I am a firm believer that people will work with you and/or buy from you because of YOU not your product. This doesn't mean your product isn't important but if you and your brand are respected so will the company and products you choose to work with. Why? Trust.
Example in the Corporate World: Apple announces a product launch and people are out the door waiting to purchase something no one has seen or tried. It you already trust Apple you know you will buy something that is innovative, fun and has that wow factor.
Example in the MOM World: It is nomination time for the next PTA President. Do you nominate the Candidate that has been on the board one year, attended all of the meetings, you know what her focus is for the schools needs and how they compare to yours and she consistently steps up to volunteer. Or do you vote for the person that has been on the board three years, has followed through with her duties and made some fantastic contributions but has not been to all of the meetings to make herself well known. Both are qualified candidates and done their jobs. Who do you vote for? Why?
Trust and preconceived notions are what will drive your brand. It is up to YOU to define those before anyone else defines them and to stay consistent. There are several parts to creating your brand. In the case of this post series we will be focusing on your personal business brand. This involves the impression when one thinks of you emotionally as well as the continuity and professionalism of your brand. You will need to brand yourself consistently online and offline as you build your business. To help you with this I am going to break this into a series of post to walk you step by step. Don't worry, it may seem like a lot of work at first but once this is done you will have the framework for the lifetime of your business. This is a crucial step that many business owners put on the back burner and before they know it they are out of business. In today's economy you can succeed as an entrepreneur but you must standout. You had a "Why" that gave you the drive to go into business now determine the "Why" people should choose you.
By definition Brand is:
1) A class of goods identified by name as the product of a single firm or manufacturer
2) A characteristic or distinctive kind
3) An identifying mark burned on
4) A piece of burning or smoldering wood
5) The poetic/literary definition: sword
This provides a great guideline to establishing your brand. This series will cover all five of these topics related to your business brand. First things first though! Before you can do any of this you need to ask yourself questions and do some research. Focus on the questions below to get you started on defining your brand. These are just a few to get your mind going. Really look at who you are and what you want others to see.
What is your target market? (For me it was Moms)
What is your niche market? (Moms that balance work and home with a focus on Entrepreneurs)
Who do you want to be indentified as?
What characteristics describe you?
How would your friends describe you?
How would your last manager describe you?
How would your clients or past clients describe you?
Are what you are wanting people to think about you and what they are thinking about you lining up?
What do you like to write about?
What do you like to read about?
What experience do you have?
What are you best at?
What do you need to work on?
What is your goal?
Does your target audience share in that goal?
Who do you look at as a mentor?
What is your greatest success?
What feelings do you want your brand to convey?
List in the comment section any questions that have helped you in discovering your brand and any tips!
Over the next 2 weeks I will be continuing this series.
- The 7 Habits Killing Your Personal Brand (outspokenmedia.com)
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