You’re Branded!

25 Jun

Whether you’re starting a new career, advancing your current career, building a new business, or just graduating from college, you need to build your brand. Years ago, we used the buzzwords “image” and “identity” to define our public selves. However, with social media and Internet speed and access, we are now “brands.” Let’s face it. If we don’t proactively nurture and grow our brand, it will be identified by our tacit acceptance of the comments of others. In other words, we’ll be conspicuous by our absence and lack of attention. And rarely can a company or individual be professionally successful when they’re invisible.

Define Yourself/Company
Create a list of how you identify yourself, your skills, and your company. Who are you and what do you bring to the table that is unique? The great news is that everyone is a unique individual. But, in the business world, not every businessperson stands out in the crowd. Often, we are labeled by the brand of our job title. Don’t be “the sales guy that sold me my car.” Instead, give your customer a reason to identify you by name and a problem you solved for them. Something special. This is the type of individuality that causes others to refer new business or opportunities to you.

Identify the Problem You Solve
People don’t hire other people or companies simply because they have a need to be filled.  They hire you because they have a problem and are looking for a solution. Define how you are the solution. The marketplace is crowded for just about everything. You, your product, or services need to offer something that others don’t. As a person, you should possess a special skills or distinctive experiences that enhance your ability to solve a customer’s problem.

Establish Yourself as a Thought Leader
Be more that a resume. Demonstrate your knowledge, experience, and passion for your field through a blog, video, how-to guide, volunteer work, or speaking engagements. Thought leaders take all shapes and sizes. What’s important is that you’re passionate about your subject matter and able to demonstrate the value of your knowledge.

Create a Network of Opportunity
Use social media tools, local area events, and conventions/trade shows to connect with others in your field. This takes some homework. You’ll need to research where your peers, colleagues, and target audience “live.” Spend time in the “neighborhood” to listen to their concerns, best practices, and gaps in knowledge. Most importantly, take good notes and follow-up on any potential action items.

At the end of the day, building your brand takes time, patience, and an ongoing commitment.

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One Response to “You’re Branded!”

  1. jrosenatkins June 25, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    Great blog! So true, so true. A big take away for me is, don’t try to be everything for everyone. You will end up being nothing to no one.

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