Your brand is your identity whether you are a large corporation, an independent contractor, or a sole proprietor. Your brand reflects who you are, your values and your purpose. Chances are you have already developed the basis of a personal brand – possibly without even meaning to! Your logo, email signature, and business cards are all components of your personal brand. If you have not done this yet, we have a great article to help! These items identify you or your company through colors, verbiage and imagery specific to your company. Additionally, your sales results, networking skills, and interpersonal communication style are all characteristics of your personal brand. Your reputation, which is an effect of your branding, can be controlled. You should put some thought into how you want to be perceived by your target audience (this is a good time to create or reevaluate buyer personas) and drive that message through your branding. Essentially, branding is the foundation for your reputation and it is critical that you deliberately grow your brand in order to use it to its full advantage.
So, how can you grow your personal brand in order to strengthen your reputation? We will share some simple tips to help you on your journey!
Develop a Unique Selling Proposition
It is important to take time and analyze your brand in order to identify what it is that you do best. Conduct some primary market research by asking former and existing customers about their experiences with you through surveys and outreach. Also, research your competitors to find out how they position themselves. What aspect of your personal style sets you apart? Use all of your collected data to develop a unique selling proposition (USP) – a persuasive message that communicates how your products or services stand apart from those of your competitors.
Create a Brand Roadmap
The key to developing a solid brand is consistency. Once you’ve determined your brand’s strengths, the things that you do best, you need to then create a plan to share this with your target audience. A brand roadmap is a great way to organize your thoughts before creating a marketing plan. The brand roadmap pulls together your “why” and “how” of your business. Why do you exist? What is your purpose? How do you plan to accomplish this? Once you have developed your brand roadmap the next step is to share this core messaging with your target audience through a marketing campaign. Your goal is for people to recognize you or your brand and to have a positive association based on your messaging.
Deliver Your Message
Delivering your message to your target audience takes time and commitment. There are many ways to get your message out to the world including email, advertising, published articles and social media. To get started quickly, read about some social media marketing strategies that we suggest implementing!
Get Your Brand Recognized
Brand recognition is the ultimate goal when developing your personal branding. In order to start developing brand recognition, be sure that both your logo and unique selling proposition (USP) are included on all client-facing documents and forums – including your web site, stationery, web directories, marketing materials, and social media accounts. In the case of branding without a visual aspect (radio, voicemail, etc.) make sure your website and USP are included every single time. Repetition creates memory, the more someone hears your brand information the more likely they are to retain it and recognize you later.
Let Your Brand Personality Shine
Personal branding goes beyond the written, verbal, and visual components of you or your company. Personal branding, as motioned before, can be the collective personality of your company. Are you known to be fun and easy going? Are you a straight shooter with an affinity for perfection? Or, are you somewhere in between the two? Your brand personality is an important part of your identity and it should be cohesive with all of your other branding aspects. Every meeting and interaction you have with prospective and existing customers, colleagues, and vendors is part of the brand and reputation which you are creating. How you conduct yourself when prospecting or networking should be in line with your personal brand or that of the company.
Remember that you are your business. When carefully planned and developed, your personal brand will amplify your strengths and begin to work for you – creating opportunities, attracting customers, and closing sales. It is more important now than ever to create a solid personal brand. With new companies being born every day, and a transient and extremely digital world, it is easy to get lost in the shuffle. Make sure to know what you do best and promote that genuinely and authentically!
If you find you need assistance in jump-starting your brand strategy, contact an integrated marketing firm.
About Millennium Agency
Millennium Agency is a national, award-winning branding, storytelling/messaging and strategy firm.. With offices in Boston and New Hampshire, our team unites creative branding and data analytics to accelerate our clients’ growth, while combining our clients’ vision with our marketing expertise to increase sales opportunities and drive brand success. From video advertising and web design to social media and PR, Millennium can guide your marketing efforts every step of the way. Contact the professionals at Millennium Agency to learn more!