6/01/2007

What's Your Brand Say?

What's Your Brand Say?
Copyright © Scott Bradley

When you think about these companies what comes to mind? Apple...Wal Mart...Facebook...Myspace...Google...Target...Yahoo

When you think about these people what comes to mind? Bill Gates...Steve Jobs...Donald Trump...Robert Kiyosaki...Jim Rohn...Tony Robbins...Dale Carnegie

I don't know about you...but when I immediately think about these people and companies, an image, thought, and feeling comes over me...A feeling that is either positive, fun, interesting, amazing, or just plain inspiring. The images of, big, powerful, successful and innovative hit my consciousness one by one...The thoughts of "Amazing Guy", "Awesome Company", "Innovative Environment", or "Value Added Content" also come to mind as my eyes scan across the brand.

When thinking about this concept...Think about this...When someone reads your name what are they thinking?
Take 10 seconds to think about YOUR BRAND...Ask yourself these questions.....What am I portraying to those that know me? What kind of words come to my contacts mind as they think of MY NAME?...Is it what I want them to think and feel? Am I being misrepresented?....Am I comfortable with the brand I am portraying or do I want to change how the world defines me for who I am?

Bottom line...Your brand is just as important as your reputation...Just like a company....Think about it...Would you buy a product or use a service from a company that had a bad reputation or bad message that you didn't agree with? Would you recommend that company to a friend even though you knew you didn't like it?....I Think not!

Think about it from a people's perspective...Would you introduce a good friend to someone who portrayed a brand that you didn't like?...Again I Think not!

We all only get one brand and one reuptation, and because of that it is OUR job to protect that and continue to share our brand with all of those who we interact and communicate with.

Because of this fact...BRANDING YOURSELF is essential to your future success, because not only will it help people realize who you are and what you stand for, but will attract people to you from all walks of life to be a friend, be a network contact, be a new client for your business, or be someone who wants to introduce you to others of the same type of brand.

So you are probably thinking right now...Ok Scott...How do I build my brand?

Before talking about how to build your brand, you must understand what mediums you can use to build your brand.
Here are a couple to think about....
Someone can be exposed to your brand by....

Reading something that you wrote
Seeing or hearing your name
Seeing you on TV
Seeing your profile on a social networking site
Meeting you for the first time
Talking to you on the phone
Having a business meeting
Meeting in a public place
Watching a movie you personally created of yourself

When people are exposed to these mediums of communication they will be seeing, how you present yourself, what message you are portraying, working to figure out if it is worth their time to pay any attention to, or even think if its worth it to reach out to you.

When looking at these mediums you have to keep in mind...As Mark Cuban Says...."You never get a second chance to make a first impression." When someone is exposed to your brand you will either attract them or push them away from you.

For example...On the social networking sites...Like you...I get bucket loads of formed spam messages. When I get spam from someone I immediately discount them...and their credibility in my book has gone to ZERO. Now...even so, when I do get spam I give them a break and send them a message back letting them know that what they are doing isn't helping them, but rather hurting them...while most people are just deleting them...what kind of brand am I portraying doing that?

Here is another example. Aside from the formed spam messages, I also get many positive messages from those who found my profile and want to network with me. I love these messages and immediately go to the person's profile to learn more about them. Since they came off as genuine and sincere I want to get to know them more. Their brand that they portrayed was one that was honest, sincere, up front, and willing to take a risk contacting me!

So having said that...How can YOU start to build your brand to help you help yourself in whatever it is that you are doing?

1) Clean up your social networking profiles. Don't have anything on there that you don't want others to see that can cause a misunderstanding of your brand. When you hear about how employeers are looking on facebook at college kids profiles and discounting them because of some drunk party picture....that tells you something. Use your social networking profiles to your advantage to not only portray an awesome brand, but to also show who you are...tried and true...to attract awesome people to you...and to further leverage it to use it to your advantages for opportunities.

2) Start a blog. If you haven't already done so...go to www.blogger.com and get yourself an account. Having a blog is huge because not only does it allow you to build a relationship with a huge audience, but also portrays your brand to your audience through the written word. You would be amazed at how people think about those that can write well...On your blog write about whatever you want...stories, thoughts, tips...or share things that you want your audience to view...It will build your brand and people will keep coming back...

3) Share beneficial info with friends through e-mail or messages on social networking sites...utilizing the "Share" feature on facebook is one of my favorites.

4) Start like minded groups of whatever your interests are on social networking sites...people will be attracted to them, and then want to know more about you because you started the group. I have to say that each and every week...I get between 5-10 requests to join my groups that I started on facebook...When they request to join, I send them a personal welcome message to the group and share one of my branded pieces of materials to help them get to know ME better to build a better relationship with me.

5) Have a personal branding site. If you go into my blogger profile by clicking on the top right where it says “View My Complete Profile”, right above the picture of my family, and in there click on “My Website” on the left column, it will take you to my personal branding page which shares more about me, my business, and who I am. This also works to build rapport with my audience and further explain who I am, and what MY BRAND is. If you want to learn how to make a page like this…let me know I would be happy to help.

