All my life I was swinging for the fence,
I was looking for the triple,
Never playing good defense
Gunnin’ for the glitter,
Every hot and heavy hitter,
She was never really there so I couldn’t really get her
That’s the first verse from Factory of Faith by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I’m actually listening to it as I write this post. I find that listening to a playlist with a balanced yet mellow rhythm helps me concentrate best. That and a good read; nothing beats a quality book, blog post, or short story.
So what do these lyrics have anything to do with branding yourself?
I’m going to take the first part of this post to outline a series of steps using the lyrics above. These steps will detail specific strategies for you to take advantage of in order to develop your own brand. I’ll do my best to make sense of my insane thought process. Here goes nothing.
1. “Factory of Faith”
That’s what you have to be. You need to instill confidence in your brand and exhibit passion in every way that you can. For myself, I express my passion for personal branding, business, entrepreneurship, and ideas through this nifty collection of writings I like to call a “blog”. Have faith in yourself, because without self-esteem you will not have the motivation to expand or develop your brand.
2. “All my life I was swinging for the fence”
For those of you unfamiliar with baseball, the term “swinging for the fence” has its meaning rooted in the part of the game where the batter swings at the ball and tries to hit a home run (to hit it over the fence, or swing for the fence).
A lot of entrepreneurs and those trying to build their personal image on LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook, end up aiming far too high. They buy followers or likes, or add random people to their network, hoping to get recognized by the few real connections they have.
This is not a way to brand yourself. Being modest in the beginning will pay off in the end: you will connect with people genuinely interested in you and what you have to offer.
3. “I was looking for the triple, never playing good defense”
Tying into the previous explanation, when you always aim high you have your sights set on only one goal: to increase your audience / public awareness. You want to be known, so you spend excessive amounts of time and money to grow your brand inorganically. This will end up hurting you in the long run.
Instead of looking for that triple (a 3-base hit in baseball) change your perspective and realign your goals with something more beneficial to you in the long run. Whether this is “playing good defense,” or posting industry-relevant content on Twitter, always look at branding yourself as a fragile opportunity to increase your public appeal and build trust with your audience.
4. “Gunnin’ for the glitter, every hot and heavy hitter”
Now while Anthony Kiedis might have intended this to have a different meaning, I’m going to put my own spin on it. Basically, this verse describes someone who is on the flashy, spicy, showy side of things. This type of person will buy out huge advertising campaigns and try to get his or her name out there, by any means necessary.
This works for some people, especially if the target audience has a favorable response. But for most? I would not recommend buying out the local highway billboard just yet. You’ll see why in the next verse.
5. “She was never really there so I couldn’t really get her”
This is why I don’t recommend starting out with a big flashy bang. The beginning of this song talks about a guy who took a high-standard approach to women, expecting them to be a certain type of girl, and getting lost in their showy appearances, but in the end realized that he didn’t spend enough time building himself into the right kind of person, in order for him to find the right kind of girl.
Okay, this is by no means a lyrical interpretation blog, but the concept makes sense! Think about it. You’re spending all this time working on the tiny details (I know I have) or pushing out flashy-in-your-face marketing campaigns on social media, so much so that you forgot to focus on actually building your brand for the right kind of audience.
That’s right. I just blew your mind. Or maybe I didn’t. Either way, I know I’m impressed with myself. And so now that you’ve got that swimming around in your brain, let’s wrap up with a few bullet points.
- Have faith in yourself
- Confidence is key
- Have the right goals in mind
- Build your brand before your image
- Find the right kind of audience for your brand
- Cater to this audience and feed them your knowledge
That’s all I’ve got for now! I hope this helped you understand the branding process a bit more.