It makes no difference whether you run your own business or work for someone else – if you want to get ahead, you HAVE to understand what a brand is, and how to create one that’s going to get you what you want.
This applies to both your business brand, but also your own personal brand. If you think you don’t have a personal brand – you’re wrong! Everyone does. The real question is whether or not you’re in charge of it!
What is your brand saying about you?
Your brand isn’t about what typeface you use, or the colour scheme you choose for your website. It’s also not about having catchy slogans or a pretty logo. Those things are going to be useful, yes, but in themselves they mean absolutely fuck all! Anyone can get a graphic designer to knock up a logo and call it a brand, but unless it’s backed up by a whole load of other stuff, it’s completely meaningless.
Your brand is going to be represented by a lots of different brand assets – your website, your logo, the way you set up your social posts etc. But nailing down exactly what your brand IS – that’s another matter.
Your brand – business or personal – is about the bigger picture. It’s about what you stand for, what your promise is to your customers, or readers, or whoever it is you’re talking to.
What do you stand for? What do people think of when they bring to mind you, or your product? What is the vision and the overall story that you’re telling, and most importantly, WHY DOES THAT MATTER for your audience?
If you can answer these questions, then you’re getting closer to understanding what your brand is.
A brand is a promise to your customer.
Bollocks! Whether you like it or not, you’re putting out a version of yourself that other people can discover. Before you were hired, your employer will have looked at the way you present yourself, where and what you’ve been doing with your life, how you’re going to fit in with the team, and whether or not your social media feeds are telling a completely different story to the one you’re trying to sell them!
Unless you want to be stuck in the same dead end job for the rest of your life, ask yourself – does my personal brand match up to my ambitions for my life?
What are you known for? If you want to be the chief exec of a million-pound business but your personal brand screams ‘sloppy, lazy, just here for a good time’ you’re going to have a much harder job getting where you want to be!
If you’re looking for funding to grow your business, but your track history shows that you don’t have a clear proposition or brand identity that’s backed up by results, you’re going to come across as a bad risk, and ultimately fail to get the funds you need without a big headache.
Whether it’s your personal brand or your business or product we’re talking about, you have to be credible. That means making sure that everything you do is telling the same story about who and what your brand stands for. And don’t fake it either! Good brands are built on complete trust, so if you’re pretending to be something that you’re not, your customers are eventually going to find you out!
For me, my Funding Guru brand is all about me doing what I know best – talking business, funding and passing on the tips and tricks I’ve learnt after twenty years in business. I’m not trying to be anything that I’m not, which is why everything I put out is completely true to who I am – even when that pisses people off!
To find out more about how I got where I am, you can check out this interview on my YouTube Channel where I tell the story of how I went from boom to bust to boom again, and what it taught me.
If you’re thinking of growing your own brand, and need funding to unlock growth then get in touch. You can find out everything you need to know about getting ready to pitch your brand and plans to me in my Get Funded Guide – download it here.
Copyright © 2019 Matt Haycox Consulting, All rights reserved.