Photo by Ben Amstutz
When a ranch brands a cow, they craft an iron as an identifying symbol. The ranchers dip the iron in fire and scorch it into the hinds of their cattle, staking their claim, letting the world know this excellent batch of heifers belongs to them. They are making a statement.
Fortunately, personal and professional branding doesn’t have to involve scorching skin. What it needs is a little styling instead, and that means more than just having a cool logo or dressing nice.
Your brand is all about identity–who you are, how you express it and share it with others–and it’s crucial to personal and professional success. Essentially, a brand is how others perceive you or your company so you want to make sure your brand is expressing what you want it to.
The Chamber’s Capitol Club gained some insight on personal and professional style and branding this morning from Molly Mazzolini of Infinite Scale. She shared a countdown of 10 ways you can craft and hone skills to brand yourself or your business.
10. Be consistent. This includes the style, or the look and feel, of all of your presentational efforts.
9. Customize it. Make it personal in every communication or collaboration you have. Hand written notes are a perfect way to do this, either as a “thank you” or “nice to meet you” gesture. Hand written notes are also a great tool for connecting personally and professionally.
8. Be succinct. Short, sweet and simple.
7. Go digital. Even if you’re not tweeting or Facebooking yourself, having that profile up and following people can help. If you’re more active online, embrace your presence and interact with others. It’s the new frontier!
6. Thank you! Share your gratitude to everyone who helps, supports or simply opens the door for you. Being gracious is a good way to get and keep friends, colleagues and supporters on your side. And it’s good manners.
5. Show and tell your process. People like knowing the story behind you, your business and its brand. Share it!
4. Spell check. Everything you write or post online should not only be spell checked, but also checked for context (like their vs. there, your and you’re–spell check can’t catch those) as pointed out by Ted McAleer of USTAR.
3. Research. Get to know your supporters, a prospective company and other people. Become acquainted with more ways you can help people and how to extend your brand.
2. Passion play. ”Be passionate about your work, who you are and what you do,” said Mazzolini. If you lack that passion, no one will care because you don’t.
1. Be you! Staying true to yourself in everything is the most authentic way to extend your style/brand–from clothing to appearance to professionalism. No one else can be you or your company, so it’s up to you retain that authenticity.
Executive Vice President of the Salt Lake Chamber Natalie Gochnour also suggested that you constantly reinvent yourself or else you risk becoming stagnant. The worlds of business, technology and interaction are constantly evolving, and so should you. Branding is also about staying relevant in a progressive climate.
A big thank you to Nordstrom at City Creek and Sixth and Pine for hosting the Capitol Club meeting this month.