Creating your personal brand is an important step in the evolution of your business and career. It can define your goals and services, and help to better connect with your customers and team. What do you want people to think about when they interact with you and your business? What message do you want to get across and make stick?
Brand building takes time and insight, but once you've established it, you have to follow it all the time for it to be successful. The saying, "practice what you preach" is especially true in business and even more so when promoting and maintaining your own individual brand.
People are quick to realize when you and your business don't follow the message you promise. Additionally, your team won't be committed if it's clear that you don't always align your personal brand to the brand of the business.
It is easy to lose focus on your brand's message when work and life get too chaotic. So how can you stay true to yourself and ensure your actions consistently align with your personal brand and with the brand of your business? Follow these three key elements:
Find personal mantras.
Make a list of mantras or words of wisdom that you find special and motivating and also align with your personal brand. Why are they important? Because favorite mantras also reflect how you approach business.
One of my favorites is from the meaning of the Hindu word, "Namaste," which you often hear at the end of a yoga class. It means, "The light in me, honors the light in you." I repeat this to myself as a constant reminder of how I want to treat everyone who interacts with me and my business with honor and respect.
Find your mantras and always keep them in sight and repeat them as a constant reminder of the values and behavior you want to maintain. If you need some help, here are some mantras you might consider.
Alter your brand as you grow.
It's a good idea to constantly review your traits, values, and goals. Ask your team, friends and family what they think is your brand, and whether they think you and your business follow it. Evolving your brand, and making necessary changes to your business, can help you stay committed to it.
In the early days of my yoga studio, I hired instructors with their own brand, but soon realized they did not align with my studio based on the feedback I got from friends and customers. My solution was to begin my own teacher training program so I could ensure the instructors followed the studio's brand and values.
Always picture your audience.
When you build your personal brand, you need to define your audience in order for it to have the desired effect--not just to help attract customers, but to create meaningful relationships. But who exactly is your audience? What do they look like, what values do they have, what are their needs and aspirations?
My main mission as a professional speaker is to help people create more happiness in their lives by how they approach work, home, and personal well-being. Yet, every time I have shifted from this vision even a little because I have listened to what others say I should do instead, I end up not helping my target audience. I know longer "see" them. When you maintain a clear vision of your audience and what they require, you can make your brand message more believable, and your customers feel more authenticity.
No matter what your industry or profession, there will come a time when simply doing the work won't cut it. If you're truly in search of professional growth, you have to put yourself in a position where others can see and hear what you have to offer. A personal brand can help establish yourself in your chosen field, but faithfully following it can lead to unlimited growth both personally and professionally.