Editor’s Note: Due to a technological glitch, authorship of this post is attributed to Jason Sowards. Meg Martin is the author of this post.
As law librarians I think we consider ourselves to be obviously branded…we are research mavens specializing in law. A few weeks ago, my ideas about branding were challenged by a presentation about personal branding by Lida Citroen (company name Lida360) sponsored by the Colorado Association of Law Libraries and Rocky Mountain Special Libraries Association.
I think her message on LinkedIn states her premise clearly:
A brand is a promise delivered. It is your reputation and your legacy. Branding is the practice of producing trust and is at the heart of all marketing endeavors. When we market our services or organization, we do so with a promise to meet or exceed the expectations of the audience who must find us relevant.
During the presentation she explained that branding is about feelings and emotional connections. A few of the questions she asked to help us make the connection between feelings and brands included these:
- What kind of car would you be?
- What kind of song would you be?
- What kind of drink are you?
What’s my brand if I think I’m an Audi TT convertible as opposed to a Volvo Town & Country wagon? (Keep in mind that these are questions about your work brand because yeah, I’m all about the TT on the weekends!) How does that affect your image of me? What if I think I am a Carly Simon song or something from Bonnie Raitt? Coffee versus herbal tea? The next step is to ask these same questions about your target audience. This process of Q & A helps to focus your attention on your “uniqueness” within the context of your audience/attorneys/clients/patrons.
Have you heard the term “elevator pitch”? Here is her list of three items to include:
- tell what you do;
- explain how you do it differently; and
- offer an example or a testimonial.
As you give your pitch remember to show excitement, keep it concise, act authentically, use good eye contact and a strong handshake.
Your branding strategy is based on how you want to be known. Control the message – buy the URL of your name and use it. Google yourself regularly, update your LinkedIn profile every seven to ten days, add recommendations, or start conversations on LinkedIn. Facebook is for your weekend, personal or family activities – you want to control it too but it’s more casual.
She let us know that soon it will be possible to access a self-taught branding program on her website .I plan to watch for the tool. Until then, I am thinking about her questions to help focus my attention on my brand.