Anyone starting a side-hustle or looking for a job these days has probably heard about the importance of building a personal brand. Some middle-aged job hunters might think that their experience should speak for itself, but they soon see that the young HR specialist who’s doing the hiring is looking for the “story” behind their resume. In other words, it’s more about who you are and how you got to this point — not necessarily about the gold stars you’ve earned along the way.
It’s this “story” that informs your branding.
Fortunately, those of us growing up in the sixties and seventies have the advantage of being part the generation that practically invented branding. Think Mad Men.
The post WWII economy, the beginning of dual income families, and the introduction of the credit card all contributed to a new spending generation. With this influx of money into the economy, businesses had more competition and consumers had more choice. Businesses tried to win customers with their branding and advertising. And our generation bought it.
According to Peter Hubbell, Founder and CEO of BoomAgers, we Baby Boomers are known as the original Brand Managers. He writes
“Today the term “branding” is nearly synonymous with the title of Brand Manager. The brand manager is responsible for designing and executing a marketing plan that grows the brand’s reputation and its business. Since brands, and the people who manage them, were created in response to Boomers’ unprecedented clout, we have coined them the Original Brand Managers. They were the original ones who fell in love with these brands and defined them. They felt as though they owned these brands (think Levi’s) and, as such, they were the ones managing the requirements of what those brands needed to be.”
Your Brand Statement & STORY
If you’re a Boomer starting a side-hustle you don’t have to look far to find your story. If your job history is anything like mine, you have a boatload of experiences that make you uniquely qualified to run the side-hustle you’re starting today.
For example, when you tell your story, whether it’s your bio on your website or your cover letter for your next job application:
-Tell us about your first career.
-Tell us your pain point, that thing that made you decide to change your career path.
-Tell us about the things you love to do.
-Tell us who you work for. Who is your ideal client? Are we a good fit?
-And finally tell us what you have to offer. What makes you different from your competition? (From what you’ve told me, I should be able to see that you’re the best person for the job based on your experience.)
The more transparent you are, the more your clients and customers will trust you. Keep it simple, but honest.
But I thought branding was about colors and logos.
Sure. That’s the fun part. And it might be the part that Boomers get hung up on, mainly because they never had to do this before. So if you are putting together a website for your business it’s good to know the meaning of colors.
Your branding, colors, logo, photos and layout, will also reflect your personality. If you’re the outdoorsy type, think earth tones. If you’re glam, glam it up on your site. If your business is law or finance, no butterflies or flowers! Spend time looking at sites that speak to you.
Still stuck? Here are a few ideas:
-Take a look in your closet at your favorite clothes.
-Empty your bag… is there anything you carry with you all the time?
-Do you have a favorite painting? Favorite artist?
-Start a private mood board on Pinterest. Then look for patterns through all the items you pinned. Is everything blue?
-What kind of music do you like? How does that translate into a website’s look and feel?
Can you guess my favorite item of clothing from my website?
Do you want to design your own authentic brand, one that tells your story and is reflected by the look and feel of your website? Look for my upcoming class for Savvy Boomers! To be sure not to miss out, sign up here for the newsletter to get dates and deets! (plus a free download of my short e-book “Your Organic Evolution.”