“Once the province of political leaders, it’s now critical to success for people in all types of careers,” (Kaputa, 2012).
As it turns out, branding isn’t only for political leaders and cows! In Catherine Kaputa’s You Are a Brand!, she shows just how to brand yourself. But who are you in relation to your business? Kaputa sets out to help you find your self brand and make it a reality in essentially four steps!
1. Take Charge of Your Self Brand
Commitment is key, my friends! If you want to get anywhere, you need to make sure that once you get on track, you stay on track. This is the stage where you ask the important questions: who am I? Where am I now? What do I want to do with my life and career? Having the answers for these questions established will help guide you through your mission. Make these answers your own, and “live your dream!” Don’t just dream them … act on them!
On a final note, break the dependency habit. It’s easy to be a follower. To be a leader, you must establish a strong independency in your career. If not, someone else could end up taking charge of your own brand.
2. Think Different and Become a Brand Apart
The obvious implication of this is not to be like everyone else. Once you understand who you are as a brand, understand your competition. Research your competition as much as you build your brand (if not more). Knowing how your competition functions in regards to their strengths and weaknesses allows you to distinguish yourself from them in a way as to put you in the spotlight. Ultimately, if your brand becomes uniquely distinguishable, you become the competition.
3. Search for the Sweet Spot Where You and a Market Meet
The only way to predict your future is to create it. And the best way to do this is to find a market niche where there are few entrenched competitors. This goes back to step two in which you find that distinguishing factor that makes your brand unique and stand out.
4. Find a Great Self-Brand Strategy to Get Great Results
Strategy is the brain of branding. Do you like lists? Kaputa provides four essentials of a self-branding stategy.
- Be different from everyone else.
- Focus on your point. Being too wordy is annoying, and people nowadays want everything to the point.
- Be Authentic! The strategy must be the real you. Don’t be a poser.
- Resonate in the market. If people don’t like what you got, maybe it’s time to hit the drawing boards again.
Of course, these are very brief summaries of the exhaustive work ahead. It’s one thing to read a four step process. The hard part is consistently taking diligent action towards your goal. Constructing your foundation starts now. What are you waiting for? Get to it!
For more information and in-depth details concerning your self-brand, check out You Are a Brand! by Catherine Kaputa.
Kaputa, Catherine, and Catherine Kaputa. You are a brand!: in person and online, how smart people brand themselves for business success. 2nd ed. Boston, MA: Nicholas Brealey Pub., 2012. Print.