Summer is here…yay! It’s time to bring on all the things that get you in a celebratory and summer-loving mood—and savor them fully.
That could be getting together (safey) with family or friends, eating some yummy food, or even enjoying a cocktail or two.
Speaking of cocktails…
Would it be weird to say that I’ve often thought about personal branding as a cocktail of its own?
It’s true! As a personal branding strategist who has explained to countless clients what on Earth “branding” really is, the cocktail concept has been a solid example for this sometimes tricky topic. (Added side benefit: it’s got zero calories and zero chances for headaches!)
So what goes into the personal branding cocktail, you ask?
Three main ingredients:
- Your essence
- Your reputation
Your essence is what makes you, you. It’s your core values, your passions and desires, your personality, and the soul of who you are. You were born with a part of your essence, at least according to Sigmund Freud, who in 1923 identified the three parts of our psyche: the id, ego and superego.
The id is the only part of our personality we are born with. The ego and superego develop as we mature. Our id is made up of our most primal desires and instincts—it’s our baseline personality before personal experiences shape us as we mature. As we grow, the id actually remains the same in terms of our wants and instincts. The ego and superego temper the instincts of the id (which is a good thing). Sidenote: this is where part of our name “brandiD” comes from.
When it comes to uncovering your personal brand, your essence is usually the toughest part to nail down — yet it’s by far the most crucial aspect of your branding cocktail and the one most brands and businesses overlook.
The second ingredient is your reputation, which includes how others view you and what you’re known for. That can be your skills, strengths or talents, unique characteristics, or special personality traits—anything that makes you distinguishable in the eyes of others.
There’s a great web-based, systematic 360-degree survey you can use to get a glimpse into how others perceive you in the world. It may feel a little nerve-wracking to put yourself out there, but it’s actually a highly valuable experience and usually reveals strengths you never knew you had that others noticed!.
The reputation component of your branding cocktail is important to consider so that you’re highlighting the aspects about you that resonate with others and draw them to you and your business.
Finally, the third ingredient is your marketing. Your marketing is how you share who you are and what you have to offer with people in the world at large and out on the internet. There are many different avenues for marketing yourself and your brand, but the ones that best align with your personality and your goals will be the ones you’ll be able to do most consistently, and will also make the biggest impact with the customers you’re trying to reach.
The best way to get started with your marketing is to spend some time thinking about your goals for changing or expanding your online presence. What actions do you want to take or what strategies do you want to employ to create a higher profile online? Maybe you’d like to speak at events, or maybe you’d like to increase your presence on social media. Consider what avenues feel right to you.
You can then use all of this intel to create a marketing plan that will help you focus on what you need to do to get to where you want to go with your business and your brand.
There you have it—the personal branding cocktail!
When you focus on your personal brand cocktail of essence, reputation, and marketing, you’ll create the perfect mix of an experience for your customer—one that’s both emotional and memorable, and keeps your business top of mind for years to come.
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You’ll also have the perfect way to differentiate yourself in the world and on the internet, so no matter how—or when—you need to transition your work or business, you’ll always be ready.
Want a fantastic tool that will lead you step-by-step through creating your own personal branding cocktail? Our workbook, Build Your Personal Brand: The Definitive Guide to Soul-Based Marketing, is chock-full of exercises, questions, and resources to help you uncover an authentic personal brand that resonates powerfully with your target audience. It’s FREE (just pay shipping)!