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 Before you can start the journey to establish and maintain a consistent personal and business brand, it’s critical you take an assessment of the current state of your brand.  The easiest way to do this is by asking one simple question:

How does your part of the world view you?

Now is the time to be completely honest with yourself.  What thoughts come to people’s minds when your name or business is mentioned?  Are you mentioned at all?  If you were mentioned, how would you be described?

Once you’ve accepted your current position ask yourself the next, equally important question:

How do you want to be viewed?

Don’t be humble.  Think big and think specific.  How often do you want to be mentioned and by whom?  What descriptive words do you want to hear?

Notice I didn’t say “dream” big.  That implies that the brand you’re building in your head is only a figment of your imagination and will stay that way.

You aren’t building a “dream”. You’re building a “vision” and a map to guide your brand in the direction you want to go.

Big Mistake

One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is thinking that they can build separate brands (or identities) for “on” and “off” the job.  As a business owner you need to realize that you’re a representative of your business brand 24/7 and you are never “off the clock”.

The brand you build for your business and the brand you build for yourself need to be in harmony with each other. Don’t get hung up on the term “you”. The strategies I’m sharing apply to both your personal and professional life.

All Eyes on You

Whether you want them to or not, people are watching you.  They’re forming opinions about the kind of person you are and your ability to fulfill their needs as a client.  Perception is everything and they’ve “figured you out”.  For this reason, it’s particularly important to keep a consistent image whether you’re “on” or “off” the job.

It would be beneficial for you to write down the core attributes you want to be known for and keep them handy, so you’re reminded often.  In all of your daily interactions ask yourself if the way you’re behaving is consistent with what you’ve written down.

Appearance, Attitude, and Aptitude

Your appearance is big part of your first impression and means a lot more than the clothes you’re wearing.  It is the overall conclusion that your prospective clients will come to, when they observe you in various settings.  Your posture, vocabulary, attitude and self-confidence are just a few of the many characteristics that will be used when potential customers form their opinions.

For the next week, view your appearance with a critical eye?  Do you like the image you portray?  If not, it’s not to late to change.

Keep It Real

If you’re unhappy with the current image you’re representing, realize that it can be changed.  Choosing to better yourself is just that, a choice, a decision you can make today.  Like anything, it might not seem natural at first but with enough discipline your ideal traits can become habits and a way of life.  Just keep in mind that it needs to be genuine and consistent in order for those traits to be synonymous with your brand.