by Mike Loomis--author, ghostwriter, branding extraordinaire
“Branding” has become a buzzword. The term has been misused and distorted, but that doesn’t mean we should dismiss the concept. Branding is a force for personal expression and influence.
What is a brand?
One of my favorite definitions of a brand is from Seth Godin:
A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. Design is essential but design is not brand.
Here’s what branding is not:
Branding is not trying to please the masses, as in, “How can we be more relevant to this demographic?” or, “I need a cool logo.” Branding is not aspiring to a trendy vision to grab market share. This is fake, outside-driven, and gives branding a bad name.
My definition of personal branding is: The public expression of your calling.
Let the simplicity of that definition sink in.
The goal is to be intentional when creating your brand in the age we live in. One hundred years ago, if you were a boot maker, the sign outside your shop would have probably been a huge image of a boot.
You love to make boots.
I want new boots.
I see your sign, and walk in!
Simple, right? Clearly defining what you offer, in a unique way is the essence of personal branding.
Two keys for a powerful brand - You must be both:
1 – Authentic
2 – Persuasive
Most brands are one or the other. For example: “A blog about my life” may be authentic and true, but will anyone be interested?
Or: “The most amazing keynote speaker on the planet” might sound persuasive, but is it authentic?
A purely factual approach to branding will probably be boring. Hype that’s not grounded in truth will fizzle. An influential brand must be 100% Authentic and 100% persuasive. It’s possible, and essential, to express both.
Mike Loomis helps people launch their dream projects and books. Since starting and selling two businesses, he has been strategic partner to bestselling authors, non-profits, publishers as well as startups, and aspiring messengers. He and his wife live in the mountains of Colorado with their pet moose. www.MikeLoomis.CO.