6) Make a video blog of yourself utilizing a web cam or normal video camera...This takes your brand to a whole new level…and with the internet anything is possible...It is one step above your blog and your social networking profile...It is the closest thing to actually meeting someone face to face because you can SEE and HEAR the person....listening to their tone, voice, and how they speak. You can tell if they are genuine or not, and if they truly care. People love hearing stories, and as we all know...youtube has blown up like crazy...

There are many more ways to build your brand! Be creative! If you would like to talk more about how you can build your brand contact me. I would love to talk with you to help you.

Because I have realized that BRANDING YOURSELF is so important I have just recorded a video using the BRAND NEW Facebook Video application.

I can now send real video messages to people using the message feature...as well as record videos to share with my audience of readers. I am also going to be making a group..."When Scott Bradley Makes A Video...I Want To Know." Feel free to request to join when it is up…I will be making it today and inviting my contacts to it.

My thinking with this is...like my blog...I want to share beneficial information with all of those who watch my videos, and attract those to me that feel the same. If you would like to see my initial video on facebook to see and hear me Click Here

If you haven't already done so...Feel free to friend me on either facebook or myspace. You can find me by searching "Scott Bradley Boston College"

I am really looking forward to seeing where this goes, and want to wish you the most success in branding yourself!
As always feel free to reach out to me, I love hearing from those who share the same interests and want to make their life better!

Have a fabulous day!
Best,
Scott Bradley

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I Have Moved My Blog To Wordpress.
I will no longer be posting to this blog.
Click http://www.NetworkingEffectively.com to visit the new blog
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11 comments:

Steve Cadoret said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve Cadoret said...

Scotty, I think this is your most impressive posting yet! Keep up the good work...and I could not agree more about first impressions.


Your buddy, Steveo

Visit my blog at:

http://SteveCadoret.blogspot.com

Aurelien said...

Hi,

I will tell you what I think about these companies in relationship to entrepreneurs.

For me success comes from passion of creating and not from getting money (although its an important x-factor).
When i think of Steve Jobs, thats what I think he had in mind, his passion to create.

By the way (i cant find the link anymore) but he had a speech about his life as a creator and a succesful one. A failure as a student who studied caligraphy but still created Apple. he got kicked out by his own people and created Pixar. Then he had apparently an uncurable cancer but still survived. Finally he got back with apple and now its not a great product but a great brand.

I as a graphic designer and entrepreneur, I can relate to that - creation, the greatest source of reward, creation, a true meaning, creation, an identity for all.

Voila

Aurelien

Ben Conn said...

How do you feel about Cuban and other smart business men trying to over take the NFL in the next few years here. They want to start a thing I believe called the UFL or something like that. They eventually want to try and sign about 6 of the NFls best to the league and go from there. They will start teams in cities that do not currently have NFL teams such as LA, Vegas, and Oklahoma. Big markets without teams. I think that Cuban will have the right people around him but I love the NFL and would be rather upset if they started taking players. I dont want to see it happen but there is a possibility that it could one day. Though with a history like the one the NFL has I just don't see it happening.

Sean said...

Very cool article Scott!

I never thought about self branding like this before. You're right because the other day I was reading a Business 2.0 article on contrarions; it had a small section on Martha Stewart. From what I heard about her and the Enron scandal, I immediately discredited and skipped that part.

Aurelien, I watched the Steve Jobs video before that you are referring to. It can be found at:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=D1R-jKKp3NA

Dan Schawbel said...

You want a consistent flow across all social networking sites and a positively displayed brand, highlighting your strengths and value proposition.

Dan Schawbel
Personal Branding Spokesman
www.personalbrandingblog.com

David Mullings said...

I made a similar post back in March - http://mullingsbrothers.blogspot.com/2007/03/blogging-branding-yourself.html

I agree wholeheartedly with the post and get very frustrated with some of my high school friends and acquaintances who just don't seem to get it and would rather use these profiles to expose all sorts of crap.

I have one question though?

How do you intend to control your image 100% when your friends can post pictures of you and the tag you in Facebook?

Brad said...

Scott,

Can you Help Me Start my own BRAND??? I want to NETWORK MYSELF EFFECTIVELY!!! You are Inspiring and Innovative and AWESOME!!!!! GIVE ME TIPS! You are a Success. KEEP IT UP!

- Brad

P.S. - I Want to Know about your BASEBALL CAREER!! How MANY Games did you play?? Did you THROW a PERFECT GAME?? OR FIVE PERFECT GAMES? I want to be a COLLEGIATE BASEBALL PLAYER/ENTRENPENEUR/SEX STUD. Can you Help Me?

Do you Like How I Capitalized Every Word? I Think It Gives my Writing an Effective and Emphasized Look to It. Cool!!!!

Scott Bradley said...

Brad,
I would be happy to help you start your own brand. Feel free to contact me on my screen name or send me an e-mail. All my info is in my personal profile.

About the baseball career...I played all through high school and was recruited to play in college...unfortunately due to a back injury I had to stop...bulging disks in my back as a pitcher is not a good thing...

I can help you as much as I can. Just contact me and we can go from there.

I love how you capitalized every word...it shows your passion!

Talk to you soon!

EngineerTiat said...

Hi Scott

Thanks for this informative blog post!

Warm regards
Tiat
Sunny Singapore
Go for abundance ... http://www.AbundanceLaw.com

Scott Bradley said...

You are so welcome! I appreciate the compliment!

Have a great day!

Scott