When you begin to see yourself living through the “lens of a brand,” your perspective will change and you will become more mindful about how you approach the personal brand you are trying to define and aiming to live- you at your very best! JuliAnn Stitick
As a business owner, I am thrilled when I share a piece of expertise and there is a look of sudden insight or discovery on the face of a client or a reaction from an audience. One such piece has become a platform and the forefront of my business.
Helen had been in the entrepreneurial world for a over year. Her startup business was bumping along with mediocre returns. She thought she had done ‘all of the right things’- designed a clever logo, built her website and was virtually and live networking numerous times a month. She was frustrated that her success was not accelerating fast enough.
Helen was an audience member at a leadership conference a while back. After my presentation, she made a beeline for me with a look of complete frustration on her face. She began, “I feel like I needed you to act as my ‘general contractor’ as I built out my brand and business. Clearly I did it in the wrong order!” She wanted to know more.
As I described my process, she exclaimed that she wished she had engaged me when she first began her business. She recognized that the sequencing of her brand development had been done all wrong. Ultimately she hired me and when we had completed our process, it became crystal clear how right she was. She understood that having a well-defined personal brand framework would have elevated her business brand because she would have brought the very best of her to the branding process. She ended up re-branding her business, creating a new website, and taking new photographs and videos because she wanted to reflect her elevated and powerful personal brand. She even began to create her content from a more focused and tightly branded viewpoint. Now her business is booming!
Helen is not alone in this. Most entrepreneurs do not begin with a clear and concise plan of how to do it right the first time. They waste time, money, and lose the chance for stimulated success from the get-go.
I often hear the terms ‘branding’ and ‘personal branding’ used interchangeably and that can be confusing. While there are some similarities, let’s unpack their individual meanings to set our context:
Simply put, your “brand” is what your prospect thinks of when he or she hears your brand name. It’s everything the public thinks it knows about your products, services or company—both factual (e.g. it’s colors are pink and blue), and emotional (e.g. It’s cheerful).
Your “personal brand” is more about you as an individual rather than a tangible or physical product or company. It’s packaging the uniqueness and strengths of you as a person.
You might already begin to see how personal brand development is crucial pre-branding work. Once the personal brand has completely unfolded, you’ll be prepared to create a brand that is completely aligned with you as an individual which allows for a cohesive and consistent representation of you at your best. I have branding experts that won’t even begin process with their clients until they’ve gone through one of my programs.
In the following blog series I’ll be describing in detail the process I use with my VIP clients- successful business owners, professionals and celebrities. The building block essentials I’ll share are important whether you are just beginning the branding process or recognize that you need a refresh.
In the next post of this series I’ll teach you the components to analyze while you strategically develop a strong personal brand foundation and how you weave that throughout your brand identity. If you have a well-established brand these tips will fine tune the presence of your existing structure and revamp it to accomplish your evolved objectives.