The last blog post talked about why branding is important. Now I am talking about how to brand yourself. The first step in branding yourself is knowing who you’re. When you know who you are it is now time to let people know who you are. Here are some things to think about when starting out your branding journey,
What are your values?
Determine your values. When you determine your values it will help you make decisions that align with the brand you’re trying to create. When you’re posting on social media think about what you’re putting out. Do they align with your values? A lot of times people censor the way they talk in public or on social media because they’re afraid of what their employer will think. That is because you have either absorbed your employers’ values as your own or you agree with their values and that is how you want to represent yourself. Either way, it is important to be conscious of your values and beliefs on your branding journey.
What is your current brand?
Whether you have been intentionally crafting a brand or not you have a brand. People see you in a certain light by your actions, thoughts, and ideas. For the longest time, my brand was as a youth development professional. Not a business mind. Not a marketing mind. Not a sales mind but a youth development specialist. I wasn’t building this brand on purpose but through my choice of employment and how I spent my time this is how I was known. Everything I posted on social media was screened with the thought what if a parent sees this, or what if and higher up and the Y sees this. I was inadvertently creating that brand for myself. I eventually had the self-awareness to realize two things. I do not want to work for the YMCA for the rest of my life and I want to start a business that had nothing to do with childcare or youth development. Now what.
The rebirth or the rebrand
It was time for me to rebrand. I still had bills that needed to be paid so quitting the YMCA was not necessarily the solution. Instead of quitting I started looking at how I could rebrand myself within the Y. So I made a move into sales. (There was a lot more going into me leaving child care and going into sales like focusing on marketing and growing programs and increasing program quality and marketing myself as some who does such but I’m going to skip the details.) By making that move into sales I was able to focus on a skill that was more transferable to the business world and hone my marketing skills. It also helped me realize further that I didn’t want to be at the Y but that is not the important takeaway. The takeaway is that from transitioning out of childcare into sales I was able to introduce myself as a sales professional vs a childcare professional. My brand was changing. Now going from a sales professional to an entrepreneur was the next step and the best way to work on that next level was by leaving the Y and jumping off on my own.
Years later I am now my own person with my own company, my own values, and my own brand. This would not have been possible if I didn’t take the time to look at myself and take strategic, intentional steps to changing my brand to being one that I want.