A Busy Woman’s Guide to Building an Authentic Brand
By Jean Usen
Who are you behind the glossy business cards and neatly arranged website? What does your business stand for?
In a world of super-brands like Coca-Cola, McDonalds and Geico you may be doubting your ability to stand out among the fray.
Nelson Jackson says it best: “I do not believe you can do today’s job with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow.” In this world of social media and social sharing your task of branding your business takes on a whole new dimension. How do you survive?
Building your professional brand hinges on your ability to do the following 3 things well…
1. Find Your Passion – Ask yourself a very important question: Am I doing what I was born to do? Am I passionate about my work? If you have decided that you are born for something, you have a responsibility to honor that gift and validate your faith with action. Break the huddle of endless planning and preparing and get to work! Doing what you are passionate about makes building your authentic brand easy.
2. Get Undressed – Yes, I said it! You need to become nude for the entire world to see!
One word of caution before you strip down to your penny loafers: Super-blogger Jai Stone calls for women to embrace “emotional nudity” and partake in a daily dose of self-reflection, acceptance and honesty. Emotional nudity gives women power and purpose as we seek fulfillment in our personal and professional lives.
Gone are the days of easy cookie-cutter formulas for branding which allow you to take a distant and removed approach to communicating with your audience. In the era of social sharing your honesty and authenticity is one of the most valuable commodities you offer. Your followers want to know the real you, not the perfect, corporate Suzie homemaker you like to pretend to be. Your followers want to know what gets you riled up, what makes you tear up and what gets you fed up. In getting nude you will discover what your emotional appeal is and find a niche audience that welcomes you.
3. Don’t Be a Hypocrite – If you say you want to help people, social media has the potential of being a very generous platform. If you say you want to be a leader, GET REAL, start invoicing for services and pull your proverbial pants up. In failing to do so, you have no reason to complain about why your business is not getting love. You have not grown up, and that’s okay if this is where you are. If you have a vision, you should be a faithful steward over the small things like developing the habit of completing services early or on time. Invest in your image and leave the customer with a good impression of your brand.
Finally, remember that the small things really do count. Coca-Cola recently proved this with their “Share a Coke” campaign that places names on bottles of Coke to suggest sharing them with the special people in our lives. This small change to the label has made waves in social media and has proven that the little things really do make a big difference.
As CEO of ChronoSpark Communication, Jean Usen’s mission is to push public relations beyond its natural limits. We don’t just brand, We ARE branded. Conscientious communication inspires belief. Follow Jean on Twitter: @ChronoSparkPR.