— Alice Temperley
Creating an image with intentionality is what will set you and your business apart. Her Story of Success is similar to established brands in that it has undergone a process to determine its voice and has let its core values dictate its character.
Creating your brand is a process that starts with the message you want it to represent. A mission statement whether it is for business or for yourself will help to guide decisions. Added images and content should create a cohesive experience. Compare your brand to others in a similar niche or target market and determine what qualities set you apart. Highlighting the unique offerings of your brand will provide authenticity. Fresh Sparks has the details on working through this process.
Be unique. You are invested in the business likely because you believe in its mission. Don’t be shy about what that mission is and why it is important. Marketing Donut outlines the steps on creating that one-of-a-kind story and image.
Thinkific talks about all the perks of spending time to create a brand that truly represents your business including additions to the bottom line. Having a well-known professional brand and platform can justify higher prices. Brand has become so associated with status that consumers are willing to pay for the brand that elevates them as an individual.
With the multitudes of platforms available to spread a brand’s voice and image it can be easier than ever to make mistakes. Creating some guidelines around your brand can help to eliminate mistakes such as deciding colors and images that will be used and some that will never be used. While you may be diligent about how you use your brand others may not. Keeping an eye on how it is shared and used can be difficult and create brand confusion. Check out this Entrepreneur article on common missteps to watch out for.
Even if you are not a business owner you should consider how to more tactically market yourself. Creating a brand as an individual will show how you best connect with others and operate within your industry. What values and unique experiences do you have? What areas of business are you personally passionate about? Personally, I am very passionate about supporting women business owners and women professionals. I make all choices related to my career with that mission in mind. It is why I write these blogs, volunteer where I do, and work with the clients that I do. I let that mission dictate where I spend my time. Frankly, it is easier to make decisions around what I will be involved in. I just ask myself if it is aligned or not.
Forbes has tips on all the different images of yourself you should consider. Some of these tips include looking at your online presence, making it easy to find you, curating your connections and interests for alignment, and creating a clear story about who you are. Some individuals even go so far as to be consistent with clothing and scents they wear to create a consistent expectation of their appearance.
If you are on the fence as to whether you should invest the time to develop your brand, keep in mind this thought from Brittany Cole: “Cultivating an authentic personal brand to clearly communicate your value is essential to thriving in any career. If you aren’t branding yourself, you’re giving permission for someone else to do it for you.”
The Importance of Consistency
It is imperative that you really work through the steps of creating a brand and have a clear image before beginning to put it out into the world. Well known brands are known for consistency. It is how places like Starbuck’s and McDonald’s have grown the way they have. Customers know exactly what they are going to receive as far as service and product no matter the location.
Whether the brand is for you personally or for your business, consider consistency as one of your top priorities. Venveo outlines the reasons it is so important, including dependability. Your consumers, connections, employers, and employees want to know who they are affiliated with and need the level of trust that consistency provides. Having a dependable image may have the added bonus of creating advocates. If this sounds like a big project to handle alone, look to this article by Clear Voice on who to look to for assistance.
Check out more from Brittany Cole of STYLE by Britt at the links below. Brittany is a speaker and leadership development coach that helps women and millennial professionals of color with personal branding, communication and leadership skills to thrive.
Check out her website here.
We want to hear from you! What has been successful for you in building a brand for your business or for yourself?