“I believe in both miracles and destiny, but in the end we make our own realities. Branding doesn’t happen just by deciding it’s a good idea. There’s a lot of work to do…it’s a process that will take time. So why should you bother? Here’s why: To know who you are and be valued for it, to attract what you want, to become more attractive to others, to inspire confidence, to walk your path with integrity, and to distinguish yourself in whatever field you have chosen.” -Robin Fisher Roffer
The very first step is to model your brand on your authentic self. There’s only one like it in the world, which makes it (1) distinct from any other, and (2) something you and only you can pull off. What words speak of your personal value system-that metronome for personal behavior (what you stand for, what you want to live up to, what you consider most important to your inner life and well-being)? When you discover what resonates with your soul, trust it. Your challenge is to capture the essence of what you have to offer, create interest and enthusiasm for it, and enhance your image in the business world.
STEP 2: Define Your Dreams and Put Them into Action
You are very likely to get what you ask for, because when you finally uncover and get serious about your heart’s desire, the universe starts listening. When you think of a mission statement, think trumpets in the background; imagine a drum roll. Companies with powerful mission statements and employees who embrace these statements walk the walk and talk the talk. Create a mission statement for yourself and write it out. When you commit your dreams to paper, you release them out into the world. Then when you speak of your dreams, you move them another inch closer to reality.
STEP 3: Go After Your Target Audience with a Vengeance
No matter what your brand’s mission or your financial goals or your personal dreams, identifying and earning the devotion of your target audience are the interlocking and necessary means to reaching those objectives. But don’t be unreal. Don’t try to be what you are not. If it is a bad fit, it wouldn’t have worked out anyway. Before you try to appeal to your audience, do a 180-degree turn and stand in their shoes
STEP 4: Don’t Crash and Burn-Figure Out What’s Stopping You
Fear stops you in your tracks. It’s critical to overcome these inner fears while developing your brand strategy, because in many cases the thing you are afraid to do is in fact the one thing you need to do to solidify your brand.
STEP 5: Recruit a Squad of Brand Cheerleaders
The road to success is a lot smoother when it is lined with cavalcades of supportive colleagues and zealous mentors to sing your praises, open doors for you, and provide sage advice. Look for guides, teachers and promoters among your friends, your family and your colleagues to smooth your path and to help create an atmosphere for success. Be a good student-otherwise your mentor will lose interest. Listen to her advice and then put that advice into action!
STEP 6: Learn the Secrets to Packaging Your Brand
In any business situation, appearances count, big-time. Your challenge is two-fold: to make your exterior appealing to your target audience and to make sure your exterior is as much a genuine reflection of your interior as possible. What does your audience want to see? What kind of package does it respond to, feel safe with, understand, respect, admire? What kind of package can you put together to motivate, or even excite, your audience?
STEP 7: Get Comfortable in Your Own Skin
So you’re flawed. Who isn’t? Cultivate a personal style, identify your own personality, accept its markers and integrate them into your brand strategy. Do you sparkle? Do you demonstrate your creativity or your competence in action and word? Are you curious, earnest, self-deprecating, sure of yourself, steady, clever, or adventurous-and how do you show it? A lot of people think charisma is something you are born with-and they’re right. But what not everyone knows is that we’re all born with it. Whether or not we all use it is another question.
STEP 8: Devise a Plan and Get On with It
Brand success asks you to think about your brand in this very intense, obsessive way: writing it down, talking it up, and putting it out in the universe to fulfill its destiny. Managing yourself, your product, your time, your family, the information you receive is a lot, but as CEO of your life, who else is going to do it? Keep your eye on the prize and constantly and consistently work towards that end. Hey, no one said branding was easy…but the rewards for this effort are HUGE!
Adapted from Make a Name for Yourself by Robin Fisher Roffer