“Even the knowledge of my own fallibility cannot keep me from making mistakes. Only when I fall do I get up again. ”
–Vincent Van Gogh
With all the talk I’ve been doing lately about branding you’d think my own branding strategy was perfect. Not so. I thought I’d poke fun at myself and tell you about a branding error I make, especially since it’s a common one you might make as well.
“No matter where you go, there you are.”
You are your brand. Your brand is you. Wherever your go, there is your brand. Every action you take, every word you speak, every impression you leave, affects how others view your brand.
You spend months answering questions at LinkedIn or building friends at MySpace. Your reputation grows as you share your knowledge and you build your brand with each community. Then you set up a store on eBay and no one knows who you are. You sigh thinking about all the work you’ll need to do yet again to brand yourself with a new group of people and wonder if you have the energy for it. If TrustPlus has its way you won’t need to rebuild your brand on another site. You’ll be able to bring it with you instantly.
A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.
Whether you realize it or not everything you do goes toward building a brand. It might be your personal brand, your brand as a blogger, or your corporate brand, but every action you take and every word you say impacts your brand to someone. For a few weeks I’ve been participating in a discussion about branding for small business. Too many individuals and small business owners think brand is something that’s out of their reach, that it costs too much, and that it’s only for big business. Wrong. Everything you do goes toward building your brand and you need to be conscious of how the things you do will reflect on your brand.
“A brand is the sum of all feelings, thoughts and recognitions – positive and negative – that people in the target audience have about a company, a product or service.”
Steve McNamara, AdCracker.Com
I think there’s a misconception that it takes a lot of money to build a brand. Chris Garret has a series of posts about branding your blog, which he continues to add to and I encourage you to read. (Chris how about a dedicated page where we can find links to all the posts in the series?) Today’s post, Your Successful Brand reminded me of some conversations I’ve had with people who assumed that only rich companies could build a brand. Nothing could be further from the truth.