Personal Branding – Name Recognition is the Key to Success

Personal Branding – Name Recognition is the Key to Success

Personal branding is one of the most important steps in helping potential clients or customers learn who you are and what you do. Did you ever think about why you buy one product over another? Many people will say, “I always buy such-and-such computer,” or such-and-such shoes.” That’s about branding… and name recognition. Who hasn’t heard of Target or Nike? What you want is name recognition. You also want customers to know that you have their needs, wants and desires in mind.

A personal brand is vital as a tool of self-promotion. Personal branding is also a great opportunity to explore who you are, gain insights into your core values and provides a vehicle through which you learn more about your authentic self. It helps you learn and expand on what makes you stand out from the crowd and is an invaluable tool for inner growth. When used this way, you are not only promoting yourself, you are also thinking about how to better serve and enhance others’ lives. Branding assists in cultivating your image, increasing visibility and generating excitement and interest in who you are and what you do.

In this era of technology and instant access to information, personal branding has become even more important and necessary. Many times potential customers get to know you initially from your website and/or emails. This first impression can either “make” or “break” you. A personal brand usually has four main elements: personality, appearance, competencies, and differentiation. These for elements provide your core message and the main elements of your “pitch.”

This is true whether you’re at a networking event, designing (or re-designing) your website, business card, brochure or sending an e-mail. These four elements are the “foundation” on which you build your personal brand. The foundation is being your authentic self and the benefits people receive from you that they don’t receive from anyone else or any other business.

What is it about you that make people want to do business with and be around you? Write down at least 5-10 personality traits that you believe are your strongest points. Be realistic, but don’t hesitate to “brag” a bit. You can also clearly and honestly turn what you consider a weakness into a strength. If you know that you’re shy, write down your ability to listen. If it takes you time to warm up to people, talk about your ability to be objective and calm.

Examine every aspect of your appearance… your personal look, your website, business cards, brochures, etc. Make sure your office is clean, neat, warm and inviting. Make sure your marketing materials are creative, tell your story clearly and with excitement, intelligence and warmth. Be your own worst critic and best advocate. Don’t be afraid to “re-invent” yourself. That keeps you unique and special. Be a trendsetter not a trend follower, striving to constantly improve the quality of who you are and what extraordinary benefits you offer people.

Next is competencies… what are you better at than anyone else? What about your product or service would make people come back for more? Take new classes to take to improve and upgrade who you are in every way. Volunteer, be on a panel, speak at an event. Be visible in your community. Let people know that you are always striving for more.

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