Branding. We've all heard the dreaded word from friends, customers, business associates, and pretty much anyone who is interested in your company. In fact, the word is tossed around so much that we often lose sight of its true meaning. In today's gimmick and viral trending world that we currently live in, branding has become just a word. It has come to represent the words that you say not who you truly are as a professional individual. And so, to combat the tendency to toss the word around like you are playing a game of cornhole, we have come up with a few sound bits of advice.
- Branding is and always will be more than the words that you put on a page.
- Branding comes down to the nitty-gritty - it is the fine grain of sand that you can never seem to get out of your swimming trunks.
- Branding should always be about you as an individual.
- Don't talk the talk if you can't walk the walk.
- Stop trying to sell your brand by claiming to know what your customer is thinking. Unless you are a mind reader you literally cannot know what someone is thinking until you ask them directly.
- Stop doing what the other guys are doing. Your success is dependent on you as an individual. See Number Three.
- Be yourself. Your brand shouldn't imply that you are perfect; to imply that you are perfect is to tell the first lie to your future customers. Don't flaunt your weaknesses, but rather, recognize the ways with which you are constantly improving.
- Branding must be consistent.
- People don't change overnight; neither should your brand.
- Developing a brand is a constant work in progress.
With these tips in your back pocket, we are confident that you can tackle branding head on. Get to know who you are as a professional, where you want your career to go, and how you plan on getting there. Following the latter steps will help you create a brand that truly represents who you are, which will inevitably attract the right kind of customers.