By Alexia Leachman, Personal Branding Coach At Blossoming Brands

Being consistent in the context of business and branding is often misunderstood. It risks polarising with some believing that it’s essential while others recommending that we avoid it. I believe that certain aspects of consistency in the context of your personal brand are essential. So, to help you navigate this treacherous terrain, here are a few pointers to help you figure out what’s what.

Be consistent in WHAT you do

Although fairly obvious, it’s worth stating. Once you’re clear on what it is that you want to be known for, then stick to it. Chopping and changing will confuse people and mentally they’ll put you to one side because they can’t figure out which mental box to put you in. This isn’t to say that you can’t be known for more than one thing. We are human after all and we have many facets and interests. But once you choose to communicate what you’re about, stick to it and make sure that you’re communicating it clearly and consistently.

Be consistent in HOW you do it

If you can be relied upon to do what you do in a certain way, people will buy into that. Just think back to Ricky Gervais hosting the Golden Globes. Despite offending a number of A-listers the first time he hosted the Globes last year, they called him back for a second time. The organisers knew that he could be relied on to be “Ricky” and that’s what they got. Once you develop your style and slant on something, stick to it, because that’s a huge part of your personal brand. It’s your You-ness that makes you stand out.

Don’t be consistent if it means being boring

When consistency is misunderstood it’s usually in the context of predictability and its little brother, boredom. Sure it’s important to ensure that your ability to deliver results needs to be consistent, as is your need to maintain a stable emotional state. But, there are always areas in which you can find ways to delight and surprise.

Maybe it’s in the way you follow up with people or thank them (customer care) or maybe it’s the unrequested glowing testimonial that you leave them on LinkedIn. People will always remember the nice surprises and the personal touches. Of course the opposite of a surprise is a shock and if you’re giving people a shock, you may have gone too far. Unless being shocking is part of your brand. In which case you can shock people by being nice!

Essentially, at its best consistency is ensuring that you behave consistently in line with your values. Your values inform everything that you do and it’s unlikely that they will change significantly unless you have a big life event. By using them as your guide to being consistent, you have the freedom, choice and flexibility to surprise and delight, while ensuring that others can rely on you for delivering the results that they come to know you for.

Alexia Leachman is a Personal Brand Coach and Head Trash Liberator at Blossoming Brands. She helps entrepreneurs find their mojo by helping them to clear their head trash, tell their story, raise their profile, build their digital presence and manage their reputation. You can find out more at www.blossomingbrands.com www.headtrash.co.uk And you can follow her on Twitter at @AlexiaL and @BBrands