Subtitle: use this. share this. link this. please to not steal this. sadly Ive been noticing some of my work cut & pasted on other people’s sites.
First I need to thank all of you for allowing me to toot my own horn last week.
I appreciate you being as excited as was I about the brand recognition.
So many of you left me questions in the comments that I wanted to take a moment and answer them as best I could.
So many of you left me questions in the comments that I wanted to take a moment and see if we, as a group, could generate some answers.
The most common question I receive (before & since the entrepreneur.com shout out) is whether I planned my MizFit brand prior to launching the blog.
The answer is yes & no.
Yes I sat down, decided on a name I liked, a caricature I adored, & the precise message I wanted to convey.
In a sense it was a simple a ‘plan’ as creating a blog mission statement to go along with all the other mission statements in my life.
No I didnt map out my brand (short & long term) in a concise bullet point’y fashion. That’s not my style. In the writer who doesnt storyboard either. I tend to start with a beginning & end in mind (oooh! see? I do have an end in mind) & let the middle unfold as it may.
Given my nontraditional approach to all that is personal branding here are the 6 branding tips Ive learned along my misfit way:
- Remember, your blog-brand is merely your readers expectation of their interaction with you based on their *past* interactions with you. This is good news. You may be one of the panicked people who emailed me thinking you have no brand—you do. Look back at your blog. Read your comments. Reread your posts. Take a moment and write down what *you* think readers expect when they stop by your neck of the ‘net. This is your brand. As my onetimefave Dr. Phil says: The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. In the world of branding this predictability can be a great thing.
- Be consistent (hey look at that! It’s just like exercise) Focus on utilizing the same language, messages & voice everywhere you appear. When I tweet, guest post, podcast, attend conferences, appear on radio shows etc. my message is always the same (there’s that mission statement again. it’s crucial to branding). At times it may feel as though you are repeating yourself—-you’re not. People are drawn to brands which are consistent and know what message they want to convey. TIP: if you find you are struggling with consistency perhaps step back and re-examine your message. You may simply need to return, revise & redefine your brand!
- Play to your strengths. Your brand is a gathering of your gifts. People frequently experience paralysis by analysis at the notion of brand creation when it’s pretty damn simple: what are your strengths? what are your best skills? That’s a big clue to your brand. Invest time in figuring out *who you are* (define those core values!) and then be that person. In life and in your personal brand. This authenticity will draw people to your brand and, an added benefit, is you will never have to think “how would my brand react to XYZ?” You are your brand & all you need to do is stay true to your core value system.
- Check to see if others “get” your brand. For me this took the form of asking friends & readers for an HONEST answer to: what’s my brand? What immediately comes to mind when you hear the word MizFit? It also helps to explain your brand to someone & ask them to repeat back to you what youve said but in their own words. If people struggle to explain your brand back to you then you might need to spend a bit more time clarifying for yourself what your brand’s mission statement is.
- You are not all your brand needs. This seems obvious yet I see evidence daily on Twitter of people who, in my opinion, do not grasp this. Your brand can not exist in a vacuum. You need readers and interaction (and people who challenge your opinions) in order to move forward and grow. A big piece of my brand is a focus on giving back. Give in the manner which fits your personal brand—but give. For me this ‘giving’ takes the form of the ole to the blogworld/twitter you may be one person—but to one blogger/tweeter you may be the world. This phrase is part of my brand’s mission statement.
- Patience. As with anything (from exercise to dating) building a quality brand takes time and effort. We all know bloggers/tweeters who emerge on the scene like the proverbial house-a-fire & suddenly disappear never to be seen again. Everything you do/every interaction is, essentially, brand extension. That’s both a great & challenging thing. As tempting as it can be to want to focus 24/7 on creating your social media footprint (or business footprint) you need to step back, wait and let your brand evolve.
(seriously. I know. Could my posts get any longer? I feel your pain…)
So there you have it.
My top six branding tips after 3 years of MizFit’ing.
I know what works for my brand may not be what youve found to work for yours.
Have a tip to share?
A branding question for me or the reader-community in general?
please to hit us all up in the comments…