I just received a résumé from a client who asked if I have experience in brand management. It seems like my life is about brand management, as should your life be. After all, branding is essentially your reputation, and whether you are a business owner, professional, or job seeker, you should have your reputation at the front of your mind.
If you’re as old as I am, you likely remember the Clairol commercial about one woman telling two friends, she tells two friends, and so on, and so on. Although great news can spread fast, negative news will spread like wildfire. At a BNI meeting this week, the educational coordinators were relaying a story about how a man refunded a client’s full price paid on an automotive repair because he’d rather lose a few hundreds of dollars immediately than the potential thousands he could lose on the bad publicity for years to come.
You don’t need to be McDonald’s or Pepsi to be a “brand.” Susan Smith or ABC Marketing are just as powerful brands to the people you’re trying to cultivate and influence. So how are you managing your brand? Are you seeing what people are saying about you on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter? Are you conscientious about the things you share in person and through social media? In the digital age, everything about you can be shared – quickly. Everyone is a member of the paparazzi, it seems, and YouTube submission is just a click away.
I encourage you to consider what your brand is, no matter if you’re looking to land a client, a job, or a date, and start to create a strategy around managing it. Unless you hire a PR firm, no one else is going to do it for you.