When it comes to branding, one of the most important things to understand is that success comes with recognition and therefore a brand, if it is not recognized, will eventually end up losing to its competitors, regardless of how good its short-term revenue stream may well be. Why do I want to talk about personal branding? Because this is precisely what I’m trying to achieve here. I am trying to engage and blend in with the crowds. I want to talk to EVERY SINGLE PERSON that has the same interests as me. I don’t care about selling you my marketing services or building you a website. I have plenty of work as is but the long term engagement and recognition is much more valuable for me than couple of side projects.
Generally speaking I’m not someone who cares about the money too much. Obviously it’s important to pay your bills and take care of your family, but I simply cannot understand people who are driven by the desire to acquire money and go on a shopping spree. For me that’s mostly a sign of insecurity. Yeah it’s cool to show up to your friend’s house with that new BMW and make everyone jealous. Well I and many other people believe that not giving a damn what everyone thinks is the first step to the success. You shouldn’t go around trying to shine too much. Focus on what really matters. Yeah, you might not have that fancy beamer proving people wrong, but the real proof is for yourself. The only person you need to proof things is the one in the mirror and that’s the only thing you need to remember when we are talking about personal branding and success.
I don’t care who you are or how poor you’ve been raised. There is no excuse to invest $50,000 in a car instead of in yourself. You know what the funny part is? The personal brand itself it’s not necessarily something that requires tons of money. I am not talking about luxury press releases and crazy media coverage. I am talking about the way your customers and the people you are interacting with, think about you. That’s it.
Nothing good is ever easy and here is why….
If you put the work and strategize for customer satisfaction instead of maximizing profits you will be right where you need to be. It’s almost like being yourself instead of being that shady marketer that “knows all”. I am talking from a perspective of a marketer because this is what I am, but the same thing applies to many different businesses. With the right amount of money you can easily convince curtain people that you are what they are looking for. The real shock comes when it’s time to deliver results and you have nothing. I am going to be extremely honest right now. I never had client that wasn’t satisfied with my work. Of course that happens because I am very straightforward with the results they can expect. A lot of customers are reaching out to me, wanting to hire me, to help them move their sales to the next level, but I understand that not every project is right for me and I’m not right for every project.
To help you understand that I want to share 3 things:
1. Be realistic about what you can and cannot provide. It’s crucial
Not delivering what you promised sucks! If you don’t want to have that, be aware of who you are and what you can provide. I am not saying that you don’t need to take risks sometimes. Earlier in my career I took risks and this is how I figured things out. I am just saying that you need to be real. That’s part of your personal brand.
2. Research before you say “yes”
Making money is not the most important thing. Remember that, because you will have opportunities to make them on a high price. The price of jeopardizing your personal brand. The project and the people who you will be working with are not always right for you. Learn to pick and choose your battles (projects).
3. Do the extra mile when necessary
Doing whatever is right is exactly what you need to do. Work hard and don’t be afraid to put extra work even if you didn’t get paid for it. That will help you build your personal brand tremendously, especially in an early stage.
How many times did you get an email from a client, asking for something little? My advice is – do it. The personal connection and communication is super important.
Recently I hired a 3rd party company to help me with a media production that I wasn’t able to create in-house. The reason I fired them? Not because they weren’t good. They were actually really good, but their communication was so bad, that I just didn’t want to talk to them. Just the thought of communication with these people was a constant reminder about how much time they were wasting in useless emails and empty talks instead of action.
…But it is prudent to note that the same concept can be overshadowed completely if there is no personal touch involved in it.
Windows is a truly iconic brand but it has always been represented by the personal touch of Bill Gates. Similarly, Apple truly came into its own due to the personal touch of Steve Jobs.
Both of these remarkable business leaders created their own signature image based on their personalities that went on to become a standard around which their many fans and by extension, their customers learnt to recognize.
After all, if your brand has to have a face why not make it yours. This is because people in today’s world have learnt to trust people more than faceless corporations. This is why I put my name instead of coming up with some fancy agency name. After all advertisements are pretty ubiquitous and permeate almost every aspect of our lives with a near endless barrage of adverts. To sift through them all and opt for one particular brand definitely involves the personal touch. This way your end consumers will see ‘you’ as a person rather than your brand alone, that may come off as a soulless money making enterprise. When you are using your own personality as a means of stamping your personal touch on your brand you are in effect, turning it from a corporation into a living breathing entity.
And it is all the easier to do today due to the advent of social media. When you use your own personal account to answer all relevant queries then you will be able to generate a certain level of trust thanks to your interaction with our customers. Not only will you be able to learn about the issues they face first hand, but by actively solving the same, you will be able to gain their trust as well. And trust is the single most important factor in creation a conversion. People do not like forking away their money until and unless they trust a specific brand. And the best way to gain that trust is to give the brand a face.
If you are able to do so and also consistently deliver on quality than it will be easy for you to keep well ahead of your competition.