One of the biggest mistakes I see over and over is that professionals complete the branding process in the wrong sequence. Time after time, clients come to me after they’ve developed their logo, rushed to get business cards printed and launched a website. They have spent time and money on incomplete personal branding with a look and feel that is not them at their best. Then they decide to ‘treat’ themselves by hiring a personal branding expert. The issue is that once they develop their personal brand, they begin to see themselves in an entirely new light with more insight, clarity, and confidence and then they say, “Ugh! I would have branded my business with a very different look–one that is me at my best!” S(he) is frustrated, and rightly so, that she has wasted precious resources developing a brand without branding her persona first. Is a personal brand a luxury or a treat? Neither! It is the crucial foundation upon which your business brand should be built.
The Total Package: 5 Keys to a Profitable Personal Brand
My book, The Total Package: 5 Keys to a Profitable Personal Brand, is about the practice of marketing yourself as a brand with some of the same strategies as the big guns like Nike, Coca-Cola or Apple. A well-executed personal brand is strong, consistent and specific. It encompasses all of the fine details from the first impression to the follow-up and beyond.
Celebrity Personal Branding
Personal branding is common among celebrities, politicians and sports figures. Think of Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran, or the jazz styling of Michael Buble, and also Virgin mogul Richard Branson. Each has a reputation for their established and consistent personal brand, and they top it off with their signature look—a look in alignment with their branding, marketing, etc. and you better believe it’s by design.
Successful entrepreneurs understand that developing a strong personal brand is even more important than their products and services because while those goods and services might be top notch, no one will know about them if the personal brand representing them doesn’t capture the attention and curiosity of the prospective customer.