What is it that makes you unique? What differentiates you from your competition in your line of business? We all know no matter what we sell, there are others that sell the same (or almost the same) product and sometimes will do it for less.
What makes you different? I’ve asked here before, Why Should I Buy From YOU?
Without sounding too hip and cool, the real difference is your personal brand. You’re Coke and they’re Pepsi. You’re Brand X and the competition is Brand Y.
So, what are you doing to build YOUR brand? How are you promoting YOU? Do clients in your industry think of you first? They should. When you successfully build the brand that is YOU, you obtain that top-of-mind awareness when clients need or want your products or services.
However, here is something that might surprise you: You have a personal brand whether YOU control it or not. Think about that. Your actions, your character and how clients perceive you is real and it is establishing a pattern and a reputation for you. But, are you controlling it or is someone else?
In order to take control of your own personal brand you must consistently deliver—time and time again—earning a reputation as someone that others should WANT to do business with. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. But, you must start now.
Do your sales materials—from business cards to customer forms scream professionalism? They should.
Do you market yourself as much as your product? Remember our discussion of being the expert? That builds a brand—your brand!
Rome wasn’t built in a day and your brand won’t be established by tomorrow but you should be conscious of it and at least working to control it. (You have to gain control of it before you can build it into what you want)
Take every opportunity to position yourself in a positive light—speak at events, write a newsletter for customers, set up a blog about events in your industry. Become the “go to” person for customers and potential customers. If you sell financial services you should be like the old EF Hutton commercials, “when you talk, people listen.”
Don’t be afraid to be creative and have fun with your brand. Nobody said you had to be the most serious. A great example is the (fairly) new company DollarShaveClub.com. They’ve built quite a brand through some tremendous tongue-in-cheek promotion all the while delivering a great product and service. The key is to be different!
It’s YOUR brand. Build it and they will come!