Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.
When I think of Branding, I think of everything about the key things that help me remember a person; how they walk, how they talk, how they answer your calls, how they prefer their coffee etc. People always ask me how I got into blogging, how I got into the suiting business – simple… Consistency! Well it was one of the major elements in my life, allow me to elaborate. I recently met Mai Atafo, a renown designer from Nigeria who’s work I’ve been following for a couple of years, and now had the opportunity to meet – thanks to Diana Opoti. I listened to him give his life story and how he got to the fashion industry and I saw myself in his story. Most of the challenges he had gone through is pretty much what I have experienced. Anyhu, that will be a story for another day. As I listened to him speak, he did tap on many things, but what caught my attention was when he pointed out consistency and personal branding. Two traits I thank God for blessing me with, which is what inspired me to write this post.
When I think of branding or selling a product to someone, I ask myself how, what, where, when and to whom I want to communicate to and deliver my message. Where you advertise is part of your brand strategy. I always feel like the people on Facebook are different from the ones on Instagram (Yes? No?). Where you choose to communicate are also part of your brand strategy. And what you communicate visually and verbally are part of your brand strategy too.
I got into the men’s suit business and have been doing it for quite some time now, yet I have no tailoring experience nor have I ever stitched anything in my life. As time went by, I had people telling me how I should get into designing suits for women, how I should start making dresses, kids wear – all these great ideas, but I strongly feel am not there as yet. I believe more in perfecting each stage before moving on to the next – as it should apply on everything you do. The reason I got into suits is because it comes naturally to me… effortlessly! Now, I can help people get the look they want because its something I have grown up doing – dressing up and wearing suits. The foundation of your branding goes back to old habits or something you have been known for over time.
What do you want people to know you for? I often tell people, ‘don’t aspire to be something you have seen someone doing just because it looks glamourous.’
1. You need to have the love for it first. There are days you wont make money, but that doesn’t mean you quit and think of another career. If you love your calling, then you will not struggle.
2. You need to be consistent in what you do. If there is a style of cutting your suits, stick to it and perfect it. Focus on it and be known for that.
3. You need to be patient. It took me about 2 years before I started earning money from blogging. I did a lot of free work for big corporate brands but in return, my clout and online presence grew to be where it is today and that is how am comfortable to furnish a quote to any new client who requires my services.
These are some of my go to tips to following your passion and turning it into a career.
Are you aspiring to be a blogger? Well, here are some key things that go a long way in helping you brand yourself well. Once you’ve defined your brand, how do you get the word out?
- Write down your brand message. What are the key messages you want to communicate about your brand? Both the employee and the customer should be aware of your brand attributes.
- Get a good logo. Place it strategically. (Consistency)
- Integrate your brand. Branding extends to every aspect of your business–how you answer your phones, your e-mail signature, everything!
- Develop a tagline. Write a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand.
- Create brand standards for your marketing materials. Use the same color scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. You don’t need to be fancy, just consistent.
- Something I have learnt in my suiting business, Be true to your brand. Customers won’t return to you or refer you to someone else–if you don’t deliver on your brand promise. e.g. timelines
- Be consistent. I placed this point last, only because it involves all of the above and is the most important tip I can give you. If you can’t do this, your attempt at establishing a brand will fail.
Hope this was of help! Feel free to comment, forward any questions you may have and I ‘ll do my best to answer you. 🙂