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.
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?