When we hear the word brand, we often think of fonts, color palettes, and logos.
However, the reality is that behind every brand is a feeling. Every interaction with your brand, every piece of content, reflects who you are at the core; and how you make people feel is truly what matters most.
To dive into the power of personal brands, we invited our friend Christine Gritmon onto Magnet Marketers.
Christine Gritmon empowers professionals to step into their personal brands in a bigger, bolder way on social media. You CAN do it- she’ll teach you how! She’s spoken on stages worldwide and is a frequent expert guest on podcasts, live streams, Twitter chats, and blog posts, as well as her own weekly Twitter chat #ChatAboutBrand, and live interview show, Let’s Talk About Brand.
In fact, Christine is such an expert that we literally can’t even see the color red without thinking of her. She has done an incredible job of solidifying her brand look AND personality through her content and appearances on shows, even down to her red background and bold lipstick.
What Is A Brand:
A brand is really all about defining who you are and what you’re known for. Branding is our image; it’s the version that others see. It’s what people say about you, and especially in this world of social media, it’s the thing that people think of you.
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” - Seth Godin
Your brand is how you make people feel and what they feel about you, think of you and your abilities.
As the amazing Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Your brand is your core, and this is so important because, in this dark social-dominated world, we have to understand that what matters is our brand reputation.
What people say about us, and how they feel about us, is everything.
“People think the window dressing is the thing itself but it’s not. Your brand is the version of you that lives in people’s heads. Personal branding is about taking control of that image.” @cgritmon (click to tweet)
What Actually Matters In Branding:
While it’s fun to create color schemes and design graphics, that isn’t what matters in branding.
What actually matters in branding is how we’ve made people feel. That is what makes or breaks our success and is the difference between being memorable and forgettable.
It’s not about what we do but rather HOW we do it because that is truly what determines whether you’re creating an experience worth talking about. Your HOW is what leaves people thinking about you, or not.
“Someone else does what you do no matter how original you think you are. It comes down to how and who are you resonating with? It’s the experience you’re creating more than the services you provide. That’s the decision-maker.” @cgritmon (click to tweet)
That’s how we foster engagement in employees, as well as repeat and referral business among clients.
“If you can fine-tune how you want to show up and get into that personality of you and your brand and understand that you’re going to attract a specific person that you’re going to resonate with… that’s where the magic happens.” @jessikaphillips (click to tweet)
By understanding who we are, we have the ability to find others that share our values. By truly knowing who we serve, we can co-create with those that not only share our values but have the ability to meet a need of our customers and want to create similar experiences!
“If you come from a place of looking at your audience’s needs and look to see who shares your brand values and then expose them to brands that have similar values AND can give them value, that creates a feeling of gratitude.” @cgritmon (click to tweet)
If we introduce our audience to someone who doesn’t walk the walk, of course, they’d be disappointed! That’s why being mindful of partnerships as a brand is critical.
When we introduce our audience to brands that can serve their needs, and also display a similar set of morals, it makes them grateful! They trust us even more after that!
Our relationships are what truly support our brand and allow us to find creative ways to take our existing community and serve them in different ways. It’s what allows us to stay creative and generate momentum where we want to go!
The Power Of Personal Brands:
The thing about personal brands that organizations often fail to recognize is how beneficial and valuable they are.
So often, organizations don’t support the development of their employees’ personal brands. AKA they exhibit red flag behavior, Christine said.
Like, if your company doesn’t want you building your brand, it might just be because they’re threatened and worried that someone might make you a better offer and “snatch you up.” She has incredible advice for those brands.
“If you have someone valuable in your organization, cherish them, don’t punish them. Every single person in your organization is a part of your brand and is a potential source of leads because they have their own circles!” @cgritmon (click to tweet)
Employees with strong personal brands are huge assets to organizations because they open up so many doors and connections, aka opportunities for relationship building and collaboration, for your organization in the long term.
If employees feel a sense of loyalty and support from their organization, they’ll feel it back and it will create a beautiful, mutually beneficial relationship.
The best way to do this as an organization? >> Hire well. And show you care.
“Your organization should be hiring people that you know share the same core values and you want to support their hobbies because it fuels them, and when you have happy team members, you have happy customers and clients.” @jessikaphillips (click to tweet)
Brands Create Connection:
Being intentional is critical because by pouring your energy into ensuring that your brand HAS a personality, you attract the right people and can truly build an aligned team.
That is what keeps the clarity of who you are as a brand to the core.
Your brand is so important because it’s how you create connections to others and how they know whether you’re “their kind of people.”
“When I pick speakers for an event, I want to make sure that this is someone that practices what they preach. I want to be able to tell that they care; someone that others would vouch for.” @jessikaphillips (click to tweet)
Our annual event Social Media Week Lima is sort of a culmination of the power of what can happen when organizations and individuals lean into the power of personal brand and the relationships that can be built.
Putting It All Together:
Our brands are a reflection of who we are, and that’s not something that we should ever try to hide.
In fact, the things that we often feel we need to hide in order to be professional are often the things that when shared, create connection among us. It’s all about learning how to embrace it, own it, love it and rock it out!
By leaning into who we are, we set ourselves apart and create the best chance of connecting with people who will really get us!
Are you struggling with figuring out what your core brand personality is and how you stand out?
We have an exercise we recommend that you try!
Call 5 different people in your network (both personal and professional) and ask them to name three things that they think about you.
Tell them you’d like to know a few words that come to mind when they think of you and just see what comes up! Perhaps some patterns emerge from the feedback.
That is a great way to start to get clarity on the brand that you’re putting out, without even knowing that you had one!
If you’d like to dive even further into personal branding, we recommend connecting with Christine. She works with people that are ready to step up their professional presence, and she’s just about to launch a special VIP Day package that is basically an intensive get-it-done day! You’ll leave with an engagement strategy and tons of action items, and we can’t think of a better way to kickstart momentum than that!
What do you think about the power of branding? What do you think makes your brand stand out?