- Who & Why?
All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘business image’
While getting business and making a sale is great, I find that most of us miss the fundamental reason WHY we get business and make a sale. In my world, your brand is about all the actions and perceptions you create BEFORE you get to the sale.
I remember as a lawyer in my previous career, it was very easy to fall off the mark and forget about the human interactions behind business. I would get so involved in the substantive work I was doing as a lawyer, that there would be no time for the human element. It was almost as if there were no people operating behind the business.
As Dale Carnegie said it best, “When dealing with people, remember we are all creatures of emotion and not creatures of logic”. If you keep this quote in mind, your personal branding development will come with more ease and be more effective.
It all boils down to a much more fundamental concept when we stop to look at business and sales from an emotional level and not logical level. I liked the way Oprah Winfrey put it when she was being interviewed by Barbara Walters. Oprah, in addressing why she used being on television as a means of being of service, said, “when you see what you offer the world, your world shifts”.
So what does this mean for you? Well, stop and think:
– What do you really offer the world with your work?
– What fundamental human need do you serve?
– Do you get the reality of those you serve?
– Do you emotionally resonate your brand with your audience? You’ll know you do so when you see sales go up, business increase and you do it all with ease and have fun, too.
If you are unsure, email us and we can talk about your strategy.
If you recall from last week’s post, this is part two of or my four-part posting regarding stagnation in all areas of our lives. As I said last week, I have Oprah as motivation and inspiration for these posts on stagnation.
Oprah has talked about this topic of stagnation in her “What I know for sure” column of her September 2014 O Magazine, “The Two Questions You Should Ask Yourself Each Day”. Oprah, whether she knows it or not, is my mentor because I have incredible respect and appreciation for her presence in this world. I am taking her topic post and going deeper and looking at it from one of my viewpoints. This method is how I decide what is the next best area that ‘sparkles with rightness’.
So last week we chatted about stagnation in our business lives. This week, let’s chat about how we tend to stagnate in our family life. For most of us, we are so busy that we tend to put our family lives last.
I know that for me, it takes constant and chronic effort to put my family first- or at least not last! I am somewhat embarrassed to admit it, but I have to “work” daily to overcome this nasty mentality (and I mean “nasty” because it never serves me well!) that my husband and family will just love me and understand me, and thus forgive me, if I’m (fill in the blank). The fill-in-the-blank ranges anything from “tired” to “short” to “mad” to “sad”.
One day I had an “ah-ha” moment and realized what I was doing. It was not pretty and it was rather shocking, I must admit. Since that day, I always have to force myself and stop and think, “is this fair to these people that I love?” The answer is always a resounding “no”. Just because people love me and will put up with me in the short term, doesn’t mean I can assume they will do so forever.
Long story, short: thinking your family will always be there and put up with you makes for a very unattractive personal brand in your entire personal life. Pretty soon, if we keep it up we will find ourselves all alone. Either that, or everyone walks on egg-shells around us and starts to whisper around us. They may as well be saying, “don’t disturb the nutty relative”.
If you can’t bring yourself to revive your stagnating personal brand in your family life, consider the impact it has on your business life. Anything you do poorly by way of a personal brand at home with your family follows you to work each and every day. I promise you this. I know when I have had a poor brand at home, it always impacts my work the next day. I then have to exercise a tremendous amount of self-awareness and control to reverse the impact.
Again, change is hard. No question about it. Change is also a bit nauseating, I have found. It is really hard for me to stop and take a long, hard look at my nasty ways at home. I have done so many times and let me tell you it is well worth the pay-off long term. It definitely takes courage.
So consider for yourself whether you have a dull and stagnate personal brand with your family:
-Have you stopped lately to notice how you come across to your family? If not, why not?
-What could possibly be the benefit of not bothering to change at home with your family?
– How can you take better care of yourself in order to feel better about yourself and pass that brand on in your interactions with your family? Perhaps you can try eating better, exercising more and sleeping a bit more each night.
– What is one action you can take to remind yourself to be self-aware of your brand around your family?
As the years go by in my personal branding work with people and organizations, I see some very common mistakes people make. Below are the top three mistakes I see very regularly. These mistakes are a sure way to have an ineffective personal brand and thus, lead to an ineffective business brand. Both lead to you having less recall value for others, a less robust client and prospect pool and– less happiness.
