The idea of the brand has evolved to include people in today’s individualistic and fast moving world. This means that people now have to consider what perception of themselves they are sending out to the rest of the world; this used to be the reserved for celebrities and politicians but now with social media and technology ordinary people also have to think of their own brands. Personal brands are important, especially in entrepreneurship because they determine who likes and responds to you. A brand can easily attract people or put them off depending on how strong and believable it is so some careful consideration will have to be applied especially when it comes to personal brand reinvention.
Your personal brand should be who you are when you’re being yourself or it should clearly show the aspirations you have by showing that you have direction. Don’t just think of where you are right now- think of where you want to go and let that determine your brand. You might not have a multi-million dollar business now but you want to someday soon so show this through your personal brand and how you carry yourself. This is something that other people will respond to and be inspired by, giving you more fans in the process.
Take time to actually observe other personal brands, whether it’s online or other people around you- this gives you an idea of how to put a brand concept into action. A brand that isn’t put into action isn’t a brand at all but rather a fantasy.
A brand isn’t a vacuum so it also needs to be able to take in aspects and elements of the world around you. No one trusts a brand that remains rigid-we all like brands that evolve realistically and respond to what is happening. Find stories and causes that relate to you and stand up for them and breathe life into your personal brand. Standing up for something is one sure way to put a brand into action.
It is important to ask yourself why you want to reinvent yourself so that you get a clearer idea of the steps you want to take. Brands don’t always reinvent because something bad happened, sometimes it’s just to refresh or change as one grows. Having a child for example, changes certain things about you and this is something that will change your brand or make you want to reinvent it. When you understand why you want to change the brand, the how will become clearer.
A personal brand is something that you live every day and it determines the people you interact with and also determines your business so reinvention isn’t something you should expect to happen overnight if you really want it to be honest and relatable.
1. Craft it
Like a corporate or product brand your personal brand has to be well thought out, so it’s necessary to lay the groundwork by taking time to craft the image that you want people to see.
-Start off by finding the brands that resonate with you, whether it’s a product, blog or a person. Think about the characteristics of the brand that you admire and write them down. -Think about the brands you don’t like or resonate with and list what it is you don’t like -Think about yourself and the impression of yourself you want to leave people with when you leave the room. On a piece of paper write down “Wow. That lady is so______!” Now list all the words that come to mind if you were to describe your personal brand. -These are now words you can pair with fashion, style or groups and tags on social media and this becomes the steps you will take towards the new brand.
2. Create threads
A brand can be many things but it can never be confused. Remember that personal branding also extends to how you portray yourself on social media and in how you dress so your brand should be the thread that connects all its facets. You can’t, for example be a feminist on Twitter and something different on Instagram. Every bit of how you represent yourself should carry through to all the ways in which you present yourself.
3. Be Real
The strongest personal brands are the most believable. Look for example at the celebrity moms people respond to like Angelina Jolie who continues to have fans and admirers because we believe that what she shows of herself is who she really is. Gwen Stefani is another mompreneur that people love and she has managed to merge her funky style and business savvy with her identity as a mother. She doesn’t have to play to an audience because the brand she represents is authentic because it is her. A good brand is never fake so it’s important that you portray yourself through your brand. Keep it real.
4. Don’t Copy
A cookie cutter brand that tries to be like other brands to fit in won’t resonate especially if it doesn’t seem truthful. Being a mompreneur doesn’t mean that you should lose your edge or turn into a Stepford wife, It just means that you have to be who you are with the added layer of motherhood which should tie in with who you are seamlessly. Find what makes you stand out and make that the focal point of your brand. Why should you try to be like other people when you can so easily shine in your own skin?
Authenticity, believability, evolution and connection are just a few important elements people look out for when it comes to a personal brand. Applying these to your brand often seems like a difficult process that requires a branding expert but personal branding often starts with these simple questions- are you happy and secure in your own skin? Do you love the life you’re living and are you yourself in every conversation and interaction? If the answers to these questions are yes-you have done one of the most important parts of the process.
Good luck – I’ll be keeping my eye out for you!