Your personal brand is as important as your company brand

Written on the 27 May 2015 by Snap Marketing

You've got a logo, your colours and maybe even a tagline for your company. The website is live, the signage is up and you're ready to start business.

But what about well, what about YOU? Whether you're starting a new business, refocusing your current business or breathing new life into your current brand, you represent your brand. Unless you're solely an online business, it's you that makes the first impression and closes the deal.

So what is your personal brand what does it entail? And what can you do to improve it?

Your personal point of difference

Your business 'elevator pitch' isn't enough. You need to know what YOU stand for. How are you different? Are you:
an expert in a particular area of your industry?
an 'on time and on budget' brand person?
a perfectionist?
a listener?
a collaborator?

In short - what is the ONE thing that you can offer your clients and potential clients that your competition can't? There is always something and that something is you. Make yourself the point of difference.

The most important part of developing a personal brand is this: make sure you deliver on what you promise, every single time. Otherwise, you will be branded as an 'over-promisor' or worse.

Your look

We are a shallow society, so you need to look the part. This doesn't mean wearing a suit or work dress it means dressing for your brand. If you're a plumber, your look should be completely different than an accountant. However, there are a few basic rules that apply across the board:
Be neat. Sure, if you're a painter you can have paint sprays across your clothes (this may even work for you). Just make sure that the basic rules of cleanliness apply to your personal brand, no matter how grubby you need to get during the course of your work.
If you're a tradie, how about having some polo shirts embroidered with your company logo and keeping a clean one for those days you go out to quote.
If you are expected to wear a suit, look at the little things are your nails clean? Is your hair tidy? Have you run a lint brush over yourself? Not everyone will judge you on the shine of your shoes, but make no mistake, some people will. Better to be safe than sorry.

The initial meeting

A few tips:
It doesn't matter what you do, who you are meeting or how casual your potential clients seem to be offer a handshake. There have been plenty of articles written about handshakes, and as long as it's positive, comfortable, not too firm and not too long, and offered before and after a meeting, you've made a good impression.
Watch your posture while walking, standing and especially while sitting.
Memorise their name(s). And make sure you pronounce them properly.
Don't fidget or cross your arms.
Listen and don't talk over the other person.
If someone mentions your competition, don't criticise them if you recognise their work just acknowledge whether or not you are aware of them.

Most importantly, make sure your personal point of difference comes through.

Spreading your personal brand

Make sure your personal brand is reflected in your company marketing tools. Your website, business cards, brochures or flyers even your quoting forms should reflect this. Here are other ways:
Do you work in an industry that involves networking? Consider joining relevant peak bodies or associations. Attending will help you create important relationships.
Consider PR. Journalists love a good story so think about an angle story around yourself and/or your business.
Social media is a great way to spread your personal brand.

Like it or not, we all have a personal brand. So you need to be aware of what it is and manage it strategically. Be clear about who you are and what you offer. Craft the message. Polish up your appearance. Then spread the word.


Author: Snap Marketing
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