You Are Your Brand
Here’s a secret successful marketers know: customers don’t buy a product. They buy you.
Your personality. Your experience. The unique qualities only you possess.
There was a time when “branding” meant a corporate-looking logo and a slick catalog, but in today’s online marketplace, the real value is not in appearing to be a big company, but rather in just being you. And your personality shines through in a variety of ways.
When you think about memorable brands, companies like Nike, Apple, and Target come to mind. But building a brand isn’t just for billion-dollar companies. Any business today needs to be thinking about how it represents itself to the world. If you are your business, this is even truer.
Your personal brand is what makes you stand out. It defines who you are and what you do, and sets you apart from others in your field. It showcases your unique value and how you can help customers. It’s the reason they buy from you and not from someone else.
What people say about you and your products or services, to your face and behind your back, is part of your brand. How you dress and behave with others is part of your brand. Your online presence, including your social media profiles, is a big part of your brand. What you do online will not go unnoticed, and in business, you want to make sure you’re being noticed for the right things.
Fortunately, you can manage your personal brand to promote the image and the message you want to get across. You can shape your personal brand to make the right impression on everyone who comes across your name. But it is up to you to take responsibility for the creation and monitoring of your brand.
This doesn’t happen without some effort. You will have to devote time and energy into successfully building your brand.
Your Brand is Your Authentic Voice
How you speak and write and even how you act on camera or in an audio interview has the power to instantly identify you to your audience. You can see this in action if you scroll through your Facebook feed. It’s easy to know who has posted a particular image or status update, just by recognizing the voice with which they generally speak.
Here’s an even more important aspect of your “voice” though: it has the power to attract a specific audience. In recent years, a few high profile coaches and product sellers have become celebrities of a sort, largely because of their harsh, “don’t hold back” language. Ash Ambirge makes no apologies for her use of offensive words, and her fans love her for it. And those that don’t? Well, as she says right on her home page, her site and services are “not for humorless bores.”
Snarkiness and foul language is not the only way to go, though. Carrie Wilkerson has built her brand almost entirely on her ability to be kind and generous. She always has a nice word, never appears defeated or overwhelmed, and is an inspiration to her fans and clients.
While very different in their approach, these two women have one thing in common: authenticity. It’s clear that if you were to meet either of them in person, they would speak and act exactly as they do online. And their brands are stronger for it.
Your Brand is Your Story
How did you get to where you are today? The backstory—which to you might seem boring and uneventful—is a powerful tool that can help solidify your brand and attract just the right audience.
Melissa Ingold tells of being a struggling single mother, and of creating an online business rather than simply choosing to work one dead-end job after another. Her success is an inspiration to her audience, and is a huge part of her branding.
Kelly McCausey speaks often of how she got started online when she was looking for a way to earn just a few extra dollars every month to keep the lights on. Creating graphics at $5 each quickly turned into a full-time online career.
Your story doesn’t have to be dramatic, and you certainly don’t have to share more than you’re comfortable with, but it does have to be yours. Be your true self, and you will never have to worry about attracting the right audience. They will self-select, and your perfect clients will find you.
I’m author, publisher, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and would love to connect with you. If you are new to the world of online entrepreneurship please check out my comprehensive training on how to set up Funnels That Click and learn how to gain an unfair advantage when it comes to building a lucrative online business.