Realize that you are a brand. Many of us don’t think of ourselves as a “brand” but we are. Take the time to really think about your brand or what you want your brand to be. What’s your brand saying to others? What do you want it to say?
Clearly define your brand. Your brand requires a BIG vision. A clearly defined vision leads to a clearly defined brand. Start with a big vision and then take your brand from there.
Make a good and lasting impression EVERY time. Your business depends on it. Everything you do, say, write, drive, or wear says something about your brand. We make first impressions via email, on the phone, and in person.
Manage the nonverbals. What you’re not saying is just as important as what you are saying. What does your body language tell others? We often miss the nonverbal cues we give off, so ask for some feedback from people you trust.
Be authentic in your brand. Do what you say you’ll do and be who you are—all the time. Others are watching you and people spot a phony immediately.
Manage your online brand. Google yourself and see if what comes up is what you want to come up. Make sure you regularly update sites you participate in. Your online brand has huge potential—use it wisely and deliberately.
Ask for feedback. Ask people you trust to give you feedback about your brand and your image. When they think of you, what three words come to mind? How do you impact others? What do they see as your weaknesses? Asking for feedback can be scary, but it’s worth the discomfort.
Use affirmations to build your own self-image. We must manage our self-image no matter what. Our own personal level of confidence is directly related to how people perceive our company and will dictate what’s possible in our world.
Remove perfectionism. Perfectionism gets in the way of building and growing a brand. I’ve had a motto written in my office for a long time that said, “done is better than perfect.” It was a great reminder to me each day that things will never be perfect. Accept it and move on.
Make brand management an ongoing endeavor. Do something every day to build the brand “you” and your organization. Read books on branding, attend webinars, ask for help. Do something small each day to stay involved in building your brand.
Say it, say it louder, and then say it again. Branding is all about being consistent with our message and repeatedly getting it out into the marketplace and within our organizations.
Review your branding strategies on a quarterly basis. Ask yourself these questions: Is our brand consistent? Is it relevant? Do your employees and clients know what your brand is and what it stands for? How is our brand holding up to our competitors? These are just a few questions to get you started when you take the time to review your brand.
Make branding FUN. Marketing is fun. Creating and building your brand is really about putting your personality on your business—and that should be fun!