31 August 2015
How To Brand Yourself & Achieve Your Goals.
Branding, as we all know, is effective. Enormous companies spend millions of dollars trying to create the brand image they want. So why is it so valuable? How can the world’s most successful companies be so sure that branding is worth it? Because it works. A brand changes the way people think. And different thinking means different behaviour.
But why leave that game to the big guys? If they can manipulate image to affect behaviour, you can use the same tactics. Brand yourself. Make yours an image that makes people act the way you want them to.
Let’s look at how to do that.
Define your goals.
This is huge and a lot of people have trouble with this step.
The reason you want to brand yourself is to move towards a certain goal. Products brand themselves to sell themselves. You brand yourself to become something. Know what this is. It might be the head of a particular business. It might be that you want to operate a business with at least ten employees. The more detailed you can be in defining your goals; the better you can make decisions about your brand.
Honesty is important here. Try to come to a complete picture of yourself. What are you good at and what are you bad at? You need to understand your strengths and weaknesses in regards to your goal. If you want to become a boss, but you’re afraid of confrontation, you need to be aware of this. You can use branding to overcome these problems as long as you are honest about their existence.
A good way of tricking yourself into being honest is to ask ‘Which of my strengths do other people think is a weakness?’ If other people see it as a weakness, you might have a problem that branding can overcome.
This is important. All business decisions are grounded in research, because research works. Research is about looking back at things that have previously succeeded and trying to understand why they succeeded. Find out about people who have done what you want to do. Always consider the questions ‘what did they do?’ and ‘why did that work?’
What do you need other to do?
To achieve your goal, what do you need others to do for you? How do you need people to act towards you? If you brand yourself well, you can get other people to want to behave in a way that will make you succeed. For example; let’s look at somebody who wants to become the manager of an office. For that person to succeed, they need other people to give them responsibility and power.
When you understand what you need others to give you, the next stage is to figure out how to encourage them to do that. If you need people to give you responsibility, brand yourself as capable and hungry. If you need somebody to consider you reliable, engage them as much as possible; be prompt with communications and deadlines.
Strategy is important here, and successful branding will come down to your ability to construct a game plan. Let’s consider an intern that wants to eventually become CEO. Their strategy may be to brand themselves reliable and hardworking, and to later shift their brand so people see their initiative, decisiveness and intellect. A great trick for achieving this is to ask yourself the question ‘If I had become CEO already, how would I retell the story of how I got there?’
Manage your brand.
Now that you know what your brand is, you need to make sure that comes across to people. The way your hold yourself, the way you speak, the way you dress. All of these things will shape your brand. As long as your understand what your brand is and why you want it that way, you can align these aspects of yourself to create the brand you need.
Become the person you want to become. Find out how to get to your end point and your goal. If you brand yourself well, you’ll start to feel the momentum you’ve generated.