Do I need a “personal brand”? Well, that depends on what you mean by brand…
In this article, I’m going to share with you insights about what branding actually is from my friends and colleagues – Sam Riley and Kevin Huhn. And in doing so, I hope you’ll see what branding actually is (hint – it’s more than a logo!) and you’ll be able to make a clearer decision on whether you want a personal brand or not.
“BRANDING IS MOSTLY ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS.” – SAM RILEY.
Sam Riley of the Accelerant Group knows a lot about marketing and branding. When I first interviewed her on my Podcast Leveraged & Loving It about personal branding, she said, “If we could stop hiding behind that brand and actually reach out and get to know people, that’s when our business will actually take off. It’s when we go more into that personal space and get to know people.”
I love these thoughts from Sam because I had a period in my business where I wasn’t connecting with a lot of people personally. I was relying on things like my website and social media etc., to get my business out there. And while these elements are absolutely essential, the thing that really helped my business to fully bloom, was to step out from behind the screen and to start going to and running more events.
Suddenly connecting with people in person, getting to know them, and showing them some of my Zone of Genius meant that my business started gaining serious momentum.
So if it’s about the connections you’re making with people, what are they going to remember? Your name and face or a business name and logo?
Action step: Think about whether it’s easier for people to remember your name or a business name.
“WHETHER YOU’RE BRANDING OR NOT, YOU’RE STILL BRANDING.” – KEVIN HUHN.
For Kevin Huhn, a business growth strategist, branding is all about the touchpoints a business has with every human that it comes in contact with – not just customers, but competitors (I like to call them colleagues), suppliers, and even the business owner.
And whether you’re consciously cultivating relationships and touch points or not, you’re still branding. Kevin says, “Every business has a touch point for every human being that comes in contact with you. If you think you’re branding, you go, ‘Okay, I’m branding’, or if you go, ‘I don’t have time for this, I’m not branding’, you’re still branding. You’re sending out a message to the marketplace.”
I love this because it so simply encapsulates the idea that, how we are in our business day-to-day and the people we interact (or don’t interact) with form part of our bigger branding exercise. So, the choice is yours whether you consciously do it or not.
That’s why I insist on having your branding aligned with your ‘Passion and Purpose’. It becomes an effortless exercise because it’s so deeply ingrained in who you are and how you choose to ‘show up’ in the world.
Action step: Ask yourself if your branding is really aligned with your ‘Passion and Purpose’ and how you want to ‘show up’ in the world?
In summary, branding is really about relationships. And people remember YOU in relationships. It can be easy to get caught up in our heads about building a professional and slick business brand, but what matters most is the relationships you’re building with others and how you ‘show up’ in those interactions.
Branding = relationships
Branding is about building relationships. And how you’ll manage those relationships.
So, do you think you’ll do that better with a personal brand or a full business brand?