This is an archived post that we have decided to re-post because of Pooja's great advice for branding your business. Pooja Dang is a Life Coach that specializes in helping people find and live their AWESOME. She offers one-on-one coaching and also works with companies and groups through focused workshops. She loves taking a no-nonsense approach in helping people live their ideal lives whether that means small (but significant) improvements or a complete rediscovery of their values.
According to the American Marketing Association (AMA), a brand is a "name, term, sign, symbol or design intended to identify the goods and services of one seller and differentiate them from those of other sellers."
We hear a lot about branding in regards to companies and businesses. But what about branding yourself? When I was graduating college, I remember being introduced to the concept of personal branding by management guru Tom Peters. Over the past few months, this concept has again been brought to light in my coaching work.
Most people think that personal branding is just for celebrities. But the fact is that each and every one of us is already a brand whether we know it or not. So how do you go about figuring out what yours is?
What are your impressions about yourself? How do people perceive you?
Whether you like it or not, your brand has a huge impact in shaping the opportunities you get in your career and your life. So whether you work in a large corporation, are an entrepreneur or anything in between, building your brand has never been more important to your success.
Here's the key to branding. It's not about getting your target market to choose you over the competition. Rather, it's about getting your prospects to see you as the ONLY ONE that provides a solution to their problem. Think of a promotion that you are going for...or a client you want to sign on. Would you rather be in a race with your competitors? Or be so far off the pack that only YOU fit the bill.
With the right branding, you don't defeat the competition. You eliminate it.
Sound awesome? I thought so. So how do you go about creating your brand?
Start where you are. Think about your life - the past 5 - 10 years. What major accomplishments have you had? Why do you think you got to where you are? What unique strengths, characteristics and values came into play?
Start playing with words. Keep a journal (electronic or paper) and ask yourself: "Who am I?" If that's difficult, then ask yourself "Who am I not?" Is it consistent with who I want to be? What do I stand for? How do I stand out?
Evaluate your current brand. Answer the following:
a) I am known for (2-4 things). This time next year, I will also be known for (1-2 more things).
b) Cool things I've learned in the last 3 months include (1-3 things)
c) My current project is challenging me in the following (1-3 ways).
d) Awesome new additions to my network in the last 3 months include (2-4 names).
e) My primary 'resume enhancement activity' for the next 3 months is (1 item).
f) My resume is discernibly different from last year's on this date in the following (1-2) ways;
Go BIG with your vision.
What's a bumper sticker that defines your essence? Live your Awesome anyone?
What is your personal positioning statement?
Create a quarter page ad for You and Co. How does it read?
Get into the habit of doing a brand evaluation every 3 - 6 months. It doesn't mean you'll have to keep shifting your brand. It means that you will stay more true to your brand. To who you want to be.
There are a LOT of coaches out there.
All about achieving AWESOME. Having an awesome life means you are engaging in meaningful work, have loving relationships, feel elevated by your peers and friends, and feel energized by your day. ALIVE is the word that captures how you feel and who you are. Everything that’s holding you back from feeling alive – we’ll tackle it. My energy and passion ignites my clients into action and their lives start to change. I am not here to give you some tools to provide a temporary fix. I am not a cheerleader. And I am not a friend. I am your coach. And I am here to make sure you are never held back by the same roadblocks again. I will challenge you to dig deep, to be open and to grow into the person you were meant to be.
Who are you?