What is a “brand”?
We hear this term all the time in today’s marketing, advertising, and social media. And if you go around and ask any branding expert what “branding” is, chances are you will get a slightly different answer every time. This is due to the specific lens each of us works through.
So then, what does it mean to be a brand, have a brand, or create one?
A brand is simply this:
It is the one thing that makes you unique yet relatable.
It is the one thing that makes you an experience while also identifiable.
It is your mark on the world as an expert in what you do best. And I don’t know about you but, is that not why we start podcasts in the first place? Because we have something to say and something to share? And we want to say it and present it in our own unique way!
What I would like you to ask yourself is, “What does my brand say?”
Hello, everyone! My name is Caili Elwell, and I am a branding and customer experience consultant, and a brand copywriter. So when I think about branding, or am educating and consulting on a brand, I pull from my experience and my perspective… the customer or audience perspective.
Not only am I a business owner, but I’m also a podcast host, so I understand how tricky it can be for both entities to flow seamlessly into one another. In fact, it is important for me to always make sure my Personal Brand is doing and saying the same as my professional brand. I’m talking about who you are in your PERSONAL life versus who you are in your PROFESSIONAL life.
Take, for example, Instagram influencers. Many social media influencers you see are not as transparent (and I’m not throwing shade) as they build their brand. Instead, they are building and designing a brand they want to aspire to, one they want to capitalize on. A brand they have created where they can be ANYONE and ANYTHING they wish to be – how cool is that?!
But why do they do this? Why can’t they just appear as themselves?
There’s a term called “social currency” which simply means we listen to those we trust. We want to buy and experience all the products and services something with “social currency” speaks highly about. We want to listen to all the audiobooks, music, and podcasts they listen to. In order to be in a place of “social currency,” we have to stand out.
And the most direct way to stand out from the competition? Find your most authentic attribute and capitalize on it. This being, your Personal Brand.
How To Find Your Personal Brand
There is a system I use with my clients and it is also a question I ask every guest on my podcast. The question goes something like this;
“If you could leave the world with only a one-word impression of you, what would your word be?”
In essence, I am asking them to condense their entire life and career aspirations into one word – try it, it’s not so simple!
But it is also an exercise I integrated into helping my clients discover their Personal Brand. You may already know what you want your podcast to be about. And while that is wonderful, think about how many other podcasts there are out there that fall into your niche.
Here are 4 key questions to help you pinpoint your unique Personal Brand:
1. What is it about myself that has gotten me this far?
(i.e. All my experience working in the service industries, my perseverance and empathy for others.)
2. Who am I to my audience?
(i.e. I am the brand storytelling platform, exuding gratitude and advocacy for starting and building your own experiential brand.)
3. What consistent message am I giving to them?
(i.e. What is your story? Because I am here to help you share it and cheer you on.)
4. How will I deliver this message to my audience on my podcast?
(i.e. Every week I not only have a new guest on to share their business and brand story, but I also post about them throughout the week and ask them to do the same – all free advertising and excellent exposure for the both of us.)
Now, take a look at what all your answers have in common. I am willing to bet it’s all starting to make sense!
Need some extra help? Consider these:
- What do you want your tone of voice to be?
- What type(s) of guests do you want to bring to your audience?
- What do you want your guests to instill or question within your listeners?
- What do you want your audience to feel when they start an episode?
- What you want them to feel when they finish an episode?
- How do you want your audience to talk about your podcast as a whole? Its episodes? Or you as the host and creator?
As you begin to find that authentic attribute, take time to understands it as your lens. Learn to love it. Create from it. Build off of it. Dream with it. Grow from it. Capitalize on it. Let it be your filtration system for the way you speak to your listeners, interview your guests, and talk about your podcast!