people thinking of a big business when they need something, they think of you, the human being.
According to Fast Company Magazine’s website, in order for your business to succeed in the current marketplace, regardless of your product or service, you have to be “the head marketer for the brand called You.”
Here’s a practical example:
Fitness expert Chalene Johnson is the owner of Powder Blue Productions and is the creator of Turbo Kick, PiYo, Hip Hop Hustle, Turbo Jam, ChaLEAN Extreme, and Turbo Fire. But how many fans of those workouts know of her company? Not as many as you think. What Chalene has done is make sure that people know her, trust her, and like her in every way she is able to contact them, including social media, so that when they think of those workouts, they think of her and she becomes the go-to person for what her company sells.
Does her company have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, yes, but she is not the one running those accounts. She has her own Twitter account and Facebook “Like” page and you are going to find out more from her than just following the company’s accounts. See the “sources” section below for links to her sites for examples.
So, how do you create a personal brand? Here are 6 tips from Fast Company Magazine:
- Remember that you are not defined by your job description or job title.
- Figure out what makes you different. That’s what the big businesses do.
- You need to be visible. If your potential customers don’t know you exist, they can’t buy from you.
- Realize and embrace that you have influence power. That’s not a bad thing. Use it to help your business succeed.
- Figure out what loyalty means to you (and forget blind loyalty to anyone or any company).
- Decide the future of You. Deciding where you want to take yourself is critical in finding and developing your brand.
Here’s the deal, you are your business and your business is you. The two are never separated because that is how your current and potential customers see you. As you present yourself in a way that shows your power, expertise, and individuality, your business will begin to succeed in ways that could not be achieved by hiding behind your product or service.
Fast Company Magazine: The Brand Called You
Kim Duke, “The Sales Diva”
Chalene Johnson on Facebook
Chalene Johnson on Twitter
Personal Branding Blog by Dan Schawbel