November 5, 2012
In the business field, branding has rapidly become a term that is synonymous with success in marketing. This is probably for good reason considering that branding is characterized as the thoughts that come to mind when individuals come into contact with an established entity (e.g., organization, athletic department, sport program). When it comes down to it, this is essentially the image that key groups of individuals have about your program – and this ultimately directly influences the support you will have for your product(s). With this being the case, the bottom line is that you have to be in the business of branding if you are going to be successful in marketing.
The Very Best of Brand
Recently, I have had the opportunity to talk to a couple of outstanding groups of individuals on branding and the impact of using social media to build brand. As a marketer, you naturally think of the audience that you will be addressing and how you can ensure that your message is useful for them. In my preparation, I realized that there was one topic in particular with the potential to add value to virtually any audience regardless of their background(s). No matter what group of people I am working with, they always have an active interest in learning ways to position themselves for future success.
Introducing the Power of Personal Brand
If you are looking to achieve success in your life, there is a very good chance that you will need to have a vision for where you would like to go. However, this should extend well beyond the dreams and long-term goals that you have for yourself. In fact, the reality is that you will be a critical part of the equation if you are going to achieve something special in life. And it is almost certain that your level of success will depend on your ability to connect with people. This is where personal brand comes into the picture.
In essence, personal brand is an extension of the earlier brand definition that was provided. The primary difference here is that it deals with what people think (and feel) when they think about you. For individuals who embrace this concept, they make decisions every day knowing that each interaction has the potential to build their brand. And when this is done consistently over time, these are the folks who have loyal people surrounding them who want to help them be successful in life. Naturally, this is the type of approach that is conducive to achieving dreams regardless of the field and/or situation facing them. If this is something that sounds appealing to you, it is critical that you take control of your personal brand today. Here are tips to help you do this effectively.
Five Tips for Personal Branding Success
Tip #1: See “self” as a product – To be successful in personal branding, you have to learn to see yourself as a product. I always joke that this certainly doesn’t mean you develop a personality like Chad Ochocinco or Metta World Peace. Instead, you simply realize that success in this world will depend on the ability to position yourself well for key target markets. If you develop sound skill sets and proactively make decisions that build solid relationships, you will create a brand that is highly valuable to the people around you.
Tip #2: Identify your key target markets: Just as in general marketing, it is far more efficient if you are able to identify groups that you would like to impress. While you want to treat all people well, there are certain groups of individuals who will be critical for helping you to achieve your long-term goals. Identify these target markets and think about the things that they value so you can maximize your efficiency in personal branding.
Tip #3: Emphasize ways to build your product: Once you know your key target markets, it is important that you develop your product in a way that will help you realize success in the future. For example, if you have a dream job in a sport organization, you need to think about the all the skills that are necessary to be great in the position and then go out and develop them. Similarly, you need to make decisions each day to build relationships that will get you one step closer to obtaining the position. It is so important that you have self-discipline each day so you differentiate from others who are competing for the same position.
Tip #4: Invest in the role of self-evaluation: As you develop your personal brand (and product), it is important that you invest in self-evaluation. By constantly evaluating your brand, you will give yourself a greater chance of understanding what you need to do in order to achieve your goals.
Tip #5: Consistently “re-invent” your product: Along with self-evaluation, it is important to always try to re-invent your product so you are constantly growing. This will allow you to stay competitive as things evolve around you. This is an important step in any area of marketing.
One More Critical Element
Personal branding is about learning to be aware of the way that your actions influence others around you. If you are going to invest in this process, why not do it the right way and strive for excellence. Build a brand that leaves a legacy. More on this in future entries…
“If you build an extraordinary brand, there will always be a unique place for it in the world”