How many times in your life have you been told to ‘brand yourself’ or ‘make sure you leave a lasting impression,”? Well speaking for myself, I would have to say a million times. Girlfriend, your brand is everything – it’s who you are. It stands for what you do, and why you do what you do. Your journey as an individual is a part of your brand and your product. Be proud of it and show it!
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room,” is a quote that I live by religiously. Just think about it for a second. You enter a room and you make an impression. When you leave, what will people think? What will people think of your business? Are they interested? (Have I made you think today? Good!)
Day in and day out, you’re a walking advertisement of yourself and your product. Just like Anna Wintour is to Vogue and Steve Jobs was to Apple – their brands followed them and vice versa.
As a business owner, I have to keep that at the forefront of my mind. Lilac And Lilies is an expression of who I am. From the fashion and accessories, I hand-pick for the boutique, to the music we play in store, it all comes down to my brand which is essentially me.
It wasn’t always easy for me to practice this. To be honest, it was hard as hell trying to merge our two identities. I was starting a business, had just moved back to Florida and honestly still grasping with life as an ambitious young woman. There were lessons I learned and some that I am still learning.
If I haven’t made it abundantly clear, shaping your personal brand is extremely important. Below are some personal tips that have helped me out, and I want to share with my favorite people:
1. Understand yourself and be true to who you are
Honey, you do not, and I repeat, do not want to build YOUR personal brand around something you are not. Can you just imagine how exhausting that would be? You would have to act a certain way, appear a certain way, and say certain things every day, regardless of how you felt about it. Damn, I am already winded just thinking about that. More wine, please! Be you and be authentic. That is what will ultimately lead to success in the long run.
2. Pitch, pitch, pitch yourself
Yes, you heard me. Pitch YOURSELF. Not your company or product, but the genuine and amazing you. I would recommend starting with some speaking engagements or applying for industry awards. These are opportunities to be seen and heard while also building your freaking amazing credibility. Viewers will begin to make a connection with you and be interested in what you are offering. Start small, and keep building. When I speak at events, I speak from the soul. I share my true opinions. If I can make at least one connection with someone in the room then I have succeeded.
3. Make your online presence remarkable
I don’t think it comes as any surprise that I have to mention social media or even the World Wide Web (Do people still call it that?). These days you can find anything online, and I mean anything including you. How does your online presence look? Is it something you yourself would be interested in? Social media is what people confide in when they want to get to know somebody. Do your channels represent you truly? Do they present you in the best light possible? It is always a good rule of thumb to never put something online that your grandmother wouldn’t approve.