How to Brand Yourself
As a World Changer
What’s the one thing every super successful business, nonprofit, church, actor, fashion designer, preacher, teacher, and top expert have in common?
They have a powerful brand image that resonates with their peeps, or as the marketers call them, the target audience, you know, their tribe.
Your perspective tribe is simply the people that are most likely to gel with whatever it is you represent.
These are the people you are called to and need to be most worried about if you want to be successful in your mission, whatever that may be.
You will always be open to serve and sell everyone, but you need to focus in on the people you are specifically called to serve and target them.
Now, I know that sounds straight to the point, but world changer don’t have time to mess around.
Besides, we are not targeting them to see them, we are targeting them to serve them.
In order to do that effectively, you need to understand and use effective branding geared toward doing just that.
Then, as you are serving your peeps, you can surly sell them something that will also serve them along the way.
Note, all healthy relationships in life have to be, give and take.
As a world changer, you will have to be able to take/receive in order to sustain the act of prolonged giving.
The Two Sides of Branding
There are two distinct facets of branding, so I am going to break them down for you into two distinct parts.
Let’s peel back the curtain and expose some of the ninja mind melting secrets of the great marketing gurus.
- Of course, there’s the visual/audio assault side of branding that we see and hear in every commercial, add, and sales pitch. This is where color pallets, logos, and theme songs bread familiarity and consistency in your brand.
- Then there’s the heart and soul of a brand where the mission, vision, and the story behind a brand either tear at our heartstrings or fondle our adrenaline pumps.
Let’s lay out some insight into the real influencer mentality of branding by exploring the heart and soul of the brand that we call YOU!
There are countless awesome articles out there on branding, but they often discuss the fluff, well, we’ll cover that in another article.
Today, we’re going to take a different route and dive into what people need to find once they peel back the wrapper, which is the heart and soul of your brand.
It all starts here!
This is the juicy stuff that builds your brand culture (so to speak), and it causes people to fall in love with what you do.
Here’s a hint, it happens when people feel they can relate to you and feel they can connect with you, whether they know you personally or not.
Ready? Let’s make you a huge success with awe-inspiring, legendary branding, so you can go out and impact the world for the greater good.
Why You Need Branding
When it comes to branding, you first have to realize that you have a gift to share with the world, cause you do, God certainly didn’t send you here empty-handed.
Rather, He placed greatness inside of you and wrapped it up inside your gifts and talents.
The more you use and share your gifts and talents the more they develop and grow.
Branding is simply a means to create trust and awareness for God’s gifts that are operating in your life.
Whether you like it or not, you have an image that people perceive of you, often without even meeting you.
Taking control of that image and defining it is what branding and marketing are all about.
Branding yourself is not a bad thing, it’s not about ego unless you make it about ego, it’s about creating a package that people can relate to and identify.
Truth is, we are always projecting an image of ourselves out into the world, some of us are just more conscious of what we project than others.
Some people shy away from words like marketing, branding, and target audience, and that’s fine, but not if you want to expand your reach its not.
Let me assure you, in order to be successful at getting your message, product, or service out into the world, you need to embrace branding and marketing.
And yes, that includes viral marketing.
These are only dirty words if you make them out to be dirty words, otherwise, they are empowering and impactful words.
Branding is kind of the messenger that goes before you to tell the world about who you are.
Drawing Your Peeps In
Good branding breeds excitement and draws people in, while bad branding can leave people with a bad taste in their mouth, without really even knowing you.
The thing is, if you’re not actively promoting your best qualities, people’s minds will fill in blanks about you in order to paint a picture of who they think you are.
That goes for your business or not for profit ventures as well.
Here’s the kicker, often times your best quality can be your honesty.
Embracing who you are, flaws and all can be very empowering and endearing.
In fact, people are usually willing to accept your flaws if you own your flaws and then counteract them with your positive traits.
I think that’s what throws some people off about branding, they think it’s an ego thing, but it’s not, branding is what you make it.
So, if you’re still with me, let’s dive in and develop some bad-a*s branding for you and your platform and take this thing to the next level.
First things first, you need to be able to paint a picture of who you are called to serve, and how you are going to serve them.
