Branding yourself will result in targeted, quality leads coming in to your business.
First, let’s clarify what “branding yourself” means.
To begin with, you are a unique individual with talents, gifts, abilities, experiences and a story that no one else has to offer. No matter what you’ve been doing, there are people out there who have been where you were, and they can relate to your story.
Your story and all that it entails makes you uniquely YOU.
So let’s talk about “branding”…
When I say these brands, what do you think of?
No matter who you are, you are thinking:
(black and white) cookies
The top list are the brands… the second list is what the brand provides. You see the logo, the brand name, the product everywhere. When someone hands you a bowl of gelatin, you thank them for the Jell-O, even if it is store brand gelatin.
Because the product and the brand are synonymous…there is almost no distinction between them.
What does Jell-O have to do with YOU?
People know you for something. You have certain characteristics that draw friends to you, that compel people to trust you, like you and have a relationship with you. Your name becomes synonymous with those things that they adore about you (or in some bad cases, what they deplore about you).
When someone says “Mary Smith” the people that love Mary automatically feel that love, and it makes them smile. Of course, on the flip side is “Pete Scam” which bring up the emotions of anger and resentment.
Your brand is who you ARE. You are unique based on the life you experience and the things you share.
So, your brand is YOU. Your name and your experience, as well as what emotions you invoke in others by their personal interaction with you. What are you currently invoking in others right now?
Let’s bring this around to business…your business.
Let’s just work with your name. For this example, let’s say you are Mary Smith. Of course, it is a very common name, and if that bothers you, you may feel more confident with a nickname. I would recommend not stressing over this too much. You can be “Mary Smith from California.” You are still Mary.
Steer away from giving yourself a title that says you are an expert in something you are not, ex: “Mary Smith, Facebook Expert” may get a lot of attention, but at the same time, if you don’t have the experience, results, social proof to back it up, it can turn against you and soon, you may be known as “Mary Smith, Facebook Scam Artist.”
Here’s a real life example of how you don’t have to have some “fancy brand”. There is one gentleman who is a rocking gentleman in the online industry. He is a top earner in his primary company, does training for his team and other companies and is highly respected. His brand has become… “Ed from Ohio”. People only know him that way… and they seek him out to work with, based on that brand he’s created. His last name is a bit tricky to say and to spell. But, if you googled “Ed from Ohio” right now…yep, you’d find him on page 1 of Google! And, if you asked people about him, they would have great things to say about him, probably smiling and sharing their gratitude. That is branding.
As you gain credibility and respect from the people around you, as Ed from Ohio did, people that you have already provided value to will want to partner with you in business. And, people who “stumble” across you or hear your name from others, will do the same. You will attract people in to your business quite easily at that point.
Your Brand is What/How You Serve Others
So, Mary Smith from Cali… you’ve already got your name…that part is easy. The next part is to get others to know your name; to speak of you fondly and recommend you to others. If you have tried this before and it didn’t go the way you planned, no worries… you can start from here.
Let’s begin with a list. You need to take inventory of all of the talents, gifts, abilities you naturally possess. Include all of your real world experiences as well as things that others have told you that you were really good at doing. This is just for brainstorming, so don’t worry over the logistics right now. Write down hobbies that you enjoy, interests you have a great deal of knowledge about and so on.
Where most online business owners miss the mark is they “brand” themselves as a representative of XYZ company. You want to be Mary Smith…the lady who gives tons of value…
…oh and happens to partner with XYZ company.
It’s an afterthought.
It’s what you only share when people say, “Hey, you’ve taught me so much. I want to partner with you…what company are you with?”
You should go out there and start sharing some of what you know. Not everything, or you’ll end up broke. But, instead of trying to push XYZ company, how about look at the people around you and see where they struggle. Then, look at your inventory (brain storming list) and see what YOU can offer to them for free or very inexpensively, that will help them where they struggle.
Position yourself as an expert.
Create a stir around who YOU ARE.
Here’s another real world example:
I know a lady named Sandi. She was known for calling thousands of leads and never getting a sale. Once she plugged in to some training and invested in herself, her business started to grow. From there, she went in deep to learn copywriting. She now owns runs an International company with thousands of people on her list (leads), not to mention making a 6-figure income and helping others do the same. She is now highly respected and sought after as a copywriting genius and a creator of 6-figure income earners. Her name and the expertise she provides is synonymous.
Where to go from here?
I know this is long, so I will wrap it up here with some bullet points:
Stop branding yourself as (just another) XYZ company representative
Figure out in what way you can position yourself as an expert.
Provide value to your existing circle of influence and/or contacts, team members, business partners
Create momentum from a free or low-cost service or product you can give value with (of your own, ideally)
Ask for testimonials from those who you have shared your service/product with
I believe in YOU,
PS: If you are in need of coaching to get this process stream-lined, just click on the Contact Us tab or the Coaching tab at the top of the page, so we can connect and work through the process together.
Joy Marino loves to write about subjects that she personally has struggled with, and overcame, in the hopes to help others do the same.