Everyone is brand aware these days…personally…professionally…as producers and consumers. It’s more than your calling card, it’s who you are and what you want to become. And the more authentic your aim, the more it resonates with others.
We tend to romanticize all of this:
– Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.
– If you can dream it, you can do it.
– If you build it, they will come.
– You always miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.
These simplistic sentiments have an allure, but they ultimately get in the way. Effective aim isn’t about where you want to be; it’s about where you are.
Rather than looking to the skies, assess where your shots are falling. How close are they to actually hitting your target? Are you even aiming at the target you want to hit? Are there patterns in where your shots tend to fall? What can you learn as you collect your arrows off the ground?
Of course the goal is to hit that bullseye, but how close have you gotten?
Getting Your Foot in the Door
You know your brand has value, and you use it to begin conversations that rarely seem to produce results. You assume getting everyone’s attention is the key, but it isn’t enough to get you all the way inside the door…and it’s awkward extricating your foot.
Aligning Yourself Authentically
You understand your realm of influence and you work hard to make sure your messaging and actions are consistent with those within your sphere. You understand talking the talk and walking the walk, but you’re more fortifying than growing your brand.
Amplifying Your Reach
Your followers meaningfully connect with you and promote your brand to others beyond your reach, expanding your influence. You represent values and goals to which others aspire, and they in turn inform and strengthen your brand both in person and online.
Sustaining Your Following
You attract and keep those who share in your brand experience, building a loyal following that believes in the things for which you stand. This kind of allegiance perpetuates itself as your followers continue to come back to connect into the value you offer.
Achieving Iconic Status
Your brand delivers vibrant experiences that make a difference in people’s lives, so much so that they integrate your brand into their personal identity, aspiring to transform themselves and their world. Your brand is resilient and sustainable for the future..
Where are your shots actually landing?
Your answer to this question is the first step to recalibrating your aim, improving your accuracy…straighter…higher…farther…so that you can hit that bullseye.
Walter McKenzie is Senior Director for Constituent Services at ASCD, leading its affiliate, connected community, professional interest community, student chapter and emerging leader programs.