You Are Your Brand, Own It!
I had the pleasure of attending a fantastic social media seminar, dubbed an Online Marketing & Social Media Crash Course, featuring none other than Entrepreneur Magazine expert Starr Hall. Now since I already know Starr I was prepared to be blown away by all her proven tips to navigate the online marketing environment. For those of you that don’t her, let me tell you she is indeed a marketing machine!
My friend and event attendee Author Brian L Thompson asked me a question after the event that really had me stumped. He asked me “What was THE most important thing I learned? And what am I going to do with it?” The nerve of him asking me such a loaded question right?! After giving some it some thought, I answered: I think the most significant takeaway for me is that I AM THE BRAND. My personality must resonate in everything I do, so I’m working on adjusting all my communications – social media and otherwise – to accurately reflect my brand.
Why am I sharing this? As business owners, we spend so much time making our clients look fabulous that we often neglect our own businesses in the process – don’t despair because I’m guilty too! As it relates to branding and communication, part of this stems from traditional marketing tactics. You see, before the age of transparency via the internet and social media, too many of us were taught to NOT put a personal spin on our communications, thus we would write a bunch of stodgy copy for our marketing collateral. Great design elements, but the copy would either bore you to sleep or be too sales-pushy.
Unfortunately, many of us still accidentally succumb to this traditional ideology and it hinders our success – again, call me guilty. As I pondered my most significant takeaway from the event, all of the tips and tricks I learned are rooted in the understanding that it’s okay for me to let my personality shine through as I build my brand. My personality, my uniqueness, is what you buy, not my degrees or brochures! Ok, maybe you buy my degrees but you know what I mean!
What makes this so ironic is that Janice Clark, one of my tweeps and mentors, pointed this very thing out to me a couple weeks ago. Anytime I try to hide my personality I bomb, as in no “hits”, no feedback, no inquiries = no sales. So how timely is it that I attended this seminar while I am in the midst of making drastic updates to my online persona? Sometimes timing is everything isn’t it? If you’re reading this post I’d dare to guess the same lesson applies for your business – YOU ARE YOUR BRAND!
I could write a thesis on all the things I learned from Starr during this seminar, but you need to check her out for yourself… Seriously though, I am thankful to know people like Brian, Starr, Janice and my tons of business friends for asking me loaded questions and forcing me to think and ACT on strategies to build my business. Remember, you are judged by the company you keep, and I happen to choose my company carefully. After all, I AM MY BRAND!