Greatness is a product of Influence, influence is a product of Value, value is a product of Refinement, refinement is a product of Uniqueness and uniqueness is a product of a Gift…and everybody has a gift”
—Dr Myles Munroe
So What Is Your Greatness?
Goal setting will never work for if you are setting goals that have nothing to do with your brand! I think the foremost pursuit of the largest percentage of humans ever since creation has been and always will be the pursuit of having a brand. This applies to you today, whether you are doing it consciously or subconsciously.
I am willing to bet that there is no one who does not want greatness, everything else kept constant. If someone asked you, “What are the advantages of greatness?” What are you going to tell them? Probably you would be as general in answering that question as they have been general in asking it. The real question, however, is this: “What are the advantages of my greatness?” That is the question that has to be answered by every individual who would love to make an impact in their world and consequently, the world itself. Did you notice? It starts with a question, and it puts you in the driver’s seat.
First off, greatness—read a powerful brand—is not something that is established overnight. Greatness has two frontiers: The front-end and the back-end. Whereas many people see the front-end, the real deal with a great brand is actually the back-end. Probably that is why Steve Jobs was so particular about the unseen details of his Macintosh as much as people were about its visible aesthetics.
But Why a Brand?
A lot has been written about Branding that I do not want to regurgitate. However, it goes without saying that we need to quantify the advantages of having a brand. Perhaps the greatest sole advantage of a brand is the one thing: Influence! A brand gives you the platform from which you are able to impact the world with your gift. Here are other advantages:
- With a brand, your reach is exponentially expanded
- With a brand, you get noticed by industry leaders in your niche, thereby being able to collaborate with them
- With a brand, you are able to focus on providing value to your audience, thereby increasing your income
- With a brand, you increasingly are on your way to becoming a genius because you are focused
The Spirit behind It
Here is the thing: the spirit behind creating a great brand is intentional, incessant, and near obsessive focus on the unseen. That is the gravity that holds the branding system together. Without it, the brand will collapse, and in this day and age of the global village, a collapse of a brand in Timbuktu will be realized within minutes in Texas!
To me, a great brand therefore has a monster-like back end—powerful, authentic, and built with scars over time—and a great appealing front-end that comes from the back end.
Here are some of the ways people are cheating their way to creating lousy brands:
- Buying ‘followers’
- Being a poser
- Lack of originality
- Having nothing of value to offer
- Lack of clarity
I believe that branding should not just be a subject of interest to corporate entities and businesses. I strongly believe that branding should be the biggest focus of every individual born of a woman. The fact of the matter is that whether we pay attention to it or not, we all have brands.
The Single Biggest Mistake People Make with Their Brands
The keyword relating to a brand is uniqueness. A brand ought to distinguish you from the rest of the crowd. The mistake people make with creating their brand, however, is when they put the focus on themselves! The purpose of a brand is to offer value to others and not to peddle your greatness. The question therefore is not about being unique in your own eyes, but being unique in the eyes of your target audeience.
In other words, a brand is simply the way other people perceive my position in the world in terms of my self-concept, self-worth and self-esteem. It all boils down to one word: value. So the perception that my targeted audience has about me as a result of interactions with me is what will constitute my brand.
The Branding System
The branding system is typically made up of 3 interconnected entities that feed one into the other. I am a stickler for systems because they cannot fail you. If they do, you know where to diagnose and what to fix. The thing is that you will not create a powerful brand if you do not have a system for creating and managing it. The system looks like this:
1. The Foundation (Cultivate to Know/Define)
Begin by identifying what that brand is. Clarity is power, so says Tony Robbins. One famous quote by Abraham Lincoln goes thus:
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”.
So take as much time as possible to narrow down one general direction. Now, you have something to focus on. Very many people do not know how to do this. Clarify your passion.
2. The Pillars (Own and Build With Focus)
We shall take a bit of time here. The very first thing that comes immediately after clarifying what the brand is, is to have belief. This is the very first crucial step of owning the brand. You will enroll your audience when they see the passion you have with your brand. That passion comes from a firm belief that you were ‘born for this.’
You know the 5 step process of being a Genius? It starts with incompetence! This means that you do not need to wait until you are a genius to own your brand. You own it right from the level of incompetence. As you keep working on it and building it, you get to competence, then excellence, then the unique ability and then, finally, genius. So it takes years, depending on your consistency and momentum in building the brand.
Now, in building your brand, a large percentage of your activities should be centered around answering this powerful question:
What would an excited client say about me after encountering my services?
In one sitting, write at least 10 answers to this question that portray the emotional value that you want your audience to associate you and your brand with. Remember what Maya Angelou said:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Here are some examples for a life coach brand:
- Valuable, Helpful and Worthwhile
- Eye Opening & Insightful
- Life Changing
- I will definitely recommend this to all my friends and family members
Now using the above keywords, create a testimonial that you perceive will be spoken by a satisfied client.
Here is an Example:
“Through the Coaching Process, I made valuable life-changing decisions in my lifestyle that are much more important than any academic lesson I ever took. I actually wished that someone showed me these things much earlier. This was 100 times worth doing, and very valuable.
The Coach was very professional and very personable and human. The sessions were uniquely organized and delivered with a touch of excellence. I really felt so appreciated as an individual and it has been eye-opening to me.
Most definitely, I am recommending this Coach to everyone alive”
Once you have these answers, your focus now is to bring this vision into reality. This is done through taking actions that directly get you closer to seeing the vision above a reality. This stage is the famous behind the scenes back-end that I talked about.
3. The Roof (Show Your Brand)
Arguably, this is the simplest of the three components of the system. Again, many people make a big mistake when showcasing their brands. They focus on themselves and the features of their products rather than focusing on showcasing what their satisfied clients are saying. The two biggest ways to showcase your brand are:
- Endorsements: Collect feedback from your raving fans and let the world know how pleased they were in experiencing your brand. The biggest seller is word of mouth, and you can digitize it from your audience.
- Features: As you gain popularity, showcase the other brands that have been blessed by yours, however small they are. Remember, I am talking about brands here, not individuals.
In between, actions such as studies and research, use of technology, collaborating with like-minded people, writing articles, books, E-books and material concerning your brand, and continuously iterating your brand as the feedback keeps coming from your audience are eternal activities.
In closing, a brand can only be built intentionally and daily. So, what are your raving fans saying about you?Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.