POWERFUL AND PERSONAL – YOUR BRAND IS YOU
WHAT IS PERSONAL BRANDING?
It’s the work you do to make who you are – and what you do – known to potential clients and customers. It’s who you are personally and professionally. It’s the process of establishing a reputation as an influencer so people seek you out for your expertise.
Building your Personal Brand involves showcasing your greatest skills and qualities, defining what makes you incomparable and indispensable. Thanks to social media we now have a much easier way to communicate those aspects.
Back when I worked with Hyatt, I attended a sales conference in Chicago where one of the speakers was Sally Hogshead, the creator of a training program called “How to Fascinate.” It’s a personality assessment that helps uncover your superpower.
The questionnaire asks, “How do people describe you?” but limits you to just three words. This tool enables you to succinctly define how you are naturally suited to add value.
When I first took her assessment test, I discovered my three words were: Ambitious, Focused, and Confident. A few peers reminded me that I’m also Resourceful, Ethical, and Collaborative.
For defining your business, the benefit of this test is not to reveal how you see the world, but the exact opposite, because how the world sees you is your Brand.
At one conference where I was training with a group of other business travel sales managers, the moderator asked us, “What makes a business traveler choose your hotel over the one next door?” That is, if location wasn’t an issue. All our hotels offered free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast, welcome receptions, free parking, etc. Some people said, “We have a Starbucks in the lobby” and others added, “We have a newly renovated gym.” I raised my hand and simply stated: “Me. They get me.”
And what does that look like? A handwritten thank you note, tips on the town’s best happy hour to meet with clients, dry cleaning service setup, etc. They got all my knowledge and resources of the area. They got me.
WAYS TO CREATE BRAND AWARENESS
Be a Person, not a Company. When you get to know someone new, what do you like to explore with them? I like to discover their hobbies, passions, likes and dislikes, and more. I also pay attention to how they speak, the subjects they choose to talk about, and which topics raise their excitement level.
These are the traits your brand should determine and promote about itself. To leave an impact with your audience you’ve got to define yourself as more than a company that sells stuff. How else would you define yourself? What words would you use if you had to introduce your brand to a new friend?
Be Social. Post on social media about things unrelated to your product or services. Interact with your audience by asking questions, commenting on posts, or retweeting and sharing content you like. Treat your social accounts as if you were a person trying to make friends, not a business trying to make money.
Over 50% of brand reputation comes from online sociability. Being social leads to greater awareness and simply being known.
Tell Your Story. This offers something real for your audience to latch onto.
Crafting a narrative around your brand humanizes it and gives it depth. And weaving this narrative into your marketing inherently promotes your brand alongside your products or services.
What subject creates the best narrative? Anything … as long as it’s true. It can be the founder’s backstory, how your business hatched its first product idea, or a little-engine- that-could story about how your small business made it in this big world.
People are stimulated by storytelling and attracted to authenticity. It’s a combo that can lead to a big boost in brand awareness.
HOW DO YOU INCREASE BRAND AWARENESS?
Sponsor Events – Engage with your community by getting involved in local fundraisers and celebrations. Even if you are not a formal sponsor, volunteer time, announce it on your website, or interview charity officials for your newsletter.
Offer Free Services – You score points in positivity when you reach out to your neighborhood with complimentary services. You can develop a home improvement directory with free listings to boost marketing opportunities, for instance.
Offer Free Content – Collaborating with others is a form of cross-pollination. Create compelling content that lives on both brands’ websites. Start a podcast or a blog for maximum exposure.
WHEN YOU’RE STUCK, ASK AMANDA!
Not just with your brand – but in business, too!
Even with all these tips, sometimes you just need a little help to get started. Maybe you have specific questions about your brand, or ideas you need to run by someone on increasing brand awareness. Regardless of what’s standing in your way, it’s time to solve that problem – because an entire audience is waiting to discover you!
Remember, I’m always just a phone call away. With a simple consultation, we can develop your personal brand together, so you can build an audience that gets to know, like and trust you more every single day.
While you may notice her first by her infectious sense of humor, the next thing you’ll learn about Amanda Benson-Tilch is: She’s a problem-solver. Owner and Growth Strategist of Ask Amanda Consulting, she offers the skills, tools and network it takes to get the job done – no matter the task.
Working with each client differently, she helps identify blocks, present solutions, implement systems, and execute tasks. And if she can’t do it herself, she’ll connect you to someone who can. She’s helped past clients improve their branding, operations, customer service, marketing, company culture and more. She’s organized a company-wide rebranding and restructuring after a buyout. And she’s helped local small businesses double their revenue within a year. From consulting to full-scale project management, Amanda steps in to help your business level up.