Today, branding isn’t optional. You are a 24/7 walking, talking billboard. Every day, in everything you do – how you interact, how you dress, what your website looks like, how you speak – you tell the world about yourself.
People are buying only one thing from you – the way the engagement (hiring you, working with you, learning from you, using your product or service, etc.) makes them FEEL. And the only way to be considered awesome is to earn a piece of valuable real estate in your potential clients’ hearts and minds.
We are inundated on a daily basis with more information that our brains can possibly handle. In order to stand out and be memorable, you’ve got to make an emotional connection, using your passion, personality and personal story.
Here are the seven keys that will move you from just alright, to downright awesome:
CLARITY: You’ve got to get crystal clear about your WHO, WHAT, WHY and HOW. If you aren’t clear about who you are, who is your target market, what you offer and the value you provide, how can you expect your ideal client to be clear about you, and most importantly, buy from you?
CONFIDENCE: In every moment and in every interaction you are teaching others how to treat you and how to interact with you, and whether they should view you as a leader or a follower. If you make a conscious choice to be at the top, then ultimately, that’s what you’re going to get. Embrace who you are, what you stand for and why you do what you do. Step into your power and clients will seek you out. Give us your Awesome.
CONVERSATION: Effective communication is not a one way street – it’s a conversation, a back and forth, a natural flow. What works now is engagement, not the megaphone approach. The conversational depth of so many professionals today is one-dimensional. All they can talk about with any degree of complexity is what they do for a living. Bo-ring! Engage, ask questions, give examples, tell stories, show genuine interest and ignite a relationship.
CONTENT: One of the best ways, hands down, to position yourself as an authority is to create and repurpose great content that your target audience finds valuable. Notice that I didn’t write what YOU find valuable. Remember, it’s not about you. You have to create content that your potential clients actually want to consume and consider valuable. When you consistently create and distribute valuable content , you create a perception of value in the eyes of your target market.
CONNECTION: In the online marketplace, it can be easy to get trapped behind a monitor and keyboard. You have to remember that business is about people, not numbers. It’s about relationships, not computers. In our rapidly evolving business environment, the entrepreneurs who are going to thrive are the ones who engage their clients and build long-term relationships. So get out there and develop your cheerleading squad, refer business to others, join a group and create joint venture partnerships.
CARE: An Awesome Brand cares about its tribe. How much are you showing you care about your clients and potential clients? Most brands have only one intention: to sell their product or service. This puts you at a HUGE advantage if you spend some time showing your community how much you care. As we all know, great customer service is rare. Simply by offering excellent service and consistently showing how much you care puts you ahead of the pack – it makes you awesome.
CONSISTENCY: Does what you say, post, tweet etc. align with your brand? Is what comes out of your mouth consistent with how you dress, how you interact with others and what’s on your website? Branding should be a part of your DNA. Everything you do – every phone call, meeting, blog post, social engagement and personal interaction – is a unique representation of YOU. Awesome Brands know exactly who they are and present themselves consistently across all platforms.
The foundation of an Awesome Brand is built on these seven C’s. You are unique. You do have something important to offer. And whether you help ten or ten thousand people, being an Awesome Brand allows you to MOVE people in a much more compelling way.
What are you doing right now to be an Awesome Brand? Please share with us in the comments below.
©2012 Liz Dennery Sanders