Today I booked a course for February. That’s sales. The class may or may not happen. I may or may not get paid (mostly according to whether or not it happens). That is sales. Sales brings in the income, keeps the bills paid, brings home the “bacon,” so to speak.
Periodically, I sell. The more I do it, the more I make (sort of). It is rare, however, that I spend a day selling. I spend most of my days branding. Seth Godin said, “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumers decision to choose one product or service over another.”
Did you get that? expectations, memories, stories, relationships……. things that take time. Sales is short term, branding takes time. Branding takes patience. In sales, we convert. In Branding, we build relationships. We share who we are, why we do what we do, and mostly what’s in it for you because of who we are. A brand is personal. Personal to you, personal to me.
Whenever someone experiences you, you’re building brand.
I confess to being a bit anti-social. For years, I wore that like a medal. I learned quickly that people don’t trust anti-social, people don’t build relationships with anti-social. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE people, I’m just a bit shy. That shyness manifested itself in anti-social. Well, anti-social is NOT an effective brand. It’s not endearing (It’s actually a condition: ASPD (anti-social personality disorder) and there are support groups to get help.
What I have learned is that it is imperative that I allow you (or anyone else) to see my love for people, my love for teaching and running, my love for life. Letting others in and allowing others to know you massively helps build your brand. And mine.
Is customer service important? Yes, it builds your brand. Is marketing important? Yes, it CAN help build your brand (more on that another time). Your brand can be somewhat based on or a reflection of the things you do. More importantly, your brand is a reflection of who you are.