You might have several misconceptions about branding and what it really means. Read this article to dispel those ideas, get a feel for what personal branding is really all about, and pick up a few branding guidelines along the way.
Don’t think this branding stuff is something new to the 21st century. Poe was a depressive personality. Thoreau was a tree-hugger. Brutus was a back-stabber. It’s “reputation” – only today we call it branding.
Think you don’t have a brand because you don’t have a Facebook page or a Twitter account? Think again. You’ve been branded since you were a zygote. Your folks branded you with their hopes for a boy or girl, for the way they wanted you to look, for what you’d be when you grew up. Your teachers branded you smart, troublemaker, ADD. Friends labeled you trustworthy, flaky, fun. And even today, the branding continues. It won’t stop. Ever.
The idea is to take charge of your branding and tell people what they should think about you. Your brand image is ultimately your creation, and you have to be aware of the image you’re creating every minute of every day. Just be sure your brand image represents who you really are. Nothing is more soul-destroying than trying to maintain a façade, trying to be someone you think people want to see. Just be yourself. If they don’t like you, it’s their loss.
Here’s a branding guideline that a lot of people forget: remember to put your clients’ needs first – always. Yes, you’re creating a brand and that is all about you, but the bottom line is always about your clients. How can you make their lives better? Can you help alleviate their medical issues? Can you save them money at tax time? It’s really all about how you can help others. A huge part of your brand image should be customer satisfaction.
Now, a lot of people think branding is all about finding a perfect job, a corner office, and a great secretary. While that would be swell, it’s kinda short-sighted. Sure, branding can help you get all those things, but think BIG. Think about your career, think about going for the summit of your career, think about achieving freedom in your personal life.
Think about what career path will make you the happiest person. If you love the legal profession and are happy as a clam as a tax lawyer, figure out how to turn your passion into a money machine. How can you put your expertise to work for you? Can you record some of your presentations and offer them for sale on your website? Can you offer some advice in an ebook?
It’s something to think about. Passive income is a beautiful thing, and if you can help someone who would otherwise be unable to take advantage of your knowledge, so much the better.