Recently, I wrote an article on Personal Branding and Self-Promotion. I really felt that this article would have a positive effect for the visitors of Found By Design so I am presenting those same points here as well. I hope this helps and that you enjoy!
With so many major companies collapsing and several others merging just to survive, 2007 and 2008 have proven that personal branding and self-promotion are critical to personal success in business! One of my favorite (and most obvious) examples is the mortgage and banking industry. Many a mortgage loan officer have bounced from one company to another over the past couple years to simply survive. If these loan officers are relying on their company to provide their branding, they are making a major mistake! Have you heard the phrase “Too big to fail” thrown around lately? Given the current economy, do you still think your company is immune?
Now, in no way am I suggesting that you ignore or hide the brand of your company. But if you are simply relying on your company’s branding for business, all your hard work could prove to be in vain. So which are you promoting… your own personal brand or the company’s?
Take the Branding Test
Who provides your website and email?
I have long touted the importance of having your own website beyond the company provided website. If you are only using a company provided website, you have no control over the content. Most likely you will have the exact same content as other website provided by your company. If you work in a small firm, this may not be too bad, but if you happen to work for a large company, that content becomes very diluted. With so much “duplicate” content on your company provided website, there is no way that your individual website will stand out to the search engines, therefore you won’t be found! And what if your company closes or changes names? There goes all your promotion of the company’s website and email!
Look at your business card. What phone number is promoted?
The ability to contact you is critical to your success in business, correct? So why are you limiting your contact ability? 1,000 business cards handed over the past couple months with only an office number quickly become worthless if your company closes or you have to move. However, if those 1,000 business cards have a direct contact number on them, they will always be viable!
Its ok to include your office phone, but never miss the opportunity to provide your direct contact number. Inexpensive cell phone plans and “follow me” phone numbers are worth the investment and can always be promoted as your direct number. Follow Me numbers simply forward calls to the number of your choice, so you can easily update your office number if needed without having to change your direct number!
Do referral sources remember you or your company?
Sticking with the mortgage example, let’s see how Tommy was reffered to a loan officer by his friend Joe.
Tommy: “Hey Joe! I am thinking about looking for a new mortgage. Do you know any good loan officers?
Joe: “Yeah, there was this one guy I met… he works for ABC Mortgage Company. If I can find his card, I will get you his name and number.”
This is an example of weak personal branding! People should remember you first and have to find your card to remember the name of your business! If this example resembles how others refer business to you, you really need to step up your personal branding and self-promotion!
Locally, who is best known for your service?
If you just got started in your business, then I would expect your company to be known best for the services you offer. However, if you have been in your business for a while, people should know your name best, especially on a local basis. Your name should be synonymous with the product or service you offer locally. Even if your company has a nationally recognizable brand, your name should be on the top-of-mind locally! Do you need to step up your game?
The Bottom Line:
Self promotion and Personal Branding is critical to your own success. People buy because of you, regardless of your company name or logo. Your company may provide additional credibility, but it’s you they trust and buy from. Don’t hide your company, but you have to learn to promote yourself in front of your company. This way, no matter where you are now or down the road, you will always have business to work with.
So how did you do?
If you need to get started or improve your personal branding and self-promotion, Found By Design is poised to help! One of the best investments you can make in your personal branding is with a top quality website. More than just a website, you need a way to be found in the search engines and generate leads from that website… otherwise it just becomes another expense! Found By Design helps you create an online presence that d0minates the search engines and creates business leads to work. And with 80-90% of business prospects now doing online research before they buy, you can not afford to allow them to find your competition over you!
Send us an email or call 704-684-9438 for more information about developing an online presence that generates business!