Communication is my passion. Writing, speaking, counseling- I enjoy them all. There is no doubt in my mind that God gifted me with the ability to present thoughts and articulate things in a way to connect, inspire, teach, and even correct people. It took me about 17 years to realize this was a gift and figure out how to use my tendency to be chatty and direct it to not annoy people but effectively share my heart. It’s been an interesting journey.
Take my gift of communication or your gift of *fill in the blank* and couple that with “The American Dream” and it would seem there is a breeding ground for trouble. Somehow culture has convinced us that in order to be successful we need to be a household name, have an overflowing bank account, drive the best cars and live in the prettiest house. We have to be famous and achieve high-status to be worth anything.
Can I be vulnerable for a minute? I’ve battled with those thoughts. It came in very stealthy but I eventually caught myself daydreaming about the perfect branding, the perfect outfits, the most polished vocabulary. I worried about people finding out that my house isn’t worth half a million or that *GASP* I’ve not had my own vehicle for over a year. I wanted to create a persona on the interwebs that wasn’t true.
Then it hit me (and truthfully I hope it hits you today), at the end of my days will the world only be able to talk about my possessions and the colors on my website or will they marvel at the love of God that poured from me to others. I decided that I wanted to leave a legacy, I wanted to end my days knowing that I loved well.
But we are talking about building a brand here so how does this apply? I’m so glad you asked! I’ll tell you!
First things first
It’s so necessary in this world of entrepreneurship to get our priorities straight. I can’t be number 1. For me, that’s God. Because of that my number 2 is you. My priority, my life mission, is to love well. So I first have to love God well and by loving Him well I MUST love you well. My brand can’t serve me, it must serve you.
When we are building our dream business our motivation has to be clear- How can I serve people? As we restructure Sincerely Darling that’s what we are asking ourselves. How could you, our friends, benefit from us. What skills, gifts, talents do we have that can help you see success? After that how do we bring this to life? Ask yourself “What are my priorities? What do I want to be known for from this ‘business?’” Once you have your answer you can move forward.
Appearance vs Heart
One of the most helpful scriptures for me in terms of branding is this; Man looks at the outward but God looks at the heart. I believe that our heart has to be right (right motives, right ambitions, etc.) before we make any decisions. Once the heart is right we now can figure out how to position ourselves for people to like what they see. If people look at the outward then I know branding is important. If you know you have quality content, services, etc. it is wise to figure out how to grip the attention of your target audience. Don’t forget this: heart and appearance are both vital to succeed in this industry (whatever that industry may be.)
Build a Team
This is SO SO SO SO times a bazillion so important! Choose people that can bring to life the passion of your heart. Regardless of your industry, if approached correctly, this is ministry. You are providing services, insight, relief, etc. to the people that you are reaching. You OWE them a professional approach. More than you are representing yourself you are representing your faith. Knowing that appearance matters I encourage you (read: beg you) to find people who are strong where you are weak. Not great at branding? Find someone who is. That’s what I did. Chelsea is a professional graphics artist who has the ability to put together branding packages that stand out above others. It’s her gift. I am a great communicator and strategist. I can come up with content and marketing strategies. Together we make an incredible team. Don’t cheat yourself by taking a cheap route. Don’t cheat others by settling for less. Make the investment and work with the right people.
All in all our brand pales in comparison to what building HIS brand can offer us. We all stepped foot into this business to make life better for others. If we do that, by default, we will see life improve for ourselves. If we build His brand before ours we will see the desires of our heart come to pass but we won’t feel selfish or over worked in the process. Wanting the new car is fine. So is wanting the nice house. The beauty of building His brand means while we are busy about others He will be busy taking care of us. Thats a win/win if you ask me.