In a day and age where everyone and their mama, aunty and dog owns a business (and that's perfectly fine! Make your coin!), the "brand" narrative is rampant. Instagram and Facebook are flooded with ebooks, how-tos, webinars and freebies on techniques that can help you grow your business into a memorable and successful brand.
But I think what's not being talked about enough is the most important brand type of them all... YOU.
Now more than ever businesses and markets are shifting to become more transparent to build consumer loyalty. Why? Because investing in products or services just because they're there is falling short to the stand-out factors that are essential to survive in this microwavable era.
In other words, BEing YOURSELF is mandatory.
You are the person behind the brand. You have the most say. You launched your consultation services, blog or youtube channel, freelance initiatives, hair company, online boutique, event planning business or tech app for a reason.
Is it because your passionate about the field? Do you feel you have something new to offer? Whatever your reasoning, it's derived from somewhere deep inside yourself; and if you want your business to be on a path of longevity, your audience has to connect to an element of the person operating the ship.
Here's another way to think about it, how do you want your brand to be discussed when you're not in the room? You should always represent your brand wherever you go, be confident and know that it's not separate from who you are. If you are not taking care of yourself, constantly learning and improving nor creating new opportunities, your business and its functionality will show this to be the case. You are the brand--and in the (paraphrased) words of Mona Scott-Young, "the goal is to create something that will live without you."
How can you showcase elements of your personality and likable qualities through your business to create a brand people vibe with?
Here are a few ways:
Go the extra mile with your customer service (i.e. Chick Fil-A)
Update your website or social media content to mirror a voice that shows aspects of your personality and that will resonate with your desired audience (i.e. The Hood's Gary Vee, Emmelie De La Cruz)
Create content that will get your followers involved (i.e. Bacardi's recent video content merging IGTV and Instagram polls)
Determine which social media platform your consumers use the most, and increase your activity on features that easily show your transparency (i.e. Instagram Live)
Here are more specific examples from an article on WineDirect.com called, "3 Ways to Collect Consumer Data"
Disclaimer: I'm not saying go all willy nilly and become unprofessional. EMAIL ETIQUETTE (whew...chile, the stress... I'll talk about this another time), your responsive rate, verbal communication, etc all matter. But you don't have to be a robot either.
You are on your path for a reason.
Sure, there are plenty of other businesses like yours but they're not operated by you.
Use your uniqueness as an advantage to propel your legacy.
Now go invest in YOUrself.
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