YOU Are the Brand (c) Charlie Page
How many times have we heard “Xerox this”, when the copier involved may not be a Xerox brand at all?
What brand do you think of when you hear the words “Just do it”?
How about ordering a “coke” when what you really wanted was another soda?
Branding is a powerful tool in our business lives. While Nike and Xerox are prime examples of this idea, all businesses can benefit from branding.
But can YOU, the solo operator of a small business (and this does apply even if you work at home alone) use branding to your advantage?
More importantly, does branding really matter in your life?
I believe the answer is yes. Not so much because you might “hit it big” and become the next Wal-Mart but because good branding lowers sales barriers.
Read that again …
Good branding lowers sales resistance.
Let me give you two examples from the online marketing world.
One is Armand Morin and the other is Alex Mandossian. Both are very successful online, one for creating the Big Seminar and a range of software tools.
The other for teaching people how to market online using tools like teleseminars.
These men have paid careful attention to branding and it has paid off.
But the KEY is this … they paid careful attention to branding from the beginning!
In how they wrote sales copy In how they provided customer service In how they worked with others In how they answered emails
Everything they did was with a mind toward creating a brand that said “this person delivers quality”.
Because of those efforts they are successful today.
AND, perhaps more importantly, when they introduce a new product or service it is met with happy anticipation, NOT skepticism.
Why? Because they created that image, that brand.
Now, how can YOU profit from this?
I believe there are seven ways you can begin today to build your brand.
It does not matter that you are not famous online.
It doesn’t even matter if you are yet to make your first dollar — thinking about branding now will pay big dividends in the future.
Here is a seven step formula that will give you a greatstart toward establishing yourself as the brand of choice.
* * * Know Where You Stand Now
What name pops into your customer’s mind when they need what you do? If it’s not your name, why not? Do you have a name or slogan that is easy to remember and clearly describes what you offer?
* * * Know Where You Want To Go
What do you want to be known for? Like it or not, customers will define us if we don’t define ourselves. Do you want to be the low-price leader? Do you want to be the value-added vendor?
We can’t (as much as we might like to) be everything to everyone. Choose a theme for your business and promote that theme at every opportunity. Soon, you will become associated with the ONE benefit that is your strong suit.
* * * Narrow Your Niche
Be such an expert in your field that you are the natural choice to call when what you do becomes what they need.
Marketing, either offline or online, creates the greatest impact when it frames YOU as the smart solution to a client’s problem.
* * * Give Away Some Work
If giving away your expertise means increasing your exposure, strongly consider it. You are BUILDING a reputation.
There is nothing wrong or manipulative in trading work for exposure, rather than cash. Sometimes a good word from an influential customer pays bigger dividends than the best advertising.
* * * Be Everywhere At Once
Oh, if only wishing made it so. The Internet can get you close.
If you market online, participate in several forums or blogs where decision makers and people of influence hang out.
Choose your answers very carefully, but answer every question you can, always bringing home the message that you are the best choice.
If you market offline, consider adjusting your budget to have a presence in each medium (TV, radio, print, billboard) to reach the widest possible audience.
* * * Listen And Follow Up
If you give your product or service (or even advice) to someone, follow up to see how it worked out. Be brief and humble, but follow up to make sure you are on the mark.
When you do this you not only evaluate the quality of what you have given, you have an excellent opportunity to see how it effects real people in the real world.
* * * KNOW Your Stuff
Nothing can replace the good will you create when you do your very best work for every client or friend.
The key factor in branding is this. On the most basic level, the level where clients live and work, your company is represented by a person.
In your business that person may be YOU.
If you really know your stuff, and are willing to invest some time, you can become the natural choice for solving problems that arise in your field.
When those calls come, or those emails arrive you can begin to build an endless chain of referrals that will carry your business to new heights.
And that is a beautiful thing indeed!
Charlie Page helps people succeed online with productsthat educate combined with personal support. To see all that Charlie offers, including a chance towork with Charlie personally, visit him now at http://www.RealWorldTactics.com