Your brand puts out so many things these days. It’s your company’s and your look, the promises you make to your audience, and everything you or your staff put out into the world. You may say, “Well, I don’t sell products, so I don’t put anything OUT there.” You’re wrong.
Every email you send, every picture you post, every comment you make on Facebook, reflects on the brand of YOU. Whether you’re a womenpreneur (love that word!), a career woman, a freelancer, or a blogger, you have an established brand. The question is, are you reinforcing your brand every way you can? Let’s find out!
Your Brand is Everything You Put Out There!
So what do you put out there? Well, I don’t know all the details of your daily life, so I can’t answer that. But I can give you some examples by telling you what I put out.
Obviously, since you’re reading this, you can see that I’m reinforcing my brand by sharing this information with you. You’re reading it, you know that it’s associated with thegirlbrand.com, and you’ll (hopefully) remember The Girl Brand when this information crosses your mind at some future date.
We all write emails to various people. If it’s just to your mom, there’s no need to worry about your brand voice coming through. However, if you ever write emails to business contacts, current or potential clients and bosses, coworkers, or even a friend of the family who might one day need your services or products, you should be thinking about your brand voice.
If you have a company LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, or Pinterest account, you’re using social media to build your brand. Anything you post on that account reflects on your company’s reputation, reliability, personality, and persona. Scary, huh? As long as you’re making sure that everything you post is related to your company in some way, and isn’t going to offend mass amounts of people, you should be good.
If you’re on the job hunt, everything you post on your PERSONAL social media accounts reflects on you. And could reflect on whether or not you get the job you’re interviewing for. You may say, “My account is private, no one can see that!” Just remember, pictures have a way of coming back in 10 or 20 years. Look at all the politicians whose college antics suddenly reappear in the form of photos of inappropriate fraternity pranks. DON’T BE THAT GIRL!
Something people rarely think of is whether their outgoing voicemail message is business/brand appropriate. Let me give you an example of a voicemail fail…I was eighteen or nineteen, and had applied for my first professional job: the kind that you have to be a grownup at. I received the first phone call from the hiring manager’s assistant setting up a phone interview for later that day. Can you sense the BUT?
BUT…I missed the call. I don’t remember what I was doing when I missed it, I just know that I missed it. There was no voicemail, but I recognized the phone number as being from the same office as the assistant’s. I tried to call back, but no answer. I finally called the assistant. She was very nice, but clearly embarrassed for me. She said, “Mr. So-and-So doesn’t want to speak with you anymore. He said something about your voicemail message being inappropriate.”
I was shocked and confused. I hung up the phone, dialed my voicemail (that was back when you had to dial 1 to get your voicemail), and navigated to my outgoing message. Here’s what it said: “Hey, it’s me. You should know who I am, you called me. Anyway, if I didn’t answer, I probably didn’t want to talk to you. See ya.” You can clearly see where I went wrong there. Bottom line: spiff up your voicemail.
Whether you have a personal blog, a portfolio with writing samples/artwork, or a company webpage, you need to make sure it fits with the brand you’re trying to establish. The biggest problem with most websites is that the message gets confused when your brand goes off track. Go back through all your pages and posts, and make sure that they are all sharing the same message: that you and your company rock!
Your Brand is Everything You Do and Say
There are many other things that are included in your brand. I’ll touch on more in future blog posts. But just remember that your brand is what you put out there. If you start to wonder if something you’re doing or about to do is adversely affecting your brand, chances are it is. As long as you keep it in the back of your mind to do the best you can by your brand, you’re headed in the right direction!