You’re building a brand + business simultaneously. That’s a lot of work. Between the inner work that comes with creating an authentic brand and the acumen that comes with building a thriving business, it’s no wonder entrepreneurs get drained, exhausted and at times depressed.
There’s so many elements that are at play for you to be successful. It might seem like some people don’t have to do as much work and if that there’s reality then it doesn’t do you any good to perseverate over it. Your entrepreneurial journey is different and THIS is your reality.
Your personal brand informs the world who you are. 5 years ago it would have been called your reputation. Now, regardless of whether you choose to cultivate it or not, your personal brand informs the world of your values.
Yes, you’re totally awesome but if you don’t have others who say “yes, talk to me” then you don’t have a business. I have preface this by saying that having a personal brand is NOT a reflection of your self worth.
Cultivating your personal brand is part of your entrepreneurial journey and it will create the foundation upon which your business is built on.
BRAND + BUSINESS
You audience, aka “TRIBE” is comprised of individuals who serve a role in your success. They include raving fans, customers, competitors, peers, mentors and haters.
These are the lifeline for your brand. They give your brand confidence a boost whenever you second guess yourself. They are the ones who tell the world how awesome you are. They RT, like your posts on FB & Instagram, subscribe to your Youtube channel and share your Pins.
Your raving fans PROMOTE. This is their job. They may never buy from you and that’s OK. They are your cheerleaders. They will travel to watch you speak at a conference. They will tune-in to your webinars. They will open your email newsletters.
They are loyal supporters of YOU.
Currency used: LOVE.
These are the people who buy from you. They may be a fan or they may just be a customer, nothing more and nothing less. Not everyone who buys from you will engage with you. If you fill a specific void at the right time, you’re going to attract people who want what you’re selling. This applies more for those who sell tangible goods such as merchandise, products, digital goods, etc.
Your customers BUY. This is their job. They may unsubscribe from your list. They may never read your blog or write a review/testimonial. They may never follow you on social media and that’s OK.
It’s not always about you.
Currency used: MONEY.
These are the people who keep you on top of your game. They offer the same services as you and they may even target the same demographic that you do. When you lose your scarcity mindset, you will find that this is an opportunity to grow. Competition is healthy. It inspires innovation. When you have relationships with your competitors then you have a powerful ally.
Your competitors COLLABORATE. This is their job. They work with you to improve their brand + business as well. It’s a win-win situation, if you allow it to be. They are just as invested in your industry as you are so there’s a genuine desire to help each other grow.
The right competitor knows that there’s plenty to go around.
Currency used: OPPORTUNITY
These are the people who give you the accountability you need to keep the dream alive. They are in the trenches with you. At 3am, they are on the other side of your monitor chatting with you about your new program. They are reading your sales page copy and telling you to correct “they’re” with “their.” They are looking at your website and pointing out that your logo is 2 pixels off center.
Your peers ENCOURAGE. This is their job. They tell you that your unsubscribes don’t matter. They help you stay accountable and focused on the bigger picture. They check-in with you right before a major launch so that you have all the support you need. They lend their expertise without expectations. They give you honest advice and they’re not afraid to hurt your feelings.
They know it’s all for the best.
Currency used: SUPPORT
These are the people who guide you on your journey. They are several steps ahead of you and you look to them for guidance. Mentors are insightful and give you counsel so that you not making as many mistakes along the way. These are the people who you reach out when making a major brand + business decision.
Your mentors TEACH. This is their job. They may not be formal educators but they leverage their experience as teachable moments for you. They present both sides of any situation and they have the foresight to see ahead, in a way that you can’t.
You seek them for their objectivity.
Currency used: KNOWLEDGE
These are the people who criticize your every move. They are either being passive aggressive or they’re downright aggressive with their harsh judgement of you, your brand + business. They will visit your site and talk trash about something you’re doing. They will say why they don’t like it and offer their own biased opinion on why you don’t deserve to be awesome.
Your haters REINFORCE YOUR WHY. This is their job. They may not be pleasant but no matter what you’re doing, there’s going to be people who will adamantly disagree. This is not only to be expected, it is to be embraced. They will test you. They will challenge you.
Most importantly, they will give you purpose and remind you why you’re doing what you do.
There is no currency exchanged, as their engagement with your brand will generally be one-way. They will give you the gift of gratitude, if you should ever forget it.
Building a strong personal brand is not enough. It’s a necessary step but it’s merely the beginning of your process.
The road to success is contingent on others investing in you, on an emotional level as well as a financial one. You will need people who buy into your personal brand so make sure you know who’s playing what role in the cultivation and development of your kickass personal brand!