As a young entrepreneur its essential to know how to promote yourself and your work if you want to be successful. If you want to be really successful then it’s crucial to understand how to grow your personal brand.
Wikipedia defines a brand as Brand is the “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s product distinct from those of other sellers”
What’s important to note here is that it says “distinct from other sellers” in such a crowded market, it’s so important to understand yourself and your work as a brand and how to stand out.
Whether you are self employed or work for someone else, understanding how to grow your personal brand is the next step in business growth and personal success.
I coach entrepreneurs and small business owners how to raise their profile, over come limiting beliefs and build their personal brand, here are 10 of my favorite ways that YOU can start growing your brand.
1. Get clear on what your brand is
One of the very first things I do with new clients is have them get really clear on their brand. What is represents, what it aims to deliver and most important, what is stands for.
It’s essential that you are really clear on your personal brand because if you aren’t then potential clients wont be either.
Think about where in the market place your brand fits in
2. Know what you want
Once you know what your brand is and you are clear on what it represents you need to set goals for yourself and your business.
Where do you want to be in 3 months time? 6 months? This time next year?
As I say in my coaching program “Setting goals is the start of achieving them” so I’d like to encourage you to write down some clear goals. This will give your work a new focus and direction and something to help you check your progress.
3. The way you think
They way we think affects everything that we do, especially when it comes to promoting ourselves and our work.
The reason I say this all the time is because we will only ever let ourselves go as far as we think is possible for us. No more and no less, we literally set the parameters of how far we can go within our own minds.
When it comes to growing your business and making more money or achieving a goal, the way you think is about 80% of the battle.
You’ll want to start looking at your beliefs and seeing which ones work for you and which could do with replacing, how comfortable are you promoting your work? What would you need to believe about yourself for this to feel more natural?
4. Create a loyal following
In order to be a strong brand that people keep coming back to you need to focus on adding value to your clients experience with you or in other words give people what they want and make them feel special.
There are millions of people and brands out there vying for peoples attention and custom, make sure yours is one that not only stands out but also is an easy yes for people.
If there are 10 consultants available to work with, the one who offers to most care, support and service will usually be the busiest , as opposed to the ones who just invoice and then log off once session is up. How can you make working with you an easy yes?
5. Develop strong business relationships
It is so important to seek out the right people and then build relationships with them personally and professionally when you are growing your personal brand.
I’ve found that people who know you personally are much more likely to do business with you and vice ve. Going to networking events relevant to your industry (or the one you’re planning to enter) is essential.
One of the keys to building strong relationships is trust. Always make sure that you deliver more than you promise, are reliable and offer a great service instead of just expecting people to help you out.
You can join online groups with like-minded people. Facebook, LinkedIn, or any one of the multitudes of forums that now exists on the Internet. They all have one thing in common, to bring people together. Join some, and DO NOT simply become an observer; contribute and take part. People like leaders, doers – a brand and a person with something to say.
6. Get featured in the media
You can have the best business in the world, or be as fabulously talented as you like but if people don’t know about you, it is like shouting in a noisy, crowded room-You know what your saying but no one else does.
One of the best ways to get attention for your business is to place publicity on websites, magazines and radio stations that speak to your target audience. Public relations is all about raising and maintaining a profile.
Look for websites, blogs and newsletters that are relevant to your field that you would like to appear in. Spend a few hours on this either using Google or going to a book store (if you ask, they can give you a list of titles in different subject lists). Create a list of at least 25 publications that you would like to see your business in.
7. Brand Partnerships
I want you to develop what I call a collaborative mentality. Rather than seeing other business’s and people as a threat, see them as opportunities to create mutually beneficial relationships with.
Ideally you will want to collaborate with brands that are in the same sector and serve roughly the same market as you and who together, can add more value to your customers experience.
For example, if you are a personal trainer you could link up with a nutrition company to give your clients a special rate on supplements. If you are about to open your own spa, then you could look for healthy restaurants or juice bars near-by to collaborate with and either arrange mutual discounts for customers or giveaways, free gifts, or discount vouchers when you buy lunch at that restaurant.
8. Do what you’ve been putting off
Whenever someone tells me that they are stuck I have them make a list of everything they have been putting off doing that they know would make the biggest difference for them. This isn’t meant to be judgmental or cause any guilt, it’s to show clients that we are never really stuck-there is always something we can do to move forward.
Remember, we only ever get results from the things that we do.
There’s an excellent quote by Carl Jung that I love that says “We are what we do, not what we say we will do”
9. Your image
Image is one of the most important aspects to any successful brand and especially when it comes to you and the way you present yourself. Think about what sort of image you want your brand to have and then make sure that you are embodying that yourself. There isn’t anything superficial about this, the way we present ourselves speaks volumes about us. Whatever industry you are in-you need to look the part.
Present yourself for the position you want to be in !
10. Constantly upgrade
If you want to constantly make progress and move forward with your goals, then constant learning and improvement is essential.
Invest in the best help you can get, study things that you aren’t sure how to do well and give yourself the best chances of success by investing in yourself and your learning and nothing can stop you !
Ryan James lock is the founder of www.beingyourownpublicist.com and coaches entrepreneurs and small business owners on overcoming limiting beliefs while growing their business and raising their profile. Sign up for weekly Mindset coaching and PR strategies on www.beingyourownpublicist.com and receive your FREE audio coaching program! You can like his Face Book page for more strategies and coaching here.
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