Your agency’s “model” is about greater than the message or tone conveyed by its web site or emblem. It’s additionally about you. You’re possible one of many first folks to the touch base with purchasers or prospects, and the way you come throughout influences the connection folks really feel for you and the agency. In brief, you’re a keeper of the follow’s model, a teller of its story.
If you happen to can inform your individual story effectively, your private model will convey to everybody you work together with—together with your workforce—your expertise, your worth, and the particular expertise you add to the combination.
Let’s begin with some context round what a private model means. For outdated time’s sake, take into consideration your favourite brick-and-mortar retailer. Whether or not it’s Costco, Goal, or HomeGoods, you’re a buyer for a wide range of causes. Possibly you may all the time get the gadgets you need or want. Maybe you are taking consolation in figuring out precisely the place to seek out what you’re in search of. Regardless of the cause, your impression is clearly favorable otherwise you wouldn’t maintain going again.
Simply as you view company manufacturers in a selected gentle due to your interactions with them, folks make judgments primarily based on their interactions with you. Primarily based on first impressions, how would they describe you? They decide up on the alerts you’re giving out, via your physique language and presence, in addition to what you say and the way you say it.
Formalize What Your Model Ought to Be
When working with corporations to develop their model tales, we regularly start with their positioning assertion. A few of the identical factors we use to develop that assertion will also be helpful when creating a private model:
Outline your audience. Take into consideration who you’re making an attempt to achieve (e.g., colleagues, facilities of affect, purchasers). It’s simpler to craft a private story whenever you perceive your audience.
Pinpoint your viewers’s wants. Think about rational and emotional wants. For instance, purchasers could count on you to supply dependable info after they name into the workplace, however they could additionally want you to be an issue solver with a sympathetic ear when issues don’t go in line with plan and worries come up.
Consider the way you meet these wants. Let’s say your audience is your workers, and also you need them to know you’ve heard their considerations about their skilled improvement and guarantee them you’re invested of their profession progress, too. So, take into consideration including a daily skilled improvement check-in to the calendar and make some extent to allow them to find out about any academic alternatives they may be concerned about.
Determine your specialty. Your private branding ought to embody what you do particularly effectively. Maybe you’re a retirement planning guru or a whiz with debt administration. You already know what makes you particular—and people round it’s best to, too.
With these 4 factors in thoughts, you may put collectively a quite simple model assertion for your self. It would look one thing like this:
(Your identify) is a (your position) that gives (audience) with
(your providing) in a (your differentiator) method.
As you begin to develop your private model story, this assertion can function a helpful guidepost—however be at liberty to revise it as your objectives and viewers change.
Audit Your Model
It’s not sufficient to provide you with a model; you also needs to see in the event you’re residing as much as it. To conduct a model audit, rank your self within the following areas from 1 to five (with 1 being nonexistent or wants enchancment and 5 being your model is strong):
Communication fashion (written and verbal)
Physique language and bodily impression
On-line presence (e.g., social media profiles, publications utilizing your identify or agency web site, private bio)
Written paperwork that embody details about you (e.g., agency advertising supplies)
Suggestions from colleagues and buddies
If in case you have bother with this train, enlist an in depth good friend or colleague to undergo the checklist and supply a rating for you. Then, see how the rankings evaluate. The place do you align? The place are the scores extensively completely different? The insights will assist you establish areas that might use some work, in addition to key strengths.
Protect Your Private Branding
Carry on tending to your model as soon as it’s outlined. Right here’s how:
1) Electronic mail. An electronic mail could make or break you in just some keystrokes. So, all the time maintain your model in thoughts when crafting messages.
Examine your tone. Do your emails sound instructive and useful, or do they veer towards tone-deaf and harsh? Set the suitable tone, particularly when writing a delicate electronic mail. You would possibly ask a colleague to learn it first. Or you could discover calling the individual is best than sending an electronic mail. I’ve a private rule: if I’m having bother discovering the suitable phrases for an electronic mail or discover myself occurring too lengthy, I decide up the telephone as a substitute.
Be skilled. In case your electronic mail makes use of an excessive amount of jargon, the reader may be confused. Use correct English and clear language, and clarify any acronyms or abbreviations (relying on the viewers).
Spell test! Don’t let the message of a well-crafted electronic mail get obscured by pointless typos.
2) Voice (voicemail, telephone messages, and calls). Ever marvel in the event you’ve been too informal (or too formal) in conversations with purchasers? To venture each your agency and private model, contemplate:
Creating scripts for traditional greetings, telephone messages, or putting a caller on maintain.
Being certain what you’re saying—and the way you’re saying it—is consistent with what others in your workforce are conveying.
3) Physique language. Your physique language may give off unintended impressions. Earlier than a severe dialog, follow having the dialogue in a mirror. Be aware of your physique language and facial expressions.
4) Social media. Most of us use social media personally and professionally. It may be a significant increase to your private model—in the event you use it appropriately.
Know who “follows” or “likes” you. Since your likes and follows could be seen by others, your followers may have implications in your private model. Be conscious of the feedback in your posts.
Assume earlier than you tweet. Earlier than you ship off a fast publish, ask your self, “Is that this one thing I might need my employer, household, or buddies to see?”
Examine the language. As with electronic mail, stick to applicable and constant language.
Use professional-looking pictures. Does your LinkedIn photograph convey the skilled picture you need others to see? Is it latest, or a shot from 5 years in the past? Your photograph doesn’t should be taken by an expert, however it ought to precisely convey who you’re.
Google your identify. What info seems? Is it what you anticipated?
After all, completely different platforms will assist you inform completely different elements of your model story (e.g., LinkedIn to spotlight your skilled accomplishments or Twitter to remain up on and share the most recent trade information). And, if performed effectively, it may be an essential approach to attain your audience and preserve your private model.
Rebranding Might Be in Order
If you happen to’ve by no means actually considered your private model, I hope I’ve given you a very good place to begin. It could assist you visualize what you need different folks to see in you and what they’re truly seeing. And if these two variations don’t align? Properly, it may simply be time for a rebrand.
Please seek the advice of your member agency’s insurance policies relating to social media previous to using the platforms mentioned.