What I’m going to share with you today will help you get your ideas about branding right. Hopefully, your mission statement will start to make sense. I didn’t know any of these, just stumbled upon this fountain of knowledge. So, I want to share it with you.
For many people branding can be confusing, what is branding?
Branding is the idea people have about you or to put it simpler how visitors see you. The idea of a personal brand was foreign to me. How can a person be a brand? We normally associate brands with products and services, but why human beings would want to brand themselves.
Well that’s exactly what I’m going to talk about. If you think branding is about manipulating others to think what you want, it doesn’t necessarily need to be that way. The big guys might do that, but not us. There are many brands out there with a very genuine purpose, you need to find yours.
How To Build A Personal Brand
A brand is not primarily about a service or a product, a brand is about a story you have to tell, your personality, your essence. In a way, we’re branding ourselves all the time, we just don’t realise it.
When we hand over a CV we brand ourselves, when we send a pitch to a magazine we brand ourselves, when we write a blog post we brand ourselves.We’re constantly telling our story. And if you want to sell your services, or even expand your blog and reach more people you need to think like a brand.
It’s not fake, you’re not selling out. You’re building something people can relate with. Your audience should be able to identify with you, and most successful bloggers have built their online business around their personal stories. John Purkiss the co-author of Brand You says,
“Some of us associate marketing with attempts to manipulate customers into buying something that is of little value to them. It doesn’t have to be that way, however. A powerful personal brand has to be authentic, ie based on your talents, your values and the way you serve other people. This will help people to be clear about who you are, both in person and online, and through the opinions of people whom they trust”
Branding is about you and what makes you special. We all have something that makes us unique. Visitors recognise you over other bloggers by your special way of editing pics, or you tone of voice. Also, the way you speak, values and mission can push some people away. That’s fine too. You don’t have to be a blogger for everyone.
The whole concept about branding is connection and we can’t always connect to everything that crosses our path. Hence, we have to define who we’re talking to, who are those visitors we feel connected with, and how we want to communicate with them. So, you kind of guess what everyone says about you when you leave the room.
Is a long process, narrowing down the options can be tricky. You have to ask yourself, what you represent and what side of you, you want to embrace. According to John Purkiss there are few traits you have to consider before building a brand,
Talents: The talents part is the most fun, mainly because you keep evolving and so do your talents. But, you can focus on those talents that have developed into specific skills. Say you like to travel, your talents have developed into a travel writer or a tour guide. Maybe, your special talent is learn languages, so you’re a translator or language teacher . You probably have quite few talents, you can mix them and transform them into something new. Your talents are what you’re good at.
Values: Once you know your talents you have to identify your values. What you believe, and what you think is important. John Purkiss says when you know the values you can identify the same people or organisations to work for. For example, for me a core value is freedom of being able to do what I love. It comes natural to work with start-ups , we have the same values. You have to discover what is super important to you, so much you can’t compromise on that. Maybe you can’t work for a big corporation because it doesn’t align with your values.
Mission: This is about your mission in life, where are you going and what you want to achieve. Your purpose will give future clients or employers an idea of you and what you want in life. Most people resonate with the ones that have a clear mission and know where they’re going. Don’t panic if you’re no sure yet, take your time to think on your short and long term goals.
Archetypes: This is like your stamp of who you are. There are actually 12 archetypes the creator, the explorer, the hero, the innocent, the jester, the lover, the magician, the ordinary guy, the outlaw, the ruler, the sage and the caregiver. You have to identify your archetype and be consistence with embracing those qualities. People should be able to get an idea about and your brand right from the moment they see you.
To build a brand you have to know yourself, the more you know yourself the more solid your brand will be. Look inside, it requires a lot of introspection, and asking yourself questions, a lot of questions!
Again, is not about selling out or just purely marketing is about telling people what you do in the most clear way. It takes time, and it’s a bit complex, just take a look at the things you have done and the things that interest you the most. See how you can build a brand base on that. Once you build a brand with sound roots, the rest will come easier.
Do you think I missed something important? Have you build your brand already? Leave a comment in the comments section below, it’d be nice to know how you’re getting on.
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