I am starting my own company. I have started my own company. I'm an entrepreneur, solopreneur, enterprising woman, business owner, founder...there are several things you could call me. How about this: I am my own company.
The concept of personal branding is not a new one, although it seems to be picking up steam in workshops, courses, books and the like... even in social media where we are essentially a brand, be it on Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, etc.
At a conference this summer I was asked to name a brand I love. Immediately I said Patagonia. I was then asked a few more things:
- What is it you think of when you think of Patagonia?
- What does it look like?
- What does it smell like?
- What does it feel like?
- Who uses it?
- What purpose does it serve?
- What values does it touch?
I talked about the Patagonia origin story, how it was born out of the intersection of passion, necessity and innovation, and how the Founder Yvon Chouinard lives and breathes the brand from the most authentic place. Patagonia extends beyond its products to be a company that is about experience, purpose, being a steward of the Earth, an explorer as well as a conscious consumer. When interacting with Patagonia and its products, you feel part of a community, part of adventure, enabled and empowered.
I was then told that this all points to what I value, what is important to me, who I am as a brand.
Interesting and true. Now what?
So we think about personal branding and we think about what we want to put out into the world and why. What do we value, what is the need and are these aligned? We think about how people find us, experience us, what resonates with them. We think about who we want to interact with and what that looks like and how we will find each other. We hopefully think about how to grow our "brand", our knowledge and presence in the world.
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