How to Brand Yourself
The very essence of your being is a brand and there’s nothing you can do about it. Humans, are a brand, and life, is us advertising ourselves.
Whether we’re dating, or looking for a job, or trying to close a deal.
Instead of allocating dollars to promote yourself, you’re allocating hours of your attention and time and resources to make yourself a better person, or to get what it is you want out of life.
Some people, like brands, have made it big and are household names. Others have bad reps. Some, are the ones you could spend every moment around and never get sick of being around. Others, you avoid at all costs.
Brands aren’t what you are or the service you provide. They’re what people say about you when you’re not in the room.
If the culture isn’t good, the product or service sucks. What’s your culture? How do you make yourself happy?
What type of brand do you want to be?
How are you investing in yourself to growth?
How are you allocating your time to ensure you’re fostering an environment where your brand can thrive?
If there is a particular image or life that you want, it’s obtainable, you just have to make strategic decisions like you would caring for a brand.
You have to be passionate about yourself if you want to lead a life that you envision. Is that selfish? Maybe. Or is it selfless? To lead a life where your esteem and mindset are so secure and established that you’re infectious to be around.
I am in this state in my life where my brand isn’t fully established because I’m “still so young.” People at work still say “hey, kid” and I want to be taken seriously. While I am still young in the grand scheme of life, I’m not. Sure, I’ve only made it a quarter of the way through, but what I lack in age, I make up for in experience.
I truly believe age is just a number. And I’m not trying to grow up to fast. In my eyes, life is so precious and so short, that I have a massive list of things I want to accomplish and things I want to do before I die. If I don’t get it all done, that’s okay.
But, I’m at this spot where I want to change the perception of my brand. I don’t want to have to always have to prove myself. I want people to look to me as a mentor, and use my experiences and mistakes as learning lessons.
I’ve done some things in the past to try to alter this perspective, but in hindsight, I don’t think it was authentic, so it didn’t work.
It was impostor syndrome.
Hairstyles. Man, I’ve rocked the angle bob and above the shoulder cuts because I thought it made me look older. I refused to wear my hair curly because I thought it made me look like I was in high school. Now, I’m embracing the fact that it’s okay to rock the all natural lion’s mane.
Clothing. I went through a phase where I purchased a lot of Ralph Lauren and wore more simplistic, staple pieces. Pantyhose and closed-toe shoes at work didn’t cover up the fact that I worked with people that had more wisdom than me to not constantly scuff their shoes or rip their tights. Plus, I’ve discovered that I’m more of an Anthropologie person.
Reading biographies. I read so many books to understand the nuances of people and what made them successful. What are they eating for breakfast? What time are they getting up? What’s their exercise regimen? Then, I lived their reality.
Being in on every trend. I was spending hours reading up on the latest marketing news, knowing the newest features, trying to position myself as the go-to cool girl.
So, I had the part down. Or, so I thought…
What actually makes you an adult:
Not feeling like you have to prove yourself to be taken seriously. Understanding that you can give your opinion, state the facts and if someone isn’t having it, it is what it is.
Getting the love you want. Not settling for anything less than what fulfills you. Calling out your partner when they do something that you feel isn’t respectful and let them know you’re not going to put up with it.
Having really difficult conversations when things bother you. With the person that needs to hear the conversation - not everyone else but that person. And putting yourself in their shoes, too.
Negotiating and not just doing things to keep the peace. Goes back to having those challenging situations. Knowing what your walk-away point is. Knowing that the goal is to come to a mutual purpose, and if you can’t, agree to disagree.
Listening. Which, is hard these days because my poor hearing puts a damper on my relationships because I genuinely am struggling to hear lately. Brandon asked me yesterday when the last time I had a hearing test was, and honestly, it had to have been middle school, maybe?
Who do you want to have been? Whether you want to believe it or not, perception is reality. How do you want your brand to go down in history?
Do you want to be the person that people remember always complaining or one-upping people? Do you want to be the girl that was always trying to rush through life? Do you want to be the person that people felt obligated to invite to the party?
NO! I want to be the person that is considerate, is authentic, can actively listen, is polite, is honest, has integrity and stands their ground.
What’s the legacy you’re leaving?
Because, you’re leaving one. You’re leaving a legacy in your family when you’re gone. You’re leaving a legacy when you get a new job and put in your two weeks. You’re leaving a legacy when you move.
Remember the iPod? Everyone remembers the iPod. Because it was life-changing. I no longer had to run with a bulky Walkman. I could download any song I wanted and could listen to individual songs instead of an entire album. It was sleek. You reflect fondly on it.
I want people to reminisce positively when they think about interacting with me.
I don’t want to suck the life out of people. Let’s face it, a lot of people are lonely or have low self-esteem. I want them to know that they don’t have to be, and that I am there to be supportive and to ignite a fire that sparks them to change the world!
I want my brand to be the following:
-Down to earth
-Tasteful and high-quality
-Fast-paced and adaptable
-Stress-free and go with the flow
-Big-picture and imaginative
-Compassionate and understanding
-Accepting of flaws
What do you want to be, how are you going to get there and how are you going to market yourself?