Building a new business or career? Start with this branding basic.

Looking to launch a new business or create your personal brand? Before you jump into promoting yourself you need to make sure you have a strong foundation for your brand. The first step is to define your brand essence, in other words, what is unique and authentic to you or your business. A lot of new business owners skip over this step, thinking they need to get right into selling their product or service. Don’t make this mistake. It’s important to take the time to clearly define who you are and what your brand and business represents, in order to identify the right customers and path forward for promoting yourself.

Here’s how to define your brand essence.

Answer each of the questions below in as much detail as possible. If you’re creating your personal brand, answer these questions for yourself. If you’re creating a new business, you should answer these questions for the business and for the product or service. If you’re creating a new offer, focus on the offer but make sure your answers tie back to the larger brand of your business.

  1. What words do you think best describe you or your business? Don’t overthink this. Write down whatever comes to mind below without editing yourself. Once your list is complete, review it and identify the key words that you know define you/your business better than the rest. What really sets you apart? Those are the words to focus in on here.
  2. What are your defining values? This list is only for you. There are no wrong answers so be honest here. Your values are your core traits that drive everything you do in life. For example, honesty, kindness, being open-minded, family-focused, etc. If you’re working on a business, think about the purpose behind your business. Why are you launching this? You need to define a need greater than your own financial or professional goals (although those are important.) What problem in the marketplace are you looking to solve? How will your offer make your target audience’s life better?
  3. Who are you at your core? Ask yourself what about you transcends any role you play in life. Whether you are a professional looking for a new job or an entrepreneur creating something new, these key characteristics are what shape your authentic brand and help you stand out in a crowded market.
  4. What are your non-negotiables in life? In other words, what do you refuse to give up, no matter what? This question is really important, make sure you take the time you need to answer it honestly. An important part of defining your brand is recognizing your limits – as a professional or as a business owner. You will be faced with hard choices as you build and grow, it’s critical that you know yourself well enough to recognize the sacrifices you are willing to make, and when you need to walk away. If you don’t take the time now to define what you and your brand stand for, it will be more difficult to manage your brand when faced with unexpected challenges.

Once you have taken the time to evaluate and clearly define your core brand, you can move on to the next step of aligning your unique brand with what your target audience needs.

If you’re looking for more information on how to create your personal brand check out my post 8 Steps You Can Take Today to Create a Meaningful Personal Brand.

I’m here to answer your questions, contact me and let me know how I can help you.

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