A brand is defined as ‘the promise of what your biz says it can deliver’. I learned this lesson early on from an unlikely branding expert…my Mom. Born in 1938, Barbara Joy Garrity rocked her personal brand way before Jackie O created her signature style and personal branding became a buzzword. Her secret? At the age of 13, my Mom edged out the competition for a job at the new ice cream spot, the Margate Dairy Bar, by arriving for the interview in her pink boucle suit. The owner hired her on the spot. She got the job by over-delivering on her promise. The Dairy Bar story was retold many times as a life-lesson reminder throughout my childhood and even college years, along with other Mom-isms that included, “Always invest in quality shoes and a good watch; they’re the first things people notice about you,” and, “Be true to who you are, there’s only one you.”
Along with my Mom’s advice, here are 5 branding secrets to help you ROCK your personal brand:
1. Be Consistent: Show up as your brand on all platforms, including social media. That means if your message is to empower or inspire, your Facebook posts on your biz and personal pages should be empowering and inspiring. Ditch the drama and politics and post, comment, share and tweet with a purpose. And please use the same photograph on all your social profiles so your Customers can easily recognize you when they’re ready to do business with you. People do business with people, not logos and product photographs.
2. Network With Intention: Have you ever watched someone walk into a networking event looking like a hot mess? Their conversation usually starts with how exhausted or “busy” they are. Whatever they have to say about their biz becomes irrelevant because you’ve already made a decision about them, and it’s probably not that you want to do business with them. When you arrive at a networking event take a minute before you walk in the door to breathe, and set an intention to make one or two valuable connections. If you’re not quite there in the confidence department (yet), find a theme song that gets your mojo going. Katy Perry’s Firework, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way and Alicia Keys’ Girl On Fire are all on my mental playlist.
3. Play Big On A Budget: As a small business owner or direct seller, you might not have a big budget to invest in branded graphics for flyers and marketing materials. Thankfully, there are websites that can make you look like a big brand while saving your budget. Check out fiverr.com (where you can hire people for $5.00) and canva.com for branding on a budget.
4. Be You: Your clothes, hair, body language, and facial expressions all communicate the essence of who you are. That’s your personal brand. Embrace what makes you unique and stop trying to be the next “Oprah” or whoever else you’re comparing yourself with. A great example is tennis pro Serena Williams, whose unique personal style created a branded fashion empire.
5. Get Happy: Remember the viral response to Pharrell’s Happy song? The message says it all; at the end of the day we just want to be happy. The easiest way to spread happiness, and your brand, is to make your customers smile. I experienced this first hand at a conference I keynoted in Walt Disney World. The security guard (at the gate) broke into his own version of a happy dance when he confirmed my name was on the list. His unexpected happy greeting was the most memorable experience I’ve ever had checking into a hotel, leaving me with a lasting smile. Imagine doing that for your customers.
Lynn Bardowski is an award-winning entrepreneur, broadcaster and bestselling author of Success Secrets of a Million Dollar Party Girl. She speaks to global audiences about entrepreneurship, vision and branding and is a resource for press, media and bloggers. Like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. You may republish this article in full, as long as you list this paragraph and provide a link.