From political campaigns to the Kardashians, we’re surrounded by people who are also brands. So what does that mean for business owners and entrepreneurs? Should everyone be self branding?
What is Self Branding?
Effective marketing is all about catching the attention of your audience and making them interested and excited enough to turn into paying customers.
Branding is so important for big companies. We see certain logos or taglines and immediately know what to expect. We get excited for the newest product from our favorite brands even before we know what it is because we love the brand itself!
So where does branding come from?
Branding is the Face a company shows to the public. For large companies with lots of money to spend on marketing, this Face might be a logo or a spokesperson. A good example of this is Culligan Water. Not only do they have a well branded logo but their spokesman is their “Culligan Man”, and is literally in every single ad campaign they use. Wow, that model has a cushy job!
For most entrepreneurs and small business owners, though, branding is quite different. The face of the business owner often becomes the Face of their business.
Who Should Be Self Branding
Below is a list of professions that should be self branding. If you fit within one of these professions start thinking about what your brand already communicates to others and how effective it might be.
- Someone in the public eye representing themselves as an Actor, Music Artist, a Model or any kind creative individual. They want to be known for their unique creative style and do not mind being seen as a Public Figure.
- A politician who wants to stand behind a mission or principal and be depicted as a specific character type that is suited for a position in a Public Office.
- Creative Writer that wants to be the Face behind the stories they write.
- An individual who has written a Biography and want to be the Face behind their life story.
- A Public Speaker who talks about any topic that showcases their expertise, knowledge and insights. For example, a Spiritual Leader, a Doctor, an Engineer, a Fitness Guru, etc. They have either written books or developed a self-help program and use their talks to generate leads that become clients.
- A Public Speaker and/or a Workshop Facilitator who uses their talks to generate leads that you turn into clients.
- Someone who is a Life Coach, Style Coach, Marketing Coach or any kind of personal coach. You probably conduct workshops or do public talks to also convert participants into clients.
- The Principal of your business in any kind of industry and you do any kind of relationship marketing, internet marketing or social media marketing.
You Might Not Know It But You’re Already Branding
Since the majority of your business outreach is done online you already are the Face behind your business.
Every time someone comes to your website or looks at your marketing materials, they’re seeing the Face of your business. That is your brand.
So, think about it. Let's say you visit a website for a life coach and instantly you're attracted by a blog article topic. It's a clean, responsive site and has a lot of great graphics and photographs on it. Plus, all the portraits of this life coach are professionally photographed and tell a great story about who they are and what they do. That would be a pretty good user experience. Now let's say you visit another life coaches website and it is over 7 years old and hasn't been updated in 3 years. The headshot that is on their About Me page looks like it was taken at a Christmas party with someones cell phone. Quite a different impression they are making isn't it?
If you don’t direct your audience to see you in a specific way, they will define you in their own way.
Dress for Success
Have you ever heard the saying "dress for success"? You need to “dress” your business for success as well. If you have big dreams and goals you want to accomplish, then your personal brand needs to reflect that.
When you define your goals, your unique characteristics and your brand message, you will attract the customers you want to serve.
But there’s a catch: your brand and the Face you project have to be genuinely you! If you attract an audience with great branding but your services don’t match that brand, your audience will get confused and leave.
The magic happens when you have a beautiful brand that matches your genuine talents and offerings. Then, you’ll attract an audience who will turn into loyal customers and raving fans.
Based on my example above of the life coach, who do you think is more likely to get the customer? The one who has invested time in defining their personal brand or the one with the outdated website? Does it mean that the first life coach is better than the other one? Not likely. However, the who has defined their brand is telling a clearer story that will attract the type of clients they work best with. Which doesn't make them better, just different.
By dressing your brand image for success you become the vision of your dreams, almost guaranteeing you’ll achieve them.
“All of us need to understand the importance of self branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.
– Tom Peters in Fast Company
Could You Use a Self-Brand Update?
Ask these questions:
- What does your current online presence look like to your potential customer?
- Are you targeting your ideal client?
- Do people take you seriously?
Unfortunately, if you are currently using different pictures of yourself on multiple platforms (selfies, outdated portraits, unflattering snap-shots, blank avatars, or your pet) then people will not take you seriously.
In many cases your business profile is the first time a person sees you. That initial introduction is perceived as the reality of who you are. An incomplete or unpolished profile will make the viewer assume you don’t care about your business because you don’t have the time to present yourself professionally.
Self-branding You in your business is a relatively small investment that ends up making all your marketing exponentially easier.
Wondering if self branding is right for you or how to do it?
If you would like more information on self branding email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, give me a call (805) 440-3655 or sign up for a Free 30 minute marketing consultation.