The Missouri Agriculture Department Website says that Branding is one of the oldest and best ways to permanently identify livestock. It serves as an excellent safeguard against livestock theft, loss or dispute. In fact, the International Livestock Identification Association considers livestock brands to be as important as return addresses on mail.
Once applied the Brand is very difficult to remove. It is intended to be permanent.
You have a brand too, it is your personal brand. Once applied, it is very difficult to remove. You may not intend for it to be permanent but it just might be.
Now here’s a scary thought… everything, yes everything, you say and do either adds to or subtracts from, your personal brand. People think stuff about you, they either think good stuff or bad stuff. Before you get upset with people who think stuff about you remember that you think stuff about other people too. It’s what we humans do.
What someone thinks of you will be determined by how you build your brand. It is determined by what you say and do. But this is the interesting part, what you “say” doesn’t build your brand and what you “do” doesn’t build it either. That would just be too easy.
Your brand is built by what you say AND do. When you’re trying to build a strong, trusted brand then those two things had better match, or at least be very, very close.
I give out lots of advice, both online and in person. If I must say so myself most of the advice I give is pretty darn good. It’s tried, tested and true. Online the “LeadToday” brand is strong and growing stronger everyday because the advice found there truly helps people.
In life the “Steve Keating” brand isn’t as strong and it’s not as strong for one simple reason; I don’t always do as I say to do. In other words, what I say and what I do don’t always match. There are lots of reasons, or perhaps I should say excuses, for why what I say and do don’t always match but this much is certain: it does not help make my personal brand stronger.
So I work on it. I’m aware of it. I try to get better at it everyday. Everyday!
Are you aware of your brand? Do you realize you have one? Do you know what adds to and subtracts from your personal brand? Are you even interested in having a strong personal brand?
If your answer to any of those questions is yes then you may want to check in on yourself from time to time just to make sure your “says and does” match up. You may want to evaluate your brand once in a while to determine if it’s getting stronger or starting to fade a bit.
Your honest evaluation will inform you about what you need to do next.
One last point. Our biggest obstacle to building a strong brand is called living life. We’re going to screw up cause that’s another thing we humans do. Never let what you’ve done keep you from doing what you can. Even if you’ve put a dent in your brand by doing something wrong you can still polish the dent by doing what’s right.
6 thoughts on “Building Your Personal Brand”
Great post Steve. Not sure what my brand is but am going to start trying to figure it out.
You’re on the same boat as most people. Here’s what we forget about all the time…. Whether we are aware of it or not, we DO have a brand. We can decide what it is or just let it happen but it’s going to happen. It’s something we can control if we choose to control it.
A friend of mine who built a multimillion dollar debt free business still considers himself to be in sales. He believes that your personal brand is critical. He admonishes that even small details like polishing the back of your shoes is important, as that is the last impression you leave as you walk out of your customer/prospect’s door.
That’s such a great point Willis, the little details DO matter. As I like to say, it’s often not the devil in the details, it’s your success.
I come from an agricultural background and I have actually done horse branding myself (not pretty!), so I know how tedious, permanent, practical it can be! Great insight and I am looking forward to reading your future posts 🙂
Thanks Monica, I’ll bet it’s not pretty and I’d bet it hurts a bit too!