Your brand is important.
Think of it as the representation of your business.
John Williams, of Entrepreneur.com says…
“Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors'. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.”
Sounds pretty good, right?
John Rampton, a branding expert, says
“It’s a combination of skills, talents, values, interests, and beliefs. In short, your personal brand should be the descriptive words that you’re known by in order to make you stand out and be more memorable.”
In essence, it’s everything about your business, the look, the feel, the sound, the smell, what you deliver, your promise and how you do it.
It’s every interaction that someone has with your business and here’s the clincher…both online and offline.
So yes, it’s how you show up across Instagram and Facebook (your business accounts) and what you have written on your LinkedIn profile.
It also goes beyond that.
Think of how you enter a room when you’re networking or meeting a business prospect for the very first time.
Your image speaks a thousand words and you have just 7 seconds to make an impact and represent the consistency of your brand in those precious 7 seconds.
This does not mean you have to always wear make-up, have your hair perfect or buy a new suit. But have a think about the image you are portraying…is it consistent and does it back up your promise?
Does your image reflect your brand and the perception of what somebody in your type of role does?
For example, if you’re an accountant, you’re not going to go to a meeting or show up in a Zoom call wearing a tracksuit. That screams incongruence! Immediately it can bring up a sense of distrust meaning you’ll have to work a little harder to prove yourself and your business.
Think about the images on your website. Do they reflect what you do, what you deliver on?
Do they speak directly to your ideal customer, as this is critical?!
Are they consistent with your brand and who you want to be and where you want your business to go? Or have you used some run-of-the-mill stock images that everyone else is using?
If you’re using images that are ten years old, or older, people recognise this immediately. They look dated. Are they consistent with your brand and who you want to be and where you want your business to go? Or have you used some run-of-the-mill stock images that everyone else is using?
What subconscious messages are you delivering to your ideal customer about your brand with dated images?
That you don’t care? You can’t be bothered updating your website? It’s too hard? This is subtle delivery of your brand so please consider it.
It’s always a good idea to think big and start small. Start with the small things that you can control and don’t cost you too much money. The images you use on your social channels, the words that use you (your copy) that speaks to your ideal customers and the images on your website.
If you’re heading to a networking event or meeting someone for the first time, take a moment to consider the image you are presenting of not just you, but your business.
Remember, if you’re a small business, YOU are the brand.