You can’t barely get out of the gate in taking on the world until you’re willing to define who you will serve and how.
For most people, this is a moment of truth, this is the moment you start to develop a true vision for the future.
One huge difference between big talkers and actual world changers are that true world changers realize they are not called to everyone.
By figuring out which people on the planet that are most likely to be a good fit for what you have to offer, the better off you will be.
Defining your target audience is a game changer because it brings focus.
Part of the benefit of not trying to serve people you are not called to is that it removes people who are otherwise going to be energy zappers.
The Heart and Soul of Your Brand
Our image is what people see, feel, and believe, regardless of reality, and we all emanate an image out into the world in everything we do, whether we like it or not, that’s reality.
We all know brands that clearly don’t have the best product, yet they’re number one in their field because of their branding.
Ya know, some people are marketing geniuses even though they’ve never done anything professionally other than work the window at a fast food joint.
It’s crazy because they know how to market themselves on Insta and Facebook like superstars.
In fact, we could learn a lot about marketing and branding by watching our social feeds.
People live their life behind a filter, and it all seems glamorous on the surface, but they soon become a slave to those filters.
So that’s my first caution, don’t build a brand that you will have to become a slave to in order to keep alive.
Avoid the smoke and mirror’s sh*t and come as real as you can, because you will never have to front when you bring the real you.
In today’s society where so many people live behind cropped pictures, brands that are tearing back the curtains are the ones rising to the top.
I have to say that I love this trend and I pray for it to spread like wildfire.
Visual vs Personable
There are two sides to branding, there is the visual side which consists of color pallets and graphic design, and there is the story side of a brand.
There’s a movement where the social concuss side of a brands story and beliefs are what’s driving their popularity.
A lot of Christians, however, don’t like to talk about popularity.
Keep this in mind, you are not called to everyone, it’s not a popularity contest.
You are only called to the people you’re called to, and that may be a huge crowd and it may simply be the people in the house next to you.
I do see more times than not (not all the time) that the crowd you are called to has a lot to do with your level of faith of what God can do through you.
Take that for what it’s worth, but I have been around for a while, and that’s just what I see.
If you want to expand your vision, remember, the size of your vision is not about you, it’s about what God can do through you.
Besides, if you are doing this thing as a Christian, God is supposed to get all the glory, not you.
My best advice here is to get over yourself and let Him do His thing through you, cause it’s our ego that kills our faith, not our inabilities.
So, no worries, because that takes all the pressure off you.
And, for this reason, growing your vision doesn’t have to be about you, it can and should be about how many people God ministers to and touches through you.
At the heart and soul of what you do is a story, the more you work on defining that story the sharper and more powerful you’re telling that story will become.
Your story is where people either relate to you or not, and either way, it a good thing.
The people that you are called to serve will relate to you and your story and those you are not called to, well, not so much.
That’s not a bad thing, because when you try to serve people you are not called to, they will become energy zappers to your mission.
Please get this part, you are not marketing to everyone, only to the people you are called to.
All those other people, forget about it, someone else is called to them.
You would do better having a few loyal followers that relate to you and your mission, then having tons of energy zappers causing confusion and chaos.
The good news is, the better you define and simplify your story, the more people will relate it and connect with you.
So, be true to your story and truthful in your story, and it will resonate with the right people.
Mission Vision and Purpose
Outside of your story, your mission, vision, and purpose all play huge roles in who you are as a brand.
So, let’s break that down.
- Where you’ve been = (your story)
- What you do = (your mission)
- Where you plan on going = (your vision)
- Why you do what you do = (your purpose)
Defining these four truths is one of the most powerful things you will ever do for yourself.
Then, taking the time to write them as a document will set you apart, bring you clarity, and will create a platform for you to build amazing things from.
The key is to keep it simple, the simpler the better, to where a fifth grader could read it and run with what these documents say.
Simple, short, and sweet is not only best, it’s also the most powerful as well.
Your story needs to be condensed to its core essence, one page if you can, two pages at the most.
You can always have a longer version, but for your branding and marketing, and to get your message out into the world, it needs to be condensed and easily consumed.
