If you're branding and you know it clap your hands. If you're branding and you know it clap your hands. If you're branding and you know it then your words and actions should show it. If you're branding and you know it, clap your hands!
Ok. So my song was pretty lame, but the topic is not. Personal branding. Whether you know it or not, and most people don't know it, you are always adding layers to your personal brand with the things you do and say both in person and online. Don't believe me? Get a piece of paper and pen, or use your phone. I'm going to give you some words, and I want you to immediately write down the name of the first person to come to your mind. Ready?
Dog lover -
Loves wine -
World traveler -
Sunshine and positivity -
Would you just stop with the political posts already -
Pumpkin Spice -
Loves cars -
Negative, whiny, downer -
Craft beer drinker -
When I think of anything related to music I think of -
You came up with at least one name for every one of these words or phrases. This is the essence of branding.
According to Unmarketing, "A brand is not a logo. A brand is what you think and feel when you see a logo." Therefore, what you think and feel is dictated by the story a brand tells. When it comes to people, everything we do, or sometimes don't do, and say, tells a story about us and plays a part in building our personal brand. When people see us or our name, they immediately think and feel something about us based off of the interactions they have had with our "brand."
The trigger for this post was a comment that was made in the private group for industry professionals on Facebook recently. It is pretty obvious to me that people do not realize what they are doing to their personal brands when they post on Facebook. It is disheartening to watch when the general public is negative, rude, condescending, or speaks without regard for the feelings of others, but it's even more so when you realize this is a group of 5000 people that are paid to build brands for people and companies everyday.
If you think about the exercise above, you realize you had a person for each one of those words. If you think about it a little more you realize that because of the brand you have built for yourself, there is a group of words that people would also impulsively associate with you as well. Have you ever given thought to what these words might be?
As an example, at one point in time, I was a prolific coffee drinker. For my birthday people on Facebook very generously sent/messaged me $5.00 gift cards. At the end of the day, I had quite a few trips to make to Starbucks. $500 worth in fact! When people thought of me, they immediately thought coffee. For the last two years, I've been drinking a specialty tea, and rarely post about coffee anymore, but guess what I still get for my birthday each year from people that know me on social media?
I won't take anymore of your time, or belabor the point. However, I will leave you with some quick homework. Take time to think about what you see people posting and how that makes you feel about that person. What does their personal brand, which is ultimately feeding into their business brand, say about them. Step two, take time to look back at some of the things you have posted. What does your personal brand, that ultimately feeds into your business brand, say about you? Is it good? If you were your friend, would you be proud to call you friend? And if you were a business owner, would you be proud to have you on the team? If the answer is yes, awesome. If the answer is no, it doesn't mean you have to change anything. Rule #1 is always be true to you. However, if you aren't happy with the results you are getting in relationships both personally and professionally, it might be time for a re-brand. If the biggest brands in the world can do it successfully, so can you.