The Value of Your Personal Brand

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Two common buzzwords in marketing and advertising today are the words brand and branding. People banter these words around in many different ways with many different meanings. A definition of a brand that seems to work well, is “a customer’s expectation of consistent value.” Oftentimes people think of a brand in terms of a logo. A logo is a mark, a graphic element, that supports and helps to identify a brand, but it is not the brand itself.

For all intents and purposes your brand is your reputation. Regardless of what you say or write about your personal brand, your brand is what it is based on who you are, how you do business, and how you provide value. If you do not try to provide value, regardless of what your materials say about your brand, they are untrue. It does not take long for customers to realize that a brand promotion is false if they are not receiving value from you.

For that reason, the first step in building your brand is to ensure that in all of your business dealings you provide massive and exceptional value beyond the expectations of your customers. Providing this value over time will create a reputation for value and for excellence, and your reputation will spread. This becomes the foundation and the embodiment of your personal brand.

The first step in creating your personal brand is to identify how you provide value to your clients and customers. Sometimes it helps to talk to them and find out how they perceive you, and why they do business with you. Once you understand the value relationship that you provide, you can then begin to define messages that describe that relationship. This messaging effectively becomes your brand. Without defining an effective and consistent brand message, the process of branding is virtually impossible.

Once you have your brand messaging in place, the key is to maintain it in a consistent format for all of your materials and promotional efforts. Your website or blog, press releases, articles that you write and anything else that you use to promote your brand identity in the marketplace must be meticulously consistent, focusing on the same brand message. If you fail to do this, or if your message is ambiguous, people will not understand your brand and will not be able respond to it. The ultimate objective of personal branding is to build brand loyalty so that your customers keep coming back to you.