For a company that creates digital media, we do bang on about branding.
Branding this, branding that. How do I brand my business? How do I brand myself? Why does branding matter?
Before we delve into the 'why', watch this snappy video we produced to answer the question 'what is branding?'.
For those unable to watch the video, a solid brand in short:
- delivers its message clearly;
- confirms the credibility of the message;
- connects to its audience emotionally;
- motivates the buyer; and
- reinforces loyalty.
To make things a bit more interesting, I’ve split this article into three sections to represent our core audience: The Graduate, The Entrepreneur and The Job-seeker. Even if you don't directly fall into these categories, rest assured you'll gain gems from the principles revealed in at least one of the three.
After much blood, sweat and tears, you've achieved the grades you may or may not have wanted and understand the next move is crucial in kickstarting your desired career.
How do I respond to employers when they ask me to talk about myself? What do I write in a LinkedIn summary? What is a 30-second elevator pitch? These are the questions you will be able to answer once your personal brand is established.
When you enter the job market, you will be competing with other candidates who may have more experience than you. Personal branding can help you compensate for your lack of job experience because it showcases what you have learned through your extra-curricular experience.
Relationships are the most beneficial advantage an entrepreneur can own and branding is the conduit to building those relationships. Establishing authentic relationships with your audience matters because, void of relationship, you merely have a neat gizmo, idea or gadget - not a business.
Your brand facilitates your relationships which, in turn, facilitate your business. Brand = Relationship (Trust) = Value. Brand matters, it’s as simple as that.
Branding helps people understand what you’re doing and why they should care. It helps people understand who you are and why you matter. Without branding, you’re building and iterating without factoring in how people will experience and understand you in the real world.
Branding is highly complex, intensely layered, wall-to-wall hard work, and your brand is the single most valuable asset you can cultivate in your business.
If you think branding isn't worth the investment, check out this interesting 2015 stat I picked up from the UK Intellectual Property Office:
Like any product, you must have a unique selling point. Too many job seekers make the mistake of trying to cater to employers. It may sound like the right option, but it’s actually the worst thing you can you do as employers often see right through it.
Fashion designer Marc Ecko is widely know for his recommendation that you focus on what makes you authentic.
When you act like yourself, it comes through freely and naturally. Identify your unique selling point and brand yourself based on that. Begin by using keywords on your website and on any social media profiles you have. It will make it more likely that you are going to show up in the search results.
Don’t stop at simply crawling after companies you like the look of. Become your own company. Treat your brand in the same way and you will soon have people calling. Starting your own blog is the first step on the road to that job.
Are you a graduate, entrepreneur or job seeker in need of help shaping your personal brand? Get in touch below for fast 1-2-1 advice.