Social networking, SEO and Google AdWords are all the rage these days. You start wondering if you are doing everything you should be doing with Twitter or your blog. If you don’t know about the latest and greatest social networking site or writing comments daily are you going to get left behind?
From my experience, the questions that really need to be asked are – “Am I doing the things that will attract my ideal client? Who is my ideal client (target market), Whatd do they want (Urgent Desires), What do I have to offer?, and What are the benefits to my client?” How you bcome the most visible to your desired clients is with – Your Personal Brand.
So, as the old saying goes, most business owners and solo-preneurs put the cart before the horse. That is, they are doing the dance of blogs, social networks, marketing and promotion without a clear concept of who it is they are trying to attract.
Attracting the wrong clients or businesses can be just as bad as not attracting anyone.
By identifying who you are targeting, the job of positioning yourself as a trusted expert becomes infinitely easier. You can identify their needs and position yourself as a respected expert that offers services with identifiable benefits.
One of the most important components of your promotional mix is the development of Your Personal Brand. An effective personal brand will clearly and consistently define, express, and communicate who you are, whom you serve, and why you have chosen to dedicate your life to serving your chosen target market. A well developed personal brand will attract your ideal clients and repel those that aren’t. But personal branding is much more than what you do. It IS You ---a unique display of who you are. It allows you to distinguish yourself and accents what is unique about you and what you do that sets your business apart from everyone else.
You need to develop a personal brand that thinks like you, sounds like you and looks like you. It needs to be as unique as you are.
It should be: Personal, Memorable, Consistent, Clear and Meaningful
A personal brand has two components – a "Who You Are and What You DO" statement and a "Why You Do It" statement.
The "Who You Are" statement should state the specific problems you solve, who you solve them for and what the results or benefits are. The "Why You Do It" statement describes who you are clearly, why you do what you do and why people should work with you.
Ask yourself these questions:
- How are you unique?
- What are the special talents that you have or have been good at your entire life
- What do other people compliment you on?
- If you were asked about your work – what would you never grow tired of talking about?
- What would you never grow tired talking about in your personal life?
Ask your closest friends and family to provide memorable or unique experiences they have had with you. What are your personality traits and quirks that are uniquely you?
Developing your Who You Are and What You Do statement is a work in progress. Start with a basic outline and refine it. Work on it until it clearly defines your unique qualities, who you help and how you help them. Start with “I help” and finish it with as many ideas as you can think of. Just write down as many examples as you can think of as fast as you think of them. You can clarify the concepts later.
After potential clients know who you are and what you do, they’ll want to know if they connect with you on a