I am an active person and when I am feeling stressed or anxious my cure is to jump on my bicycle and head for the mountains.My own personal brand attributes include “action” and “energy.” So when I suffer from an injury, muscle strain, or cold it is hard to resist the temptation to just ‘suck it up’ and ride anyway.
However, every athletic person will tell you that you need to let your body recover. Pushing yourself through an injury will only make things worse. By resting you actually bounce back stronger than before. I had to remind myself about this recently after a back injury was preventing me from my regular rides.
Is Your Brand Suffering from a Set Back?
When we decide to embark on the personal branding process we are so energized to do as much as we can to be our brands. We get feedback from others about our brand attributes, we start creating the online and offline tools to communicate our brand, and we consistently and constantly manage our brands in our daily lives.
The process is motivating as we start to see the fruits of our labor and the results of our hard work. However, along the way we may suffer from a setback – something that has perhaps caused a strain in our personal branding effort. In such cases, we need to avoid the temptation to push forward and risk injuring our brand. We need to take a break and let our brand recover.
4 Places to Avoid Injuring Your Brand
Here are 4 areas you should not rush into when branding yourself. Take appropriate breaks and recover before launching forward and risk injuring your brand.
1. Your Brand Colors
Do the colors you use reflect your brand attributes? For example if your brand is seen as “passionate”, “energetic”, and “active”, are you using RED? If others see you as “mysterious” and “spiritual” are you using PURPLE? Are your colors culturally appropriate for your target audience? I recently noticed that 4 different sites to hire freelance professionals all use the color blue in their logos -Elance, Odesk, Guru.com, and Freelancer.com. This actually makes perfect sense as blue represents ‘authority,’ ‘integrity,’ ‘trust,’ and ‘loyalty’ – all the brand attributes you would want in a person you hire for a freelance project.
To learn more about color see this great video clip by Reach, “What color is your brand?”
2. Your Brand Logo / Slogan
The heart of your personal brand is your logo. Once you launch your logo and slogan it immediately becomes your brand identity. So make sure you have invested the time in selecting the best logo, image/icon, and slogan to represent your brand. Hire a professional to design a bunch of options, select a handful that you like, and then informally survey people in your target audience. Always inquire as to why they prefer a particular logo or slogan over the other choices. Look for consistency in their feedback. Do your logo options clearly articulate the brand message you want to express? If not, take a break, recover and start again. Trying to revamp a published logo and slogan later on will prove to be a big headache!
3. Your Website or Blog
A cyclist needs a solid core – lower back and stomach muscles. Your brand also needs a strong core on the web via your website or blog. To develop a strong core you need to answer the following questions and develop your site/blog around these answers.
- What are the goals for your site?
- Who is your audience?
- What are their needs?
- What thought leadership content can you give to meet these needs?
- Who are competitors and how will your site stand out?
- What visual vocabulary will the site have to show your brand? (colors, style, logo, etc)
If you are not ready to invest in a website, or if your are not interested in blogging, then at least set up a personal portal on About.me, Flavors.me, Pitch Engine, or Profiled.com. These 1-page web portals can function as your website. Just keep in mind that these portals also need to have a strong core that sends out the right visual message for your brand.
4. Your ‘About’ Page and Bio
Your about page is likely the first page on your website people will visit to learn about you and make that critical decision to connect and do business with you. It may be the only page they will use to decide if it is worth spending their time to either click on your other links, or “bounce” off your site. The same goes for your bio on a personal portal site. Take the time to create a branded bio that captures your authenticity and story. By uncover and including story, you can truly provide that emotional hook to draw people into your brand.
Do you have any suggestions to promote personal brand recovery? Please share below.