What is a personal brand, and why do you need one? Your brand is in essence your reputation. Whether you’re running a million dollar megastore or a local small town boutique, your reputation is one of the most important assets you have in business, especially where customer loyalty plays a big role. A successful brand is built on what is real and authentic about you, and people know an authentic brand when they see one. Building your personal brand takes work, but those who are willing to put in the time and effort see big results. Here are some tips to help you fast-track your brand building and take you, your store and your brand to the next level.
Strategy for Building Your Brand
Take massive action. Determine who you want to reach and what you want to accomplish. Analyze your customer base. Look at the people you have on your team. Who can help you build your brand, and what outside resources will be required? If you’re going to invest time and resources anyway, you might as well accelerate the process and get it done faster. The more committed you are to massive action, the faster you’ll see results.
Get comfortable being a brand and put yourself out there. It is so important to think of yourself as a brand. You are a leader with a reputation you can leverage, but you can’t build a brand sitting in your office. You have to get out there. There’s no substitute for shaking hands, showing up, and making a personal connection. Have a presence in your store and meet the people who buy your products.
Do the things only you can do. No one else can write a book that has your name on the cover. But you can rely on a lot of other people to help make it successful. The marketing director at your company can set up speaking engagements, and the PR firm can pitch interviews. The point is to focus your time and energy on the activities that you do well, and let others do what they know how to do, like marketing strategy (online, in-store, etc.).
Help other people get what they want. Don’t underestimate the power derived from helping others. People will remember your generosity, and they will tell other people about you. They won’t forget the favor you did for them. Helping other people is a fast-track brand building activity, and you can also feel good about giving back.
Ask yourself, “What do I want to do that I haven’t done yet?” That word, “yet,” is important. It implies you want to stretch and grow. Where do you want to be known? What are you doing well? What aren’t you doing yet that you’d like to do well? Investing in success is important for any size business. It takes time, money and planning to build a brand, but you can accomplish a lot with a little if you’re smart and have a good team. You’ll be excited about the outcomes, and see direct results from what you achieved. Commit to raising your visibility and seize opportunities as they come along.
Suzanne Bates is author of the new book, “Discover Your CEO Brand: Secrets to Embracing and Maximizing Your Unique Brand as a Leader.” Founding CEO of Bates Communications, a firm that transforms leaders into powerful communicators who get results, Visit Bate’s website at www.bates-communications.com.