“If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right.”

“He doesn’t make me feel the way you do.”

“I cannot go on like this, but I’m so confused.”

Does any of that sound familiar (of course the first statement might since it’s also the name of a popular song from the 70s)? These are things we tend to hear from cheaters. Yes, I know there is a host of other things they may say, but work with me here.

Here’s the thing though: in this case, I’m not talking about cheating on your significant other. Did you know you can also cheat on your brand? Shocking, huh? Yep, it’s possible.

The common thread between all the statements (and the related behavior) is that no matter how compelled one feels or how easy it is to cheat, you just know it’s not going to end so pretty.

The same applies when cheating on your brand.

It may not be as dramatic or traumatic as cheating in a romantic relationship, but brand infidelity can hurt your brand almost as much. Wondering how you can cheat on your brand? I’m so glad you asked. Here are two ways:

  1. Not being true to your brand.  How many entrepreneurs, particularly service-based ones like consultants, coaches, speakers, financial advisors, and the like, do you know whose actions are not consistent with their brands? Perhaps you know a life coach who preaches authenticity, yet nothing about her is authentic. She’s cheating on her brand. Or maybe you’ve come across a financial advisor whose brand is all about building trust, yet he’s really short on details when it comes to explaining his fees. Whether he’s doing it intentionally or not, he’s a brand cheater. Failing to act in a way that supports yourbrand is cheating on your brand. You may get away with it for a while, but eventually your cheating ways will catch up with you. Your clients will figure out you’re not true to your brand and look elsewhere. Even if you’re not actually cheating on your brand, but engaging in behavior that hints at it – to avoid being vulnerable in your speaking or writing, you never address anything personal although your brand is about building relationships – you can do damage. Think about it. How many people get themselves into trouble with a little (seemingly) harmless flirting on Facebook with an old co-worker or high school girl friend? Yes, maybe it was harmless, but how did it look to your mate? Brand perception is also reality.
  2. Working harder to maintain your brand than to grow your brand.  This is akin to the whole working in your business vs. working on your business. This happens to a lot of business owners. They get really caught up in doing what’s needed to keep the business going, that they tend to neglect doing things to grow the business. The same thing can happen with your brand. Yes, you should absolutely do what you can to solidify your brand as awesome to your existing clients. However, you should always be looking for ways to grow your brand. Take the time to identify what works best for growing your brand: speaking, networking, blogging, social media, live events, a combination of all of the above. Find out what provides the best ROI for your brand and leverage the hell out of it! This is something I preach like an evangelist to my clients. You’ve probably heard of ABC – always be closing. Allow me to offer ABB – always be branding. Your brand is the foundation of your business. Even the mega brands out there like Starbucks, Google, Apple, and Facebook don’t stop at just maintaining. They’re looking to grow, enhance, and as much as possible, innovate their brands. Maintaining can be the death of your brand. Then, often like romantic cheaters, you’ll later think it really wasn’t worth it.

If you want to ensure you’re not cheating on your brand, that you’re super clear on what your brand is about, how to be more strategic about it, and how to translate your brand into income, you should join me on my virtual boot camp, Grow Your Brand.Grow Your Bottom Line. If you’re an entrepreneur, solopreneur, expert, network marketer, blogger, author, or anyone looking to add more to their bank account and less to their frustration with a more effective brand strategy, you should not miss this. Learn more and register at www.swagstrategy.com/GrowYourBrand