How much attention do you give to your personal ‘brand’?
I find one of the hardest things about running a small business is that inevitably as a founder, you are key to you and your business’ image and reputation. The spotlight is always on you.
Last week I had an interesting encounter. I was judged by someone based on my professional tag (virtual assistant) and the fact that over the last few months I’m always a bit fried and more than a bit late (home schooling anyone?!). The person in question made an assumption and took it upon themselves to give me some words of wisdom to help me up my game (all meant in good spirit I must add).
It just so happened that after this conversation, I was mandated to present on SpareMyTime. Now, for all the lateness and feeling fried, 20 years of City training (and ENFP-T in case you’re wondering) means that a presentation is absolutely right up my alley (I know, weird hey).
The long of the short is that the individual who’d passed judgement minutes before ended up sending me an apology after. I guess I wasn’t that space cadet after all.
Luckily I have skin as thick as a rhino (City training again), so I took no offence over the affair. However I did take some learning from it. And here’s what I learnt
- Wherever you are, you go as a brand ambassador for you and your business. This could be presenting to hundreds or picking up the kids from school.
- Personal branding is a reflection of your own confidence. It takes some guts to put yourself out there and shout for others to take notice
- Your unique combination of skills, experience, and personality creates how the world will see you
- Consistency is key. There’s no point being one thing one day, and someone else another. It’s often easiest to be yourself.
- Whatever ‘brand’ you put out there, will be representative of the clients you connect with (like attracts like)
- Most importantly, your personal brand will not be to everyone’s taste. And that is okay. In this wonderful world we live in, there is plenty of business to go around. You can’t make everyone happy.
So after much contemplation, I realised that who I am absolutely represents who we connect with as clients. And that makes me a-okay with my personal branding.
Sure I may be a hot mess one day and a jangle of nerves on the next but in reality I model our ideal client on someone like me. We love hot messes, particularly if it means we can give them the freedom they need to get their game on, hit it out the park and leave everyone with their mouths open.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is … we can’t be everything to everyone my loves, but as long as you’re happy to be you, then you will attract the clients that make you smile.