Day 18: Branding Yourself and Your Business

So the American Marketing Association defines a brand as a “Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. A brand may identify one item, a family of items, or all items of that seller.

-Wikipedia

Livestock branding is a technique for marking livestock so as to identify the owner. -Answers.com

So what is Branding when it comes to yourself or business? There has been lot’s written about this. If you Google “Personal Branding” you will see over 2 million results. If you Google “Brand Your Business” you will receive over 620 million results.  There have been books written on it and entire careers built around helping others “build their brand”.

So Branding Yourself and Your Business is vital with today’s online influence. So the question becomes how? Well the good news is that it is a  lot easier to brand yourself in today’s digital environment than it was 10 to 15 years ago.  Here are some great ideas that I found from a blog titled :

Brand yourself: whether you work for a corporation, run your own business, or freelance, use your name to gain significant power and influence – Career Management by Ann Brown

Step 1: Find your niche.

“Do this by ‘looking at the patterns of your life’, Norma Thompson Hollis” There are certain themes that keep popping up in your life. This might be your brand.  In the last several years I have begun the process of branding my name and business as a leader in Social Strategy, Entrepreneur, Author, Trainer and Speaker. My favorite line that I say when people asked me how I go here is “I survived corporate America”.

Step 2: Is your Brand marketable?

Max D. Ellzey, Ed.D., owner of Culver City, California-based The Ellzey Group and president of the Los Angeles chapter of Professional Coaches and Mentors asks his clients “What need can you satisfy better than anyone else, and how much are they willing to pay you for satisfying that need”. I keep asking myself that question and it is a question that you need to keep asking yourself continuously as you define your identity.

Step 3: Seek professional help.

There are many sources to help you in your search for the right professional help. You can find a coach through (www.coachfederation.com) fee based , your local chamber of commerce or SCORE (www.score.org) free resources and tools.

Step 4: Promotion, Promotion, Promotion.

Speak or hold a seminar for free. “Test your skills and get feedback. It’s also an opportunity to sell your product or services.” Ellzey suggests. Brendon Burchard has a great series on how to become an Expert in Expert’s Academy, author “The Millionaire Messenger”. After you speak for free paid offers of speaking may follow. Also start posting online in groups that are where your audience is or where others are sharing information regarding your particular field of expertise. Join in on the conversation and discussions. Be active, be aware and be persistent.

Step 5: Branching your brand.

To take your brand in other areas partner with other organizations and companies. This is a great way to branch out your brand. But be very specific and picky when creating strategic alliances.  Make sure the alliance can help move your brand forward.

Step 6:  Going beyond the brand.

“Once your brand has become popular, look for ways for it to sell itself”, says Ann Brown. The “4 hour work week” by Timothy Ferriss discusses ways of “Outsourcing Life” and creating Automation. “Be careful, however, not to spread your brand too thin” says Dr. Barbara Walton of KTD Coaching Services, (www.knowthedifference.com), “especially if it isn’t in alignment with your vision”.

So go forth and brand yourself cowboy or cowgirl! Set yourself a part from the crowd.

Les Adkins is the CEO of  Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Media Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn

 

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