A Personal Brand has been defined according to by Peter Montoya and Tim Vandehey as a Clear Powerful, Compelling Public Image; in their book Brand Called You. It simply is; coming out with the ‘you’ that is unique, who you are, what you are about and what value you have to offer to humanity. This is able to place you quite uniquely in the market place and help you stand out because here the product we are selling is YOU. Just but to quote an unusual figure, Snoop Dogg in his quote “Who else could be you, but you?”. This is the power of personal branding, many people can do what you do or at least do something similar but nobody can be you! The art of personal branding is working to make what you do as unique as you because its only you doing it the way you do it which makes it different.
Sit with anyone today looking to start a business and it might take them three days to a week and even asking around from friends on what name they shall use for their business. Brainstorms would vary from Greek Mythology, Constellations, Fancy Words, some even look for fancy words or synonyms in foreign languages to make their business names as unique as possible. This is just an attempt to find something or hide behind a brand that would make you appear bigger than you really are. Opposed to this line of thought are personal branding experts who believe otherwise.
The public has created a certain distance between themselves and ‘corporate brands’ due to what has mostly been termed as mistrust and lack of empathy, this has made way to greater success to businesses that are branded around a persona.
Who is Personal Branding for?
Personal branding is for everyone, I believe, including employed professionals and even students. but more suited to entrepreneurs in Professional Practice, professionals offering Personalized Service, and Consultants and various other areas of business. I once saw an article about a barber who specialized in shaving celebrities and his brand was that he would go with a Rolls Royce to his appointments! its not the shaving that got him famous but the fact that a barber would show up to an appointment in a Rolls Royce. Whatever business you are in, you can build it around yourself or your perceived persona as long as its positive and inspiring.
Trust, Authenticity and Connection
Would you rather call Builders Home Repairs or call Sherastine Mengo Home Repair Services? I don’t know about you but I would call Sherastine Mengo Home Repair Services, even if i talk to his assistant, it still feels like I am talking to Sherastine Mengo, he that understands my home repair needs, he that has a home and repair problems like mine, he ‘That is like Me’. This is the magic of connection, feeling that the other person is just like me. An old saying goes, people do business with people they can trust. It is easier for a business to connect with the market if it is personally branded. The public has ended up believing that corporate brands are often after their money and are not empathetic, this has made way for personal brands to soar.
What Message does your Personal Brand communicate, starting right from your tagline/Unique Selling Proposal? the marketing and advertisement messages going out to the public, the arrangement of your office, your employee attire, your own attire? what do all these communicate?
If this area of your business is not handled properly, start planning on how to get our of business. The lifeline of a personal brand or any business for that matter lies in communication. The most important marketing strategy that consumers have been waiting for marketers to crack is empathy, do you really and honestly care about your customers and their needs? all your communication and marketing strategies must address the issue of empath and carry the message of a business that really cares about the consumers of their services and/or products.
Where to Start?
Name Your Business after yourself.
The first place to start which brews very hot debates among entrepreneurs is the fact that you need to name your business after yourself to succeed in personal branding. Run your head through all the biggest Luxury brands that you know. Think Mercedes, Dolce and Gabanna, Louis Vuitton, Lamborgini, Gucci, etc, come up with your own list of atleast 10 of them, something tells me at least Seven of them will bear the names of the founders. Does this ring a bell? Name your business after yourself!
Am I suggesting that you change the current name you are operating your business in and make it your own name? YES! and YES! Even Corporates rebrand, dont they?
I shall delve into more details on this topic so stay tuned for a ton of value coming your way! Always remember to leave your thoughts in the comments section…