Your brand is… Everything

When it comes to building a successful business your brand is everything – literally.  It is everything you do and everything you don’t do.  It is the smell of your lobby and the color of your menu.  It is the friendliness of your staff and their response to customer problems.  It is the quality of your widgets, the timeliness of your bill paying, and the cleanliness of your bathrooms.  It’s how you arrive and you depart.

“It’s Not Who You Know… It’s Who Knows You”    Dave Avrin, The Visibility Coach

 People talk about other people – alot.

One of the people they talk about is you; how you’re doing, the quality of work you do, what kind of person you are, etc.  They also talk about your latest accomplishments and your latest mistakes.

Those discussions, favorable or not, are how people perceive you and the work you do.

You have a living, breathing brand, whether you want one or not.

That brand will determine how many promotions you get, how many job offers you receive, or what kind and quality of opportunities may come your way.  As the opening paragraph says, “It’s everything.”

A good, solid, well promoted brand will open doors for you.  A tarnished brand can end your job or career abruptly.  Worse than that, an un-noticed brand can linger on indefinitely at the bottom rungs of the corporate ladder.  The longer it’s ignored the more out of touch it seems until that brand either moves on to greener pastures or gives up entirely and accepts it’s ignoble position.

Now that you know you have a brand what kind of brand are you?

If you have a solid reputation, great credentials and have been growing your career, kudos to you.  This isn’t for you.

But how do you recover from being fired?  Or laid-off?  How do you run damage control?  How do you self-promote when you’re starting from ground zero?  What do you do when you’ve been passed over?  How do you get NOTICED?

Rule 1.  The Golden Rule.

The first step, whether establishing or maintaining your brand, has to do with how you treat others.  How do you treat other people?

Do you overlook little flaws like the waiter being slow because he or she is swamped?  Do you take requests from your peers with a smile?  Are you willing help others, or do you ignore a situation because “It’s not my job?”

In short, do you treat others as you would want to be treated?  And I mean as you would really want to be treated.

If not, then now is the time to change.

You cannot expect people to notice this new change immediately, but they will notice over time.  And that change will be talked about.

Try this test:  For the next 30 days treat everyone you meet (peers, supervisors, dry cleaning people, janitors) as you would want to be treated if the situation was reversed.  Treat each and every person as your personal customer.  Smile no matter what and genuinely take an interest in their projects and the assignments you receive.  Push to do the best job possible for them; just as you would want them to do for you were you on the opposite side of the table.

Most people will notice this change and a couple may even come up to and ask what is going on.  That’s the first step in creating ‘buzz” about your brand and means you’ve begun the transformation from un-noticed or tarnished to becoming a solid brand.

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