When most people think about personal branding, they think about big, exciting initiatives—like a photo or video shoot, or appearing on TV, or publishing an article in the Wall Street Journal. They’re right, of course, a big part of building a powerful and credible personal brand is leveraging major media sources. But that is only half of the equation.
The other half is not as glamorous, but is equally important. In addition to your “big” initiatives, it is important that you live out your personal brand on a daily basis. Every interaction that you have with your clients, your staff, your colleagues, and your market must reflect the brand you are trying to build.
If this isn’t the case, your brand will fall apart. Your staff and your colleagues will see you as inauthentic. Your clients will feel like they’ve been deceived. (We’ve all been there—promised a certain experience through a company’s advertising, only to find that doing business with the company is nothing like what we expected.)
So what does living your personal brand look like? It varies from person to person… but here are some universal areas to watch for:
1) Personal interaction. Some of you, such as dentists, doctors, and retailers, interact with many clients and customers in person every day. It is important that each of these interactions reflects the brand you are building. That means dressing the part, speaking the part, and acting the part. If your brand is cheerful and relationship-oriented, you can’t be sullen and quiet in person.
2) Your office / store décor. If you entertain customers in a physical office or store, your layout and décor needs to reflect the brand you have built. That means choosing the right colors, furniture, and layout. You can’t sell a modern, cutting-edge personal brand if your office feels old-fashioned and stuffy.
3) Client correspondence. Whether it is via email, phone, or snail mail, remember that each interaction you have either strengthens or weakens your brand. Even communications as mundane as sending out an invoice should reflect your brand.
While high-powered media campaigns are essential to building a credible personal brand, they must be backed up by consistent, every-day action. Are you living out your personal brand?