Although used by everyone in the street, in the press, and in the media, it seems like the true meaning is lost in translation. It is not only an idea, a starting capital, and a strong ambition. It is about your offer, your skin in the game, and your solution to what problem, Why do you keep buying this particular designer for instance? Because you know when you put it on, it fits your body the way you like, the fabric aligns with what you feel good with, and the quality is what you expect against what you pay for. You buy a certain name with food. Why? Because just by looking at the box, the colors on the package, and the logo, it makes you hungry, maybe happy, whatever the case may be but for sure, it delivers upon your expectations. What do all these elements have in common? What mandatory emotion do you need to part from this precious commodity, your money? What quality do you need in a relationship, no matter what (romantic, friendship, community, family, business) to make this relationship sustainable? TRUST!
Your Brand starts with you. Your Brand represents the core of you. It is the quality of the relationship you are offering. Your Brand is the emotion you ignite. You need to create TRUST.
Your Brand is TRUST.
Brick-and-mortar businesses are getting to become things of the past, most likely to promote your business, digital is the way to go. How to connect with the world and create success? Before jumping on the market and selling your services or hard goods, obsessed with how much money you are going to make by the end of the year, and before anyone will buy anything from you, you need to establish this precious, necessary, indispensable Trust. How? Content, content, content. You don”t, You’re done.
There is this author in my community. At first, I did not understand the pattern but I quickly caught up on what he was doing. One day, his post popped up so I decided to start watching his content, thinking it was ongoing only to last for a couple of weeks, and suddenly, he blasted his latest book for sale. It went on for a while, a looooong while… 1st time around I thought it was a promotional sequence with more afterward. Wrong. Absolute silence. The 2nd time, a year later, was a repeat. 2 weeks of “content” only to end in another loooooong blast to sell his new book. For the 3rd time, it was clear. Nothing for months, rather a year, no content, and suddenly, reappeared for a week or 2, and another book for sale. Seriously… The problem with that concept? Can you trust the person who will only show up in your feed or inbox when they have something for sale? In your daily life, would you trust a friend if they disappeared for months and suddenly showed up at your door to get together? The first time around, maybe, giving the benefit of the doubt or excuses. The second time, probably a lot less, and the 3rd time? Bue-bye. Why? Because you cannot trust this individual. Physical or digital, the premise is the same. Trust is compulsory to establish a long-lasting relationship. In ANY connection, you cannot bypass this fundamental rule, By the way, this author admitted later on his latest sale was a complete flop. Hmmmm
This is the perfect illustration for an entrepreneur. Just like everything in life, there is no shortcut. There is no pill to get thinner, and there is no magic potion to get rich, only value, knowledge, and passion. Time, step-by-step, patience.
How to successfully manage this tough task?
Your Brand is AUTHENTICITY.
You are forging your path in the business world. How can you effectively lead your team, engage consumers, stand out to a potential new big account, or win over clients? How can you put your best self forward, and show others who you are and what you can do?
More than a business card, your logo or the way your site looks, your Brand is who you are at your core. But how do you portray that in a way that gets results? Does winning in the market you are aiming to comquer mean you have to create a persona that might not be your authentic self?
Many makeover “artists” and business coaches certainly choose this path in their programs for “helping” people reach their desired goals. Their solution is to construct a “new and improved you,” a shiny façade that will magically lead you down the road to success.
However, this is not the path to true and lasting career success. That comes only from knowing yourself and understanding how to project your self-confidence no matter what the situation. You must integrate all aspects of who you are into a complete package that reflects not only the best you, but the real you. Easier said than done, I know. It takes years of pratice. While the media of all forms is encouraging you to be the true You, embrace who You are and love Yourself but when doing so, you get crucified for it by the trolls, social media and those who have nothing better to do… Just remember, you will be assessed and judged not matter what, humans are reactive beings, there will ALWAYS be a group who will not like you, even some will despise you. Get over it. You are or want to be an Entrepreneur, this comes with the package. Follow your heart, be honest with your intuition, share value to build your community. Authenticity always wins.
