Do you think that people buy from you through logic? If you do, think again. People buy from people - emotionally. There may be no previous relationship with your business whatsoever but whether you are selling a product or a service if you can provide the market with a likeable profile it will relate to you, the marketplace will believe and therefore buy i.e. you are providing a Brand that people will respond to in the way you need, that is, emotionally.
What is it that sets you, as an individual, apart from your competition? What is your differentiator? In a marketplace where the brands are equal, the brand that sets itself apart is the one that will be successful, that is why Personal Branding is vital in order for your business to shape perceptions and build reputations around you and around your people.
Take a good look at yourself and your business. Are you selling a quality look and feel? Are your materials that you use to sell your business, such as your website, email header, business card, headed notepaper, logos etc. absolutely congruent with your own personal brand values? And are you presenting yourself to your optimum capability both online and offline? As an entrepreneur or owner-manager you are the cornerstone of your business and it is your core values that are at the base of everything going forward, including the people you hire matching your own values.
To generate an emotional response from the marketplace is easier than you think, your voice, your background, your sense of humour, and the way you personally present yourself will add valuable attributes and characteristics to your personal brand and help to develop your all-important reputation.
Online Personal Brand
Online, where the visual face-to-face contact we have when we buy and sell is missing, you have to develop your online personality so that, as in the real world, your virtual presence is likeable and emotionally connecting.
Position yourself. Use Personal Brand Marketing to commit your difference to your buyers’ memories. Brands are constantly positioned. Volvo is ’safe’, Honda is ’reliable’, Rolls-Royce is ’luxury’. Make your Personal Brand part of the marketplace’s ’mind share’ and build it using strategic intention to promote an honest, non-cynical, (authentic) and strong message about your
’Package’ yourself to deliver a congruent message alongside your goods and services to match your clients’ expectations, and position yourself and your company’s people in the hearts and minds of those clients. You are your product, communicate yourself; your people are your business, make every touch-point count.
It is much harder to teach an employee how to create and develop a great personal brand than it is to do the actual work, e.g. sell, market, or service, but you will find that once wholly embraced, having a ’great personal brand alongside average talent’ beats ’great talent and an average personal brand’ every time. Get the buy-in from your people to build a ’great people’ company. The ability to do the work within your company’s field of expertise is a given, the personal brand is what makes you unique
and builds your reputation.
Think about what you want people to be saying about you? Do you want to be recognised as the ultimate professional and expert in your field? Or would you prefer to be known as a great leader or motivator? A real people person? Fib to work with and do business with? Perhaps you’re a great problem-solver or known for your enthusiasm and ’can-do’ attitude in the office? Are you known for your influential network or for your unerring integrity and quality results? All these things will not necessarily make
you a superstar, athlete or famous public figure that all have their personal brands, but it will enable you to:
If you are passionate about your personal brand, the intensity of focus you create and the clear message you have will propel you to levels you never imagined.
Create the snowball effect and keep the ball rolling - exhibit to your potential clients that you are on the cutting edge of what is hot and what is not. Care about what people think of you, and reap the benefits. Personal branding is not optional. He who has the most likeable brand wins.
Tessa Hood runs Changing Gear Limited and has more than 35 years of media experience. She is a public speaker and coaches companies, business owners and CEOs on corporate image, executive style, personal branding and reputation management.