You might not believe this; we are all salespersons. You sell your commodity on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. I joined most of the social media to connect. Why should I want to connect? Because I believe I have something different to offer to my connections. I know I am M.A.D because I Make A Difference. Many times people send me a friend connection on LinkedIn, and the moment you connect, they don’t waste time to sell you their product. What made you think your product is the first of its kind for me? Most times, they are selling to you what you already have. So I asked, why should I leave a relationship I have established for many years and sign-up with you? They go about the cost. Sometimes the price is not about money, but you have to equate and put everything together, the bigger picture, looking at the long term.
Recently, I employed someone that will cost me £7000 more for a project because of the way they connected, collaborated, understood my requirement, shared the same passion, took ownership of their part of the project, etc. The list is endless. It is not about reducing prices. It is a total package of customer-centric. Customer-centric is a way of doing business with your customer in a way that provides a positive customer experience before and after the sale to drive repeat business, customer loyalty and profits. If you cannot satisfy me from the onset, there is no need for wasting time. I am too busy to have another time to spend trying to build a relationship I don’t feel from the beginning. It may sound harsh, but it is what it is.
Some people become nasty when they cannot get what they want from you. They forget about the long game. They don’t want to be in your corner the moment they are unable to sell to you. They have the right to tag you as a time waster, but if they did, it means their product has no value. There are many ways to offer help without selling. The people you are trying to sell to have connections, and because of your sincerity, honesty, values, and the passion for assisting, they can introduce their world to you. I am saying this because I have a client I never subscribe to his service, but I like his approach, so I have included him in my cycle, and he will have at least a thousand potential clients through me once we finish setting up our virtual digital academy.
When I talk about branding, I am talking about you. The Online Business Dictionary defines a Brand as Unique design, sign, symbol, words, or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies a product and differentiates it from its competitors. Over time, this image becomes associated with a level of credibility, quality, and satisfaction in the consumer's mind (see positioning). Thus brands help harried consumers in a crowded and complex marketplace, by standing for certain benefits and value.
Everyone on LinkedIn has a personal profile with different work experience that describes their brand to differentiate them from others. We all portray our credibility, quality so that we can satisfy our prospect. Some even add testimonials from their clients to show how valuable they are. Truth is you created your brand without knowing you did. You didn’t advertise or spend money, and yet you are a brand. It is essential to understand how you have branded yourself. If you don’t, then you need to stop reading, take time to figure out how you have branded yourself. It is essential you know the brand you are showcasing to the world to see.
You should be able to identify your brand with just three words that capture what you do most of the time. Think of people you admire and you will find that you respect them for the thing they do the most. That is their brand. Start making a list of who you are. It can be quite significant because you are a person capable of many things. You should figure out your brand before you sell yourself because then it will be easy to sell your commodity. I had a meeting some weeks back with an agent in the city. I thought the meeting was for a cuppa, but it turned out not to be. It was a fact-finding meeting. They wanted to know me. They have read my profile, but they want to meet and understand me. The meeting refused to end. We ran over the allocated time because of the connections. They informed me that they could sell me because they understand my brand more after meeting me in person.
Branding and advertising are about the results of your action and not your expenditures. What is the brand you are creating today? How do people see you? Your brand is the most valuable asset you have and will determine your value in the marketplace. Can people trust you? Can they recommend you to their friends, colleagues, and loved ones?
Become an imaginary journalist. Start collecting facts about your profession, and personal life and write a biography about you. Toss it all in there: your looks, personality, education, job titles, hobbies, passions, talents, awards, charity work, family life. Be honest about your finding. Read your biography. What does it say about you? What have you found out about you? Are you impressed by what you read about this person (you)? What do you need to change? What keywords in your bio summarise you? Talking about the keywords, you should find an image you can use to describe them. What do you want to change?
Identify your core values because they are your operating principles. They impact your behaviour and feelings. Your values help you create your sense of purpose and direction for your brand. They act as guideposts that support you in appraising the choices in your life. Your values are the emotional currency of your life. What makes you happy or angry? What’s your biggest hope or dream? How do you stand out from the crowd because personal branding is all about standing out? What makes you unique? What situation makes you feel angriest or most annoyed? How you present, yourself matters a lot when talking about your brand. Your network is also essential. The people you hang out with could determine the value of your brand. Your habit can influence your brand, as well.