Branding: Starting from Scratch

You have aspirations. You want to be known as an expert of something. Maybe you want to start a blog. Maybe you want to write a fiction book. No matter what  it is, in the beginning, you’re not what your aspiration is. 

You may even think that this is a Catch-22, where to establish yourself as the thing, you have to be that thing to establish yourself as that thing. How can you be an author if you haven’t written a book yet?

At this point, it may feel like you have to be a magician to conjure your aspiration into existence before anyone recognizes that you ARE who you want to be.

You can start establishing yourself as a writer even before you’ve finished the book.You can establish yourself as an expert, a blogger, or something else. I’ve done it, not once, not twice, but multiple times in multiple venues. I’ve even helped other people and groups do it.

It’s generally the same process no matter the venue and for whatever thing you’re trying to conjure.  At first, the thing (acknowledgement for your expertise, your identity as a writer, or your identity as … you name it) doesn’t exist and then you conjure it into existence. So how do you do it?

Mindset

The first thing is that it starts with your mindset. What is a mindset? 

According to Dr. Aparajita Jeedigunta, a Certified Professional Coach and Social-Personality Psychologist, your mindset is simply your internal framework — the core beliefs and assumptions that you make about yourself that dictate not only how you see yourself and your future potential, but also how you show up in all the spaces in your life and interact with the world around you. 

One problem you may run into is imposter syndrome, which can get in the way of fully realizing your mindset. “Imposter syndrome is something that afflicts all of us at some point or another in our lives, usually when we are about to do something that’s out of our comfort zone. It is that inner voice of doubt that tells us that we may not be good enough, or that we are just faking our competence until we get called out on it,” Dr. Jeedigunta explained. 

What are ways you can overcome imposter syndrome? 

  • Recognize when you’re having thoughts of self-doubt.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others and focus on what you can do.
  • Reframe your ideas of failure as learning moments.
  • Acknowledge your own growth and accomplishments.

If you don’t believe you’re an expert or writer when you do have the knowledge or have the skills, no one else will. 

It exists and it has a name

The second action step that you need to take is to create content that shows that the thing exists. You do this by naming it. If it’s a business, then you can use the name of your business, but if there is something different about your business, like your customer service, you have to name your customer service something.

There’s power in naming things. Naming something is the first step in making something exist. You also have to show that it exists.

How do you show that your thing exists? You provide evidence. You post pictures of your doing the thing. You write about it. You show people that the thing exists. For example, if you own a car washing business, post photos of your washing cars, of the line leading up to your car wash, of your employees, of your customers. 

If you build it … you have to build it

If you build it, they will come … eventually. You have to be patient while you’re building your thing. You have to give yourself and your thing time to gel.

It’s not enough to promote something and name it, you also have to build your thing. What do I mean by that?  Building means doing the thing that you want to exist for long enough for people to see that you are doing it.

If you’re an expert and are just beginning to establish yourself, you have to show people that you are an expert by being an expert and creating expert content. You might ask, how?

I’ll tell you. Answer questions posed on social media. Write articles for platforms like Medium or on your own blog. Show that you know what you’re talking about. 

And, not just once or twice. The number of times depends on a lot of things. How much a person is paying attention to you when they see your name. How much what you said aligns with what they know, so that they don’t easily dismiss you.

If you’re establishing yourself as a writer and want to show people that you are, post about your process and use hashtags that will get your posts noticed by the right people. Who are the right people? Other writers, bloggers, and readers.

And most importantly, get other people to say that you’re the thing.  The expert.  The writer. The thing you’re trying to establish yourself as. This is actually the most potent persuasive tool that you have, getting testimonials either in comments or as posts or whatever. Other people saying you’re something is more powerful than you saying it, because you might be exaggerating about yourself to make a sale.

Building something requires not only showing people the thing, but also giving people enough time to know that it wasn’t a one-of. Part of building is allowing time for your thing to establish roots to grow. 

Take-Aways

1. Mindset. You must believe that you are your aspiration. 

2. Show others you are your aspiration by doing what you aspire to be. Promote yourself by showing others that you are doing what you aspire others to see you as. 

3. Get others to endorse you. This is the most important thing, because it’s the most powerful. Other people saying you are your aspiration will carry more weight than anything else you can do, especially if that person is trusted in your community. 

You can start where you are marketing yourself. If you’re just starting, you can market yourself. The best time to market yourself is right now. 

©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED and held by Michelle Raab Writes, LLC.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: You may copy up to 50 words without permission, provided that you give attribution, link back to the original post, and do not change the meaning or message.

Originally posted in michelleraabwrites.com on March 23, 2020.

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Published by Michelle Raab

Branding&Marketing Strategist for the Quirky and Creative Entrepreneurs | Research Psychologist | Writer | Photographer | Dabbler in the Visual Arts

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