Meetings, sales pitch, or appointments, you need to be very organized. Disciple Entrepreneurs. DISCIPLINE.
Your Brand is DISCIPLINE.
For instance, I travel globally an average of 200000 miles yearly, although jet lagged and up to 5 cities a week fairly often, I still remember my mission, vision, and purpose. I remember each day the value I MUST provide to build my tribe, grow my email list – the digital gold, and your path to keep in touch with your community. In my case, I express my content best on video where I can display my passion and knowledge. So dedicated, I travel with an extra suitcase to carry lighting, a tripod, and the fabric for my background posts along with a metal frame to build my mobile set when needed. On the plane, I prepare my weekly theme so the is a rhythm in my messaging, wanna talk about commitment and dedication? Then I decide what half day /day I will block during the week to produce my content efficiently. This way, 2 things happen: First, I stay methodical with my content calendar, pushing all of them to my team in which order it goes so they can edit, add thumbnails, transcripts, etc… and second by filming a large amount the same day, my focus and message’s integrity stays intact, my mindset is right on so each segment follows the previous one beautifully, therefore, my Brand is clearly aligned and my message congruent.
Patience builds your Brand.
If you expect immediate attention or sales whether you are promoting a hard good, a service, or a lifestyle? Think again. In the Entrepreneurial spirit, there is the word …Entrepreneur!
Only the patient ones will rise to the top. You will monetize later, not now. Please stop reading about those who made their first million the first 6 moths. Either they are lying, maybe went on Oprah or were lucky with “right time right place”. It does happen, only rarely. You see, when I published my first book “Mind You Hair”, I intended to make my million dollar, how could I not? I put my heart and soul in the writting, I spent so much money hiring the pros to help me putting it together. I didn’t listen to the experts carefully. They all told me it is a very expensive business card, it will help you generate new business as an expert in my field. While agreeing with them politely, my brain was saying “No way! It will be a money maker”. Although it was an Amazon best seller, I re-invested all the money I made and equalled 0 dollar in profit. It got me signed by a New York Keynote agent therefore a great investment of my time, passion and money to build a new stream of income. Of course, as an Entrepreneur, you are excited to release a new campaign, sell your services and put your new product on the market, this is what thrives you! Patience is a beast to tame, it takes time. Another example, this lifestyle blogger consulted with me a while ago, thinking I had a magic wand to make her overnight success happened to become the biggest influencer in her industry (an overnight success takes 10 years in average, ask any successful Entrepreneur). She thought by presenting it right, immediately she would get products, free lodging/stays, events tickets, along with money! When I asked the time frame she had in mind to reach that level, she said … the first couple of moths. I almost choked on my coffee! This is unfortunately the mesage out there too (like being a Supermodel in the 90s), it is easy. In this scenario, simply open a social media account, post pictures and the rest will follow automatically. OUCH. Not quite. Patience. You will be rewarded. Later, later…
What does building your Brand as an Entrepreneur looks like overall?
A road with ups and downs, victories and defeats, excitement and discouragement. You need to build TRUST, be AUTHENTIC and show a lot of PATIENCE. Just like when dating someone. You meet someone and you like them, but how long does it take you to invest in the relationship before starting a serious involvement? A lot. Would you trust and marry this person on the spot? Of course not! (If you do, I suggest professional help! LOL) Same principle here. Before making money, people need to keep seeing you, understand your message, and TRUST you. Be clear on who is your avatar. The more you talk about what you do, the more you format your vision, mission and purpose. The more you blog or vlog, the better you are tightening your message. Keep on pushing your material, edit your content, provide real value. Instead of looking at the glass half empty, look at it half full, enjoy the journey while building up your Brand. Along the way, You will re-brand Yourself. Are you the same as you were 10, 5 or 2 years ago? No. Life is an evolution.
Embrace of all of it. It is worth every moment. In each win? Such a taste of triumph! You will forget the downs. All of them. I promise you.
Get inspired, do NOT copy. Observe and listen to your tribe, your content will flow. Love what you do, PASSION is key.
Get ready. Set. Go.