As a motivational speaker who focuses on business development, one of my major focuses, whether speaking to entrepreneurs or executives, is the area of personal branding. What comes to mind when you hear the word brand? Do you think of names like Pepsi, Energizer, and Ralph Lauren? Perhaps unmistakable logos such as the Nike Swoosh or Mac’s apple come to mind. Although names and logos are key ingredients for image and marketing purposes, a company’s brand is more than just a clever title, cutting-edge graphics and a catchy slogan.
Ultimately, your company’s brand is about perception. How do people perceive your company? Do they see quality? Integrity? Good customer service? Whether you are a small business owner or an employee in a big corporation, the brand of your company starts with you. By you I mean your ideas, your input, your attitude and your actions. These are all components of your personal brand which contribute to the greater good of your company’s brand. I call these components your magic. As an individual, you contribute to your company’s brand on a daily basis. Whether you deal in external affairs (eg: sales) or internal affairs (eg: management), sharing your magic is about maximizing your ability to build, maintain, support and convey your company’s good name at all times.
The question then is, what is your magic? What are your strengths? What do you bring to your team on a daily basis? Is it your positive attitude during difficult projects? Is it your ability to smile at your clients and make them feel like they matter? Is it the special way you appreciate your employees for their hard work? The sum of your company’s overall brand is made up of the personal brands of each individual; therefore, your ideas, input, attitude and actions all matter.
My high school choir teacher used to tell us that if just one of our voices was taken out of the choir, it would change the quality of our sound. I dismissed this notion for years, not believing that my voice truly mattered to the overall sound. I now know that my choir teacher was right (of course he was right, he was THE Jack Ballard, who was recently inducted into the Kansas Music Education Association Hall of Fame) – if you take away just one voice from a choir, the sound is altered. And just as one beautiful voice adds to a choir, it only takes one person singing off key to ruin the entire sound altogether.
The same is true for your company’s brand. Without the touch of your personal brand, the overall quality of your company’s brand is changed, whether for good or for the bad. Everywhere you go, everything you do and in every interaction you have, you are a reflection of your company’s brand. Remember that you are important and that your “voice is heard” in one way or another at all times, whether by your boss, your co-workers or your clients. Share your magic to the full and continue to develop your personal brand in order to add value to yourself and in turn add value to the good name of your company.