December 31, 2019
What came first, the business or the brand? If your answer is the latter, get ready to make a lot more money.
Because having a personalized brand is no longer an option.
Have you ever taken a second to think about what exactly is it about your business that makes you unique? Or, why some clients stay loyal to your business and continuously refer you to others?
Almost all of my client’s immediate answer to that question is simple: “They know me.”
And coming in hot as the world’s second most generic answer would be the ever popular: “We have excellent customer service.”
First of all, one should only hope that all businesses’s prioritize customer service.
While there is a special je ne se pais about a business you can call and actually be put in touch with a human, it’s not what the brand identity should be based on.
Second, as vague as it sounds, having a client come back to you because “they know you” is a HUGE deal. But this information is useless if you don’t expand on why.
Because, despite there being hundreds (or maybe even thousands) of professionals such as yourself in your area who are currently offering the same exact services, no one does it quite like you.
When it comes to your business strategy, there isn’t a need to reinvent the wheel. You know what you’re doing and you do it well. But is your brand telling the same story?
If you were to put all of your former clients in a room, what would they say about working with you?
I know what you’re thinking, “I already know what they say, just check out my reviews.”.
And guess what? You’re not wrong. Reviews reveal copious amounts of beneficial information about your business… until you get a bad one.
Even if you haven’t gotten a single bad review, you cannot build a brand based on the good things people have to say about you. But what you can do is use that as leverage.
When people choose you, they are trusting your expertise and that, my friend, is where you get your brand.
Reviews are just examples of how your awesomeness made an impact. So just imagine how obnoxious it would be if you were at a party and all you had to say was: “People love me, I am irresistible!”.
While that is exactly the kind of confidence we love around these parts, there are smoother ways to get your point across.
The fact that people know you is because you brought something to the table that made you unforgettable. Often times this occurs within your first interaction with a client.
Keep in mind that it’s more than likely that those clients first interacted with your brand without you even knowing it.
Because the most beautiful thing about a brand is that it never stops working.
Which means that if you haven’t defined your own brand, what are you waiting for?
Here are three simple steps to take towards building a solid brand:
1) Identify your strengths
If there is anything you should be sure of it’s the fact that you are undeniably talented.
But what is that one thing that makes you crack your knuckles and say: “Step aside, peasants. I’ve got this”?
That thing could something incredibly mundane like creating killer spreadsheets. The bottom line is that your performance has paved the way for you to excel (no pun intended) in your line of work.
So, if that thing just so happens to be something simple like organizing data, what does that say about you and your business? Let’s put it this way: if you can tackle a mountain of tedious chart work in an afternoon, then chances are that a tiny piece of you actually enjoys it. Because we do our best at tasks we find fun.
Now, I am not saying your business card should say “Madison Jones, Spreadsheet Wizard Extraordinaire”. But if it did, people would at least never forget you.
Good news is that I would never let you be that cheesy. But I would motivate you to identify those strengths behind what makes you so awesome at creating a spreadsheet.
From that information alone, I could assume that you are a person who appreciates precision. You are also someone who requires a high level of organization to function and actively promote efficiency.
Cold reading aside, those qualities are the breadcrumbs that lead us to your brand.
If your jam is to run data analysis reports all day then that means your personalized brand needs to be based on your systematic approach to problem solving. Boom.
Now, your brand’s job is to make you seem less like a robot and more like a human who is proud of what they do.
And my job as a marketer is to take your systematic approach to things and make it synonymous with the name of your business.
2) Go from Anonymous to Synonymous
Once you establish your key strength, it is crucial for you to make it the foundation of your brand. But in order to build, you need to fortify it by association.
Nowadays, people get famous just for being seen with someone. Which is why when your brand associates itself to something positive, it’s value increases. That being said, it’s imperative that you be picky when it comes to association.
Think back to when you just started growing your business. What parts of your strengths became synonymous with the work you did? What recognition did you get when you were out there, quite frankly, just winging it?
This is the one case where you shouldn’t be afraid to brag,
At the end of the day, it’s all about telling stories. We want our brand to become synonymous with what we offer but most importantly: we want to be synonymous with motivation. Because the best kind of client is a motivated one.
You might ask how you can motivate someone if you own a plumbing business but hey, you’d be surprised.
Telling a story helps someone associate what you have to offer with their own personal needs. It’s important for clients to relate to you and your services on even the most basic level.
So do me a favor, grab a post it and write down your key strength and circle it. What are the first 5 words that come to mind and write. them. down!
Because they are what will eventually house your personalized brand.
3) You can’t tell a story without content
Your brand may speak for itself but it’s not saying much unless you are supplementing it with content.
That’s why the reviews can’t be your only marketing strategy.
It’s important to have a constant stream of unique content that promotes the one thing that every happy customer looks for in a business: CONSISTENCY.
The only reason why a client comes back is not because they know “you”, it’s because they know what to expect from you! Nowadays, you can’t put a price on that kind of loyalty.
So what is it about your career that has remained consistent and how can you tell a story with that? From blog posts like this one to a short selfie video, you need to remind people that you are still out here, killing the game.
If your strengths are the foundation of your personalized brand, your qualities are what you build a house out of but your content, well, that is what makes it a home.