If you take the time to define and document these four objectives, you my friend, will already be way ahead of the pack, and you’ll be a true boss in my eyes.
Your mission is your short-term goal that you attain to achieve every single day, so it needs to get right to the point.
Your mission statement should be one to two sentences long and define how you will serve people on a daily basis.
For example, the Beats by Dr. Dre mission state is:
“The Beats’ mission is to provide a superior end-to-end music experience – with headphones, devices and services – so fans feel the emotion and hear the music the way artists intended it to sound from the studio.”
Your vision is the dream and goal for the future, it’s the long-term strategy that will carry you to anywhere you want to go in life.
Your vision is many more times powerful than a dream will ever be.
A dream is simply a thought of ow, this thing in my head is so lovely, a vision is more of a game plan to make that dream a reality.
A vision encompasses the dream but also includes a strategy that explains how that dream will be achieved.
Just like with your story, your vision can have a longer and shorter version of itself.
Feel free to let it rip and write a long version, but you have to be able to get your vision down to be a one or two-page document so people can consume it without much effort.
Here’s the kicker, condensing your story and vision is not so much that others can read it easily, but rather, to produce a simple version for you to wrap your own head around.
The Bible always talks about keeping things simple, so there’s that.
Let me put it this way, you will not be able to define the pillars of your brand to others if you don’t have them condensed to their simplest forms for yourself.
From here, you also need to define your purpose (your why), and your reason for doing what you do.
Once again, your purpose for doing what you do needs to be condensed down to its core, a few sentences should do the trick.
Getting clear on the purpose for doing what you do is what will build a fire in your soul and keep you going when the going gets tough.
Just do it!
You need to be aware of how you want people to perceive you, and then take the appropriate actions to make that happen.
You can control your image by being conscious about branding decisions.
As you can see, branding is not just about a color scheme and a logo.
You have an image, whether you like it or not, and it’s how others perceive what they believe you’re all about.
Image (branding) is what makes or breaks each one of us in the marketplace.
Image and marketing go hand in hand because marketing is simply how you broadcast your image out to the world.
When you don’t act to create and define your brand, and your brand’s image, you’re leaving things to chance, and that can lead to disaster.
Having powerful branding is key to setting the tone in what you hope to accomplish.
It’s also your opportunity to define who you are and what you stand for.
And it’s a key to getting your message and/or products and services out to the world.
In fact, having sound branding is what makes or breaks nearly every origination on the planet.
I realize for some, that on the surface, the sound of branding yourself might be hard to wrap your head around.
But look at it this way, branding is simply a way of creating consistency in what you do so others know what to expect.
It’s OK to be known as a World Changer
Branding also creates an identity that people can recognize and follow.
Some organization’s branding is all about what they do.
Other brands are all about feeding a sub-culture of society.
However, the most powerful branding encapsulates why you are doing what you do and not just what you do.
Describing what you do tells people the mechanics of a heart project, when you describe why you do what you do, it exposes people to the heart and soul of your heart projects.
Your peeps out in the world, wherever they are, don’t just want to know what you are selling.
And please don’t be mistaken, you are selling something, even if it’s a message or a concept.
Even if you are a minister, teacher, preacher, or pastor, you are selling an ideal if nothing else.
People want to know why you are selling it, your brand needs to tell the story of what you are doing and why you are doing it because that’s what people will fall in love with.
If you tap into the story of you, your true peeps will relate to that story.
Hard Questions will Get You There
By asking yourself a few heart revealing questions you will be able to define for others who you are and what you represent, and you will discover the answers for yourself.
Take a breath, cause here’s your questions:
Where have I come from?
What obstacles have I overcome, or perhaps still struggle with?
What do I want to achieve for the future, and why?
When people relate to you as a brand, selling your products and services becomes almost effortless.
Stay tuned for a future post where we’ll learn how to put a pretty wrapper on everything and discuss things like your brands color pallet and logo.
Good luck, and see you soon!
Sam Baratta is a Christian street evangelist, visionary, and creator. He is a Co-Founder/Giant Slayer at The All-In Community. And, he is bent on carving out a new path for people to discover their higher calling and making it easy for other to serve God.