- Client: “Branding and marketing overwhelm me.”
- I: “What do you like to do in order to grow your business?”
- Client: “Networking makes me happy.”
- I: “How do you introduce yourself in a network meeting?”
- Client: “I tell people who I am and what I do.”
- I: “You’re actually branding and marketing yourself in this situation.”
- Client: “Really?”
Branding sounds like a big word, however we are doing it every day. It happens during conversations with verbal and non-verbal communication. We show up as who we are (or maybe who we want to be, or who we think we ought to be) and share what we do best.
In the book Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg said, “Please ask yourself: What would I do if I were not afraid? And then go do it.” When we are courageous, we can be ourselves authentically and tell the story about who we are and what we do well professionally.
Branding is based on authenticity. If you are not sure how you show up, follow the process below:
- Ask yourself “’Who am I?’ and ‘What do I do best?’”
- Ask 5 people the question “Who am I?” These people should be people who know you well.
- Ask 5 new acquaintances the same question. This reveals their first impressions of you.
- Repeat the 1st and 2nd step with the question “What do I do best?”
- Compare the answers between your close friends and your new friends.
- Compare your own answers with that of others.
Are there major differences between your own answers and the answers from your friends? What does that tell you?
Are there major differences between your friends’ answers and that of your new acquaintances? What does that tell you?
This process takes you through the first step of branding: self-reflection.