When we think about branding we primarily think about our product or service but we must also begin to focus on our self-branding. Just like branding speaks volumes for your product or services, you as a brand speak volumes also. Take a minute to see what your self-brand say about you. Does it compliment your product or service or does it clash? Is your self-brand consistent or unstable?
When working with a recording artist for a record label we help to assure that the client’s brand is consistent with their current CD project throughout the project’s tenure. It does not make good marketing sense to brand a rock artist with short, purple hair, sporting rock garb to have all of their collateral marketing materials including the CD cover and headshots showcase a black updo hair style with couture, double breasted suit, wearing stilettos. This is an example of bad self-branding. This process creates so many misconceptions and confusion for the potential target audience; you never know what you are getting from the artist, before you buy.
Sometimes it is your self-brand that sell people. Most people like consistency. They do business based on this consistency. For a lot of people too many changes frighten them. If there are many, major changes with your self-brand, people tend to feel that you are confused even when it could be them that are confused. Also your self-brand easily identifies you in a large room or unfamiliar setting. Take this time to stop and think about your self-brand; what does it say about you? Do people know your product or service by your self-brand or do you need to reintroduce yourself, your product or services everytime you see them?
People don’t realize it but the entertainment industry may seem large but it is actually small. I personally will never forget when I walked into a room with several of the industry’s heavy hitters and as I proceeded to introduce myself I was told that my self-brand spoke volumes and I should never have to think those in the industry will forget me. And he was right. No matter what industry I work in every time people see me they know who I am, my self-brand does speak volumes.
So ask yourself what is my self-brand? How do others see me? Am I reflecting what I want them to know about me, my product or service? Or do I have to reintroduce myself everytime they see me?
When SCORE recently asked me to become a regular blogger, I was flattered and excited, but when I was told that I would be the first man to blog regularly of the SCORE Women’s Success Blog, I actually wasn’t surprised. It made a lot of sense in my life. You see, I am completely surrounded by strong, powerful, opinionated, dynamic women. There is my lovey wife Maria of course, and my three beautiful daughters (two teens!) Vivian is my assistant extraordinaire, and even my agent is a woman. So this fits.
But it fits for another reason as well: I love SCORE. I think the work it does is necessary and vital. Whether it is blogs like this, or counseling online or in person, or its seminars, SCORE is one of the best friends a small business can have.
And in a sense, we are in the same business. I grew up in a small business household and always wanted to be my own boss. Even in law school, I found I was more interested in the business of law than the law of business, and so my first business was in fact my own law practice.
But maybe not surprisingly, these days I am a “recovering attorney.” Instead of litigating, I now spend my days helping entrepreneurs succeed. For the past dozen years, I have been the lead small business columnist at USATODAY.com, I have written 15 books (including my fourth child, The Small Business Bible), own a content-creation company now, and am fortunate enough to get to speak all over the world about the joys (and occasional sorrows) of small business.
Through all of these endeavors, I get to meet and hear from a lot of entrepreneurs. So what I hope to do here at the SCORE Women’s Success Blog every week is share the best tips, insights, and strategies I come across. As we say over at my website,
If I do my job right, yours just got easier!
Thanks for taking me along for the ride.