When you’re in business for yourself, how you act is just as much of your personal brand as how you brand yourself.

In branding yourself, most people typically come up with a few words that kind of emulate or define their brand. Those words, however, aren’t good for much if you aren’t “living” them out. How you act needs to trickle down to everyone…not just your clients. You have to “be” the brand to prospects, vendors, colleagues…everyone.

So if you’re branding yourself as someone who is innovative, you have to try to be that way not only for the clients that are paying–you want to share some of that creativity with prospects when they inquire about your services. Of course you may not have enough time to really strategize when they call to inquire about services, but you can throw around some ideas you’ve heard of or used in the past to give them an idea about how truly out-of-the-box you are.

Same goes for being friendly. Most solopreneurs may not think that should be part of their brand–it’s a given, right? You’d be surprised how many people you work with–not just your clients–aren’t friendly. Making an effort to be polite to everyone you work with goes a long way to show the other characteristics you possess. So don’t just be nice to prospects; even a vendor you use or a colleague deserves to get the full benefits of your brand…especially because you never know if that person will refer you in the future!

What are the pillars of your brand? Write them down. Then, if you want the real challenge of branding–living your brand–think of how you will express these. You may find it very interesting to see how you can not only define your brand…but “live” it!


Kristen is a copywriter and author who enjoys what she does for a living. Kristen is also a Certified Professional Resume Writer. Kristen writes regularly for MediaBistro, SheKnows and FreelanceSwitch. She is a panelist on the biweekly, award-winning podcast FreelanceRadio. Kristen is the author of Ramen Noodles, Rent and Resumes: An After-College Guide to Life and her new book, It Takes More than Talent: Business Basics for the Creatively Inclined is due out in January 2013. She has been featured on NPR, CNN, MSNBC, and CareerBuilder; and also in the Boston Herald, the New Jersey Star-Ledger and in the Asbury Park Press.