"Your brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room" - Jeff Bezos
Many people say - what other people say about you is not your business. Well, it is true, because there will be naysayers, but may I put it to you that what MOST people say about you is YOUR business. Your brand goes before you in a room, it speaks for you when you are not given the opportunity to speak and the most careless thing can you do is allow the world to dictate your brand for you.
Taking stock of your brand is important and creating the narrative of who you are, as equally important. This conversation goes beyond your social media pages and steps into board rooms, brainstorm sessions and a google search result. When we speak of individuals who were headhunted, recommended or simply mentioned as a plausible business associate or business service provider, it comes down to trust in your services, your skill and your character.
Your brand is something you have the power to steer, direct and dictate. It simply takes a few smart moves that may be deemed simple, but speak volumes.
Here are 5 easy steps you can take to manage your brand:
1. Corporate Identity
The corporate identity of a business communicates what the company does and how they do it. Interestingly enough, this is understood well, in relation to a company and perceived to be reserved for corporate entities, yet we see everyday examples of individuals who have a corporate identity. If you look at Vusi Thembekwayo, he is a mastermind when it comes to branding, because when I mention his name, you think venture capitalist and speaker. When I mention Angela Merkle, you think Chancellor and leader.
These are all forms of branding, and that, in essence, is what it strips down to when your name is mentioned, what do people automatically think? Do they think leader? Accounting genius? Fitness Enthusiast? Family man? Integrity?
Answer this question and ask yourself whether everything that is listed is what you want and whether there is more to add. That is what branding is.
Your corporate identity is rooted in your presentation of what you want associated with your brand. Whatever that is, make it happen.
2. Social Media Pages
This topic is easy to comprehend for generation Z, but not so much for millennials, because more often than not, it is perceived to be "just social media". Well, admittedly it can be just that... just social media. Or, it can become a tool you use to propel yourself forward and brand yourself well enough to turn it into a job application resume or a business proposal. It all depends on how you want to use it to speak for your brand.
Social media is so powerful it can put you an @ away from Bill Gates, Chimamanda Adichie and Elon Musk. It can put you into contact with the Editor of Forbes, the CEO of Amazon or the Managing Director of McKinsey & Company.
The point is, it is a world you just need to learn how to navigate and utilize.
3. Online Resume
If I was to google you, what would I find? What would the search engine show me? The reason I ask you this is not because the guy or woman you may go out on a date with will google you, it is because your potential employer, potential investor or potential business associate will google you. The point is to be ahead of the curve and create what they will find. This can be by simply creating a LinkedIn profile that is eye-catching to look at and that accurately stipulates what you do for a living and who you are.
Here's a simple LinkedIn trick for starters - start accurately stipulating your skills and lot lazily listing your job and the start date. You need to detail your experience and ensure that it is an accurate depiction of your skillset.
4. How can people contact you
Many of you are impossible to get ahold of, so people opt for the next best available person to work with. Some of you take eons to reply to direct messages on social media, eons to reply to emails and sometimes never to respond to a missed phone call. May I ask, and this is an honest question, are you too good to respond to the common man on the street? Well, you may be missing out on opportunities, because you do not reply when people contact you or you are impossible to get ahold of.
This is not to say that your personal phone number should be available online, but I do want to suggest that your email address should be. In the event that you do not want spam mail, have two email addresses. As someone who has my email address available on every platform, I can honestly say that it has been my saving grace and how I ensure that an opportunity does not slip by on the basis that I am hard to contact.
Become easier to contact. What works fr me may not work for you, but find a way to ensure that you are no impossible to reach.
5. Align yourself with your goals
You have to ensure that you align yourself with where you are headed in life. Ever heard the statement - fake it till you make it? Well, I am here to pledge that I advocate for it! You want to be a speaker, behave like one. Take up speaking engagements. You want to be a CEO, start behaving like one. Take up tasks that no one wants to do and excel. You want to be a writer, start a blog. You want to be a manufacturer, start making chalk and toothpicks. I do not know what you want to be, but I do want to put it to you that you need to start.
Start the podcast.
Start the makeup line by teaching yourself what it takes.
What I am saying is, you need to surround yourself with constant material that depicts what you want.
You need to read.
You need to research.
You need to know everything there is to know about your dream. You need to know who is in the industry. What they studied. How long it took them to get to where they are. What type of mentorship they needed. You need to know everything!
I feel like there is a lot more I can say on the subject, however, it will take me a lot more than one blog post.
I want to hear from you! If you enjoyed reading this and wat a sequel, feel free to send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
I love hearing from you all.
From one powerhouse to another
Find me on twitter - @mavisbraga