When you see a commercial with a red and white bullseye and pretty people jumping across the screen, what store do you think of? TARGET. When you see golden arches in the horizon its easy to discern what fast food restaurant is close by. McDONALDS.
When you walk into Walmart and see an elderly person there with a Walmart smock ready to greet you with a smile you may not think they add immediate bottom line profits to the massive conglomerate, but in the long run….it is all a part of their brand and it ALL leads to profits.
Much like that precious woman or man greeting you at Walmart’s door, your initial efforts in personal branding or your social media awakening may not seem to equate into IMMEDIATE dollars. However, in time, it all adds up and leads to profitability if done strategically with the end consumer in mind.
We are still in the early stages of many people’s awakening to the FACT that social media is the future of marketing. And for those of you getting your feet wet by setting up a facebook page, a personal blog, twitter account or other form of social media connection, be patient! Results take time. You may not see a sale immediately. It may take time before you increase your “stickiness” (the rate to which people follow you and truly WANT what you have to offer). Don’t give up too soon on what can and WILL be the future of your business, your brand, and your inevitable way of life.
Unlike a tv commercial that FORCES its way into your favorite show, social media allows you to make “connections” with people of common interest. You have the opportunity to step into other people’s space, find out what they like, and create relationships based on common interests. Imagine it like going to a baseball game and chatting with the person on the bench beside you while you both watch your kids play little league. You hang out. Tell stories. Celebrate together and eventually make a connection.
Do you realize that the GREATEST brand you will ever represent on earth is YOU, Inc.? The way you dress, the parfume you wear, the car you drive, the church you attend, the words you choose, the books you read, all speak of YOU. Branding yourself properly to the world around you is crucial to your success. As it relates to your personal brand through social media, it is VITAL to the success of your business. We live in an age where people want to know your secrets. They want to know where you shop, what kind of cereal you eat, and what you are doing that might be of interest to them.
You can think that is odd, weird, or just plane rediculous, but IT IS the way the world is revolving so get used to it!!! You may not think that you have a personal brand right now, but EVERYONE brands themselves everyday. You just might have been terrible about making your brand work for you.
Branding yourself in the world of social media is much like the mom who shows up at EVERY little league game with a t-shirt that reads “BOBBY’S MOM”. It doesn’t take long before you know what she is about and where her interest lies. In the same way, social media allows the world to not only know the facts of your life, it also enables them to get a closer look at the BENEFITS of being connected to you.
I remember a young woman who emailed me saying that she wanted to come and intern for one of our non-profit organizations. She seemed so sweet in her interviews and sent us a lovely letter of interest. What she didn’t know, however, was that WE DO OUR HOMEWORK! First, I googled her name to see what I would find. Not much. Then, I did a search for her in facebook. BINGO! There before my very eyes was that sweet little angel holding a beer, sticking out her tongue, while her other hand was holding a private part of her body!!!!
Now, consider the “BRAND” she was allowing the world to see. Instead of branding her self on social media as a responsible, yet fun loving lady, she made herself look like an irreverent party girl. Personal branding works both ways. It can build your brand to a place of excellence and value, or it can bring you to a place of utter shame.
Here are 3 Big “DO’s” In Personal Branding
DO….OBSERVE the 90/10 rule. Make 90% of your communication about others, offering ideas to help others, or even promoting others. Reserve 10% to share you personal goods and information. You may think, “But what’s the point of spending all that time on the internet if I am just talking about others?” Because you are building a tribe. What is a tribe you may ask? (More on that in another blog….) I love how Seth Godin states it in his book TRIBES, “A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, or connected to an idea.”
People long to belong to something bigger than themselves, but they repel the thought of being led by an egosentric, self endulging mouthpiece. Recognize that everyone you know has their OWN goals, objectives, and passions. Helping THEM reach a place of success will bring you greater acclaim than shouting your knowledge from the roof tops. As you build others, people will recognize that you “know your stuff” and that you don’t need to impress them. Let them see that you are truly a giving and caring person who doesn’t need attention but is willing to lead them to success. Zig Ziglar once said, “You can have everything in life you want if you will help enough other people get what they want.”
DO…. GIVE free information. I had a dream one night about a boomerang. In the dream I heard a voice saying, “Give and it will come back to you.” There is a spiritual principle of giving and receiving that works equally as great in the world of social media as it does in the church. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Let them know you by offering them FREE access to your best.
DO…. FOCUS your brand on what you LOVE to do. If you are in a dead end job and tired of the rat race, my goodness, DON’T WAIST YOUR TIME blogging or chatting about it. Instead, think about what you are most passionate about. It could be anything. It could be as simple as a love for Yorkies. The more you begin to brand yourself as the “Yorkie Queen”, the more you will begin to have other Yorkie lovers follow you and want to hear what you have to say. Suddenly, you could have a secondary income on providing great Yorkie photos, Yorkie clothing, or something that brings you absolute joy. Your personal brand should be so exciting to you that you could spend hours on the internet chatting about it and never even feel like it is work at all.
I love what Gary Vaynerchuk says in his book, “Crush it!”, a MUST READ for anyone wanting to cash in on your personal brand through social media. He says, “Your DNA dictates your passion – whatever it is you were born to do; being authentic, and being perceived as such to your audience, relies on your ability to ensure that every decision you make when it comes to your business is rooted in being true to yourself.”
So whether you are seeking to build a tribe of Yorkie lovers or create a brand that leads to your company’s products, remember: The greatest brand you will ever represent in the world is YOU, inc. I pray that your brand brings light, hope, and joy to the people you connect with daily.
I would love to hear about YOUR brand! Share it with us all.