“People come to me because of my expertise”- All too often (just yesterday), I hear my brilliant clients argue with me that their personal brand is just fine because people come to them based on their expertise. This happens less when I am working with musicians and artists because they have a better tendency to appreciate the “entire package” philosophy.
We are all conditioned to believe that our education and our substantive work are superior to anything else in life. I’m a big believer in education and providing quality substantive work. However, don’t believe for a minute that your education and your substantive know-how is what your personal brand is all about. People first notice you and your uniqueness, not your expertise and substance. Your emotional value for people has nothing to do with expertise, necessarily.
“I’m too busy” – Time becomes more and more precious in our society, it seems. We are all running around juggling work, family, parents, etc. Time is also a very good excuse for us to avoid focusing on our personal brands- figuring out our uniqueness, passion and contribution to society as a person. It’s much easier to focus on our substantive work (see #1 above) because it is safer and within our comfort zone. We have less chance for failure and less opportunity to find out about ourselves and fix things that don’t serve us well. Find time or else pay the price later.
Ignore the ‘signs’ and feedback– It is so difficult for us to accept criticism or be willing to look at ourselves and see what we are doing not so well. It takes serious guts and a desire to succeed to be willing to explore yourself and your personal brand. I have deep respect for every client of mine for this reason. I often get comments stating that personal branding is “fluff” and irrelevant. These comments often come from those who are afraid to be better- better people, better leaders, better employees and better service providers. To have an effective personal brand, you’ve got to be willing to stop and assess what the world has to say about you and your brand,- the good, the bad and the ugly. How else will you improve, excel and be happier in life?
For many people, the holidays are a stressful time in business and in their personal lives. It seems that no amount of “good cheer” and commercialized joy can make it better. The result is always a mis-aligned and ineffective personal brand.
If you look around, the products industry has figured out how to sell us “joy”- which is the only emotion that matters in order to get people to be attracted, and buy, from a business. For instance, Starbuck’s 2013 Holiday campaign is….Share Joy! Norwegian Cruise Lines has a Holiday Joy campaign, too. And of course, QVC invites us all to give joy this holiday season.
Do you get the picture? While you don’t have to go out spending lots of money to find your joy (you decide if that concept even really works for you), you can decide where to spend your money. Where you spend your money is an easy way to have your money count in ways that bring you profound joy. For instance, do you support fair trade or an organization that does great things for the community with your donation? For me this year, I have chosen to make all my holiday purchases at stores or charities that are either fair trade or directly support a cause or a group with which I am proud to be associated. Consider your money can serve as your voice and be used as a beautiful means to express your desire to see positive change/events happen in the world and your community.
Where exactly is your joy campaign as a service provider or professional? Most importantly, can you take that joy and have it last for eleven more months, or is it just relegated to December? While December is a good start, let’s see if you can make your joy, and thus your personal brand value, last longer!
I recently had a corporate client point out to me a very interesting observation. She works for the CEO of a very large corporation. The CEO is all about corporate culture and having the brand of the company match the personal brands of all employees. However, it seems that this concept- and the brand- is stuck at the top of her organization with her CEO.
What does that mean? Well, even in organizations where the CEO is forward-thinking and understands the relevance of personal branding and managing to your organization and employees’ personal brands, things go awry. In this case, the CEO’s office established the “rules” around the brand and culture. The problem became having management and their direct reports implement and cultivate this brand and culture.
What good is brand and culture, if there is no follow-up to make sure everyone: 1) understands it and 2) applies it to see benefits? In other words, it is not enough for the CEO and upper management to be aboard the personal branding train.
So what does this mean for you? Well, even if you run a small business or are an employee- look around. Is personal branding and brand management really understood with clarity across your business? Is that knowledge then applied with consistency across all employees so that we all get the same feel for what you do for a living? If not, take a step back and see if the personal brand and brand overall got ‘stuck at the top’ somehow. You don’t have to have a large organization to have a problem with concepts being stuck at the top. There must be a plan to have the branding message filter down and span out to your target market- regardless of your size or position in any organization.