Do you know your brand?

The word brand is tossed around like the latest craze of buzzwords you’ve just gotta know.

Your brand is your business
Your brand is your business

And part of me thinks… this buzzword “Brand” is just a bunch of bull.

Know what your brand is?

It’s your reputation.  And it is earned.

Every day you earn the reputation, the actual words, that people use to talk about (which could also be called promotion/ marketing/ advertising/selling) YOU.  To inform people about YOU.

Your brand is what people say about you when you are not around.

And guess what?  It matters.  It matters because that’s how people find you if you have an online business.

It matters because people want to trust others and connect.  You have to make sure that you are trustworthy.

It matters because people want to laugh with people who are happy and want to laugh.  Just like they want to business with people who want to do business with them.  People often are kinder to people who are kind to them first.

It matters because even though you may have a tremendous product, if you’re a jerk- nobody cares.

It all comes back to you.

Like George in that classic Seinfeld, “I’m going with jerk store.  Jerk store is the line. Jerk store.”

I have witnessed a major Jerk Store move in some friends’  business behavior.  And quite frankly, I’m disappointed.

Now, it wasn’t even about me.  Didn’t matter to my life one bit.  But my friend got burned.  Embarrassed.  It’s not even about the move, it’s about the lack of human decency in a business move.

That’s where people lose faith in the brand.  They hear of people getting walked on, mistreated, insulted or worse, completely ignored as if they don’t matter at all in the great corporate scheme.

And I’m sick of it. Disgusted, really.

Because it’s about people.

[Tweet “Zig Ziglar put it best when he said, “You can have everything you want in life, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” via @itsamyrobles”]

So today, take a moment and think about how you are treating the people around you.  Every one around you.  That guy at the gas station who always seems to be there when you are.  The other Moms who drop their kids off to school at the same time you do-  do you say hello or are you in way too much of a rush?  What about the people you see in your everyday routine, are you gracious and kind, saying thank you and being polite?  Or do you just rush by in a fit of fury.

Because it matters.  Your brand is being built by your actions.  Even if you don’t have a business, you are creating a brand.  Kindness is now the hallmark to attract quality individuals to your life as friends/clients/people we want around us.

Make sure you are creating the brand you want.

So, I want to know, this is a killer conversation we can have.

Please tell me in the comments:  What has been a powerful branding example you’ve seen in the past week?


How to Brand Yourself and Still be You

How to Brand Yourself and Still Be YOU

If you’re thinking about starting a business from home, being there to support your family’s financial bottom line, reaching out and bringing in a bit more income while still maintaining your life, this post is especially important for you.  (And between us, I know you are.  You are reading this- it feels like we are having a conversation, rather than posting a blog.)

You must begin to think of yourself as a brand. No bells and whistles.  Just you.  

How to Brand Yourself and Still Be YOU
How to Brand Yourself and Still Be YOU

You are Your Brand.

Did she just tell me to think of myself as a brand?  I’m not Banana Republic, and I’m certainly no Costco.  She better correct herself.

Wait, come here you!  You need a hug. Let me explain, then I want to hear all of your thoughts in the comments, and we will discuss.  Pinky promise.

Did you ever think about being a brand?  No. You’re a person.  You have your life as a Mama, wife, employee, CEO of your Casa, home-based business owner, you’ve got your etsy shop all set up, whatever it is- you have a lot going on already.  But what is the message you are sending out to the world? What is YOUR MESSAGE?  Or, what is your brand message?

Gary Vaynerchuk explains it like this:

Your message to the world is your brand.

The stories you tell create your brand.  You speak the words that people will use to describe you, and your brand.  For example, have you ever been in a group of people and someone mentions another person’s name and everyone just rolls their eyes.  That lady has a brand.  She may need to work on it a bit. Maybe that same group of people mention a name and everyone’s excited to see that guy, hear more from him, and get involved with working with him; that guy has a brand.  His brand is working for him.

Not sure about this?  You see personal brands everyday.  Think of that guy on the freeway in his huge shiny truck (which he probably couldn’t afford in the first place,) with brand new tires, shining rims, tinted windows and on the back of the window in giant letters says either the name of his NFL team or his home country.  He’s got his brand.

3 powerful words

Think of how you want to be remembered.  When people mention your name, these three words will come to mind.  If that’s too much to take in, think of the words you want people to use at your funeral.  Seriously.  Do the words drab, plain, and unhappy come into your mind?  I hope not.  Now look at your FB page.  Read your last 10 posts.  What are the words that you would use to describe them?  Positive?  Funny?  Inspiring?  Are you just complaining about the clerk at the grocery store?  Bad customer service with your phone company?  What are the words you would use to describe those?

Look, I know those negative experiences happen.  Every day.  But how you talk about things is the message you are sending out to the world.  If you don’t make a conscious effort to speak positively or to laugh at tough situations then you just sound like a complainer.  Not the brand message you want to share.

Consider, you know that girl who ONLY uses a certain brand name purse?  Her purse, shoes, sunglasses, even her phone case is all distributed by that brand. She has made a retail brand her brand.  She loves the message that Coach, Kate Spade, Louis Vuitton or Hermes is sending to the world and has claimed it for herself.   In my opinion, she just jumped on the brand’s bandwagon and has forgotten who she is.  She joined a brand.  She didn’t create her own.

Create your content

The messages that you share are your brand.  They are consistent with your brand because they are you.  They come from you.  So when you have your three powerful words put them on a sticky note where you can see them daily.  When you post to FB see that sticky note in your mind.  Is the message consistent with your brand?  If not, re-work it.

The best brand?  Is YOU. Authentically, beautifully, unashamedly YOU.  You have a something to share.  Make sure that you are making your message consistent with the way you want to be remembered.  That’s it.  Do this for all of your social media, blog, and website.  Be YOU.  The best you.  100% you.

And build YOUR brand.

Tell me, what is one thing you are doing to build your brand?