Personal brand or business brand – what’s the difference?

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A personal brand helps you maneuver in the business world, and a business brand extends the work that the personal brand started.  Everyone {entrepreneur, mompreneur, employee, unemployed, business owner, contractor, celebrity, welebrity, etc.} should build a strong personal branding foundation before attempting to successfully leverage the personal brand into a business brand.

You are a brand, and the smartest thing you can do is to start becoming aware that everything you are saying and doing reflects your brand.  The quality of your efforts and efficiency will determine the quality of results that you see.  Recently, Forbes posted a great branding blog with 5 personal branding lessons along with an explanation of each lesson by The Branding Lady {me}:

1. Master your craft first.

You’ve heard the saying: “Jack of all trades, master of none.” and it is true!  Really dig deep into your field that you love working in {If you don’t love it, start finding things that you can like about it or start working on a back up plan!}  Who do you love working with?  Why?  What projects do you like working on? Why? What problems can you solve better than anyone else?  Why are you in this field? What piques your curiosity?

2. Be known for something.

I hope you realize that overnight successes don’t happen, it just seems that way sometimes.  Whenever you discover the back story of very successful people, it isn’t all perfect and pretty.  Failure, mistakes, and rejection are common themes.  This is what creates the uniqueness of each person and the strength of their drive to create a better future.  Do you want to do the bare minimum or do you want to be known for making a difference?  Be the change that you want to see and you will be known for something.

3. Leverage what you have.

You have assets, experience, skills, connections, talents, and results.  Examine each of these pieces and see which ones are the best pieces with the most potential to solve existing problems.  Pay close attention to who is drawn to you and why.  Figure out where your successes have been and duplicate them!  Gain momentum and keep saying yes to opportunities that come your way – you will either learn a big lesson or be able to catapult forward.  Continue being strategic and you will continue the momentum.

3. Transform the personal into the business.

If you have consistently been doing what you say you will do and doing it well; you will have established a personal brand {a.k.a. a solid reputation as someone with integrity who can deliver beneficial results.}  When people are talking about you favorably without you needing to be present, you are ready to transform your reputation.  If not, start back at #1 and make sure you have invested the time to earn your reputation.

4. If it doesn’t match your personal brand, don’t do it.

This is why establishing a strong personal branding foundation first is so important.  Your personal brand will act as your filter and your guide, so when opportunities and decisions are presented to you – the right course of action will be obvious.  This is the number one mistake most new businesses do because they think they have to say yes.  You don’t and you should never be desperate!  Not sure if you should say yes or no?  Read #4 again and if it doesn’t resonate with you, go back to #3.

5. Use social networks to keep your business brand personal.

For some, it’s either all business, or all personal, but you should figure out how to intertwine the two.  Be interested and you will be interesting.  Share and people will share back.  The same rules of face-to-face etiquette apply here.  Remember, building relationships and building a brand takes time, but is so worth the investment!

Become the best personal and business brand you can be by doing what I do: Focus on progress and improvement every day + enjoy the branding journey!

“Products are made in a factory, but brands are created in the mind.” —Walter Landor

Want more?  Here is a link to the celebrity version.

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I hope you are starting to realize that you are communicating your brand every day, in every way. Just be you, fulfill what you promise and always give your best.

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