These days everybody is busy “building their brand” as they grow their businesses. And it makes sense; creating a brand is a shortcut to connecting with your audience, so you will have a buyers and fans.
The thing I’ve realized over the past two years is that brands are made up of 3 elements: professional, personal and social brands.
Here’s what I mean:
A) PROFESSIONAL BRAND
This is the 9-5 “official” side of business (and you).
This side of your brand is all about your product or service, how well it’s delivered, how you deal with customers, and basically, the reputation you’ve built (or are building) in the marketplace. This is the “face” of your business that people see via your website, your ads, your storefront, your company vehicles, etc.
B) PERSONAL BRAND
This side of your brand on the other hand, is all about the people and the personalities. It includes you as well as the people who work for you: the way you interact with clients/customers, the way you talk and sound; the way you handle phone calls, and now, it also includes the way people experience you through video.
In essence, it’s about experiencing YOU and the people that work for you and represent your business.
C) SOCIAL BRAND
By now, social media has become an intrinsic part of our lives and our interactions. Social media isn’t going anywhere, so I think it’s time we consider the way we act online as part of our brand.
Here’s what your social brand includes:
- Your tone, the way you write posts
- The kind of things you post
- The things you choose to share.
Basically, it’s how you show up online, and the way you behave online.
“Building your brand” happens when those 3 elements work and blend together over time. The trick now is to manage all three aspects of your brand. Because you need to have consistency between all of them.
All three of these components should support and show the brand that you’re working to build.
Let me give you an example:
If your brand is friendly, easy-going, helpful and energetic...then you (and your staff) need to be friendly and helpful when talking to potential customers. You need to be high-energy and outgoing, otherwise there’s a inconsistency. And when you’re online, your posts should be friendly and use everyday, casual language. If you’re posting very formal, stiffly-worded posts, there will be a huge disconnect that will probably turn people off.
When it comes to managing your brand, it’s important to take some time to check that all three aspects of your brand are consistent with each other. This is specially true if you have a marketing manager, or someone other than yourself promoting your business.
And finally, remember that building a brand takes time and needs to be a consistent effort across the board. No matter where people interact with your brand, they should get the same experience.