BYOB—Bring Your Own Brand
In a world saturated with businesses and individuals trying to do the same thing, whether you’re a fresh tech start-up in the Silicon Valley or looking for your big break in the NYC fashion industry, audiences need more to relate to then a resume—they need you. So, at your next networking event, interview, and across social media, always remember to BYOB—Bring Your Own Brand.
Don’t put the cart before the horse.
Before you begin projecting your personal brand to the world, ask yourself the question, “What does my brand stand for?” If you’re like me, having a strategy on paper serves as a necessary guide for any effective marketing plan. Take some time to do homework and draft a marketing strategy to help center your branding efforts across all channels.
Use social media.
If you’ve scheduled a consultation with me or are familiar with my work in general, you already know social media is a top priority for myself, my business, and my clients. Within the next decade, the world will be receiving information through the screens of their phone or computer more than any other channel. It’s never too late to create social media profiles and learn how to leverage them to your professional advantage. As an entrepreneur, creativepreneur, an up-and-coming young professional, or even a seasoned CEO, social media is your platform to solidify your expertise and share your personal brand with the world. No matter the website, from LinkedIn to Instagram, ensure your messaging is consistent and representative of who you are as an individual and your goals as an industry leader. By skimming your profiles, it should be easy for users to understand your interests, accolades, goals, and who your audiences and networks are.
Face-to-face marketing—don’t avoid it.
Society seems to be increasingly pixelated every day. Some professionals freeze in the midst of a face-to-face encounter. Don’t be a robot. One of the most memorable ways to share your brand with your target network or audiences is for them to meet you in person. In-person brand experiences are far more tangible and memorable. Even if you have a killer social-media presence with thousands of followers, your brand will definitely lose some credibility if you can’t effectively and confidently communicate in person. The real world is a bit more out of your control, so you must be readily able to share your brand to others. Dress to impress, have a firm handshake, print some snazzy business cards, and don’t be afraid to express your goals and brand with others.
You’re the package deal.
As with any business, you should be running an ongoing, fully integrated branding plan for yourself. All channels communicating your brand should easily access the next. Anyone encountering your brand should have all pertinent information easily accessible within seconds: links to other social media profiles, your portfolio, mission statement, etc. Your brand’s presence should be fully inclusive of the bigger picture.
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” —Albert Einstein
Branding should be a fun and interactive process that drives objective, tangible results. It’s obvious when businesses and individuals aren’t having fun with it, and nobody wants to connect with a boring brand. The point of branding in the first place is to create a name and image that audiences want to relate to, and to do that, you must showcase what makes you special at the forefront of your efforts—BYOB!