Monday, February 22, 2010
I'm asked this question from time to time. Of course my first reaction is that you already have a brand. You're not aware because you you are not paying close attention to yourself. You're like most small businesses and looking outward. You're looking for opportunities, and you're correct in doing so.
I would guess that if you're reading this post, branding yourself is something that's concerned you lately. Are you purposely building your personal brand, or are you letting it grow itself? Myself, I actively exercise my personal brand every day. I blog extensively, both on my blog, blogs I write for and numerous other places where I leave comments. I look for speaking and networking opportunities to get my brand out there. I contact other bloggers and authors I admire and get interviews from them with their take on branding (ie: the Laura Ries interview a few posts back).
One thing that is important to me is that I practice what I preach. I can't tell you how many businesses I see in my field that tell you to do something, they themselves aren't doing to get new business. It's like bad parenting. This affects their brand - but they seem blind to it. The point is your brand has to be genuine. As my slogan says, "Lead don't follow."
Do what you can to put yourself out there. Give back in your community, mentor young minds and generally help and give advice. Your brand will shine and be rewarded.