There is an awful lot of talk online about personal branding, yet so many business owners and self-employed professionals neglect this. They rely far too heavily on their company brand, using it like a crutch. When it comes to the bare bones of personal branding, you need to remember three things:
1. Your brand needs to be entertaining.
2. Your brand needs to be engaging.
3. Your brand needs to be content driven.
Overwhelmed yet? Good. You should be. Pushing yourself forward is the only way to strive to the top. However, if you want a good, solid jumping off point for your brand, start by answering the following questions.
1. Can you imagine your future?
In order to be a successful brand, you need to be a visionary. You need to take ownership of creating a vision for the future of your brand, and you need to define that vision for your customers.
Convey a powerful message to your customer base, alongside an invitation to join you in that creation. Having a call to action; a request for help, makes your customer base far more inclined to assist you in creating your brand…whatever you want that brand to become.
For example, solicit reviews and constructive criticism from your customer base, making sure they know your company is committed to becoming stronger, better and faster based on what they want, what they need and what is important to them.
2. What are you really selling?
“Just do it,” had nothing to do with selling shoes. Nike was selling ideas: determination, no quitting and strength were the cornerstones that marketing campaign was built on. Don’t be a “vanilla” marketer. Think about the emotion you want to sell. How does your widget make a customer feel? Time tested marketing methods show that people are far more inclined to engage with a brand that makes them feel a certain way, than a brand just inundating them with “stuff.” And, as cliché as it might sound, you need to think outside the box.
3. How do you commit to change?
The only thing constant in life is change. Instead of focusing on marketing your widget or service, focus on telling stories. Craft content around how your product or service has changed or improved lives. Re-invent the lost art of storytelling to engage your audience in a new way, by showing them how your brand is committed to changing things, because it isn’t afraid to do things differently.
Remember: People do business with people (and brands) that are genuine, authentic and that they trust. One of the best ways to build trust – and engagement – is by telling the story of who you are and what your brand is doing to innovate and change things for the people currently using it.
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