Lifestyle Branding—Live It, Breathe It, Love It
Guess what—whether you know it or not, you are marketing your own lifestyle brand to family, friends, peers, and outsiders on a daily basis. From your outfit to your lingo, anything projected to others will contribute to how they perceive your lifestyle and personal brand. Whether or not this is a priority will vary from person to person depending on their social or professional goals. With the advent of the World Wide Web, there are many more channels and opportunities available to market ourselves, and to be effectively noticed, we should be leveraging most digital and traditional channels.
Even Mary-Ann, whose family has owned the local hardware store for the past century, is focused on her own lifestyle brand. Maybe unknowingly, she is marketing herself to her local customer base to ensure they don’t decide to take their business to Home Depot on the other side of the highway. Your brand must offer something to your target audiences that resonates and gives them something to relate to, or else you’re easily disposable.
As I already mentioned, there are many channels to get your brand out there. With social media, the Internet is a 24/7 digital networking event. With any branding plan, you must conduct some form of research to understand where most of your time and energy will be spent. Social media is a must in 2017, so if you haven’t already, make sure you have strong social profiles representative of thy authentic self! Even if you have some nifty digital marketing skills, you must grace your audiences with your presence at some point in person. So, understand where “your people” are hanging out and make an appearance from time to time, mingle, and build rapport. I like to think of networking as an opportunity to build a human ladder, where we find others to build off of one another’s skillset and experiences.
The number one way to ensure your brand’s image attracts the right audiences is to stay genuine. If your image is seemingly inauthentic, people can read between the lines and develop negative connotations with your brand and share them with their peers—word-of-mouth marketing takes off like wildfire. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Be proud of what makes you, you. When it comes to lifestyle branding, whether you’re an entrepreneur or simply looking for new life opportunities, suppressing what makes you unique as an individual if you’re shy or attempting to mimic someone else’s brand will leave your growth stagnant, because what leaders notice and leverage is what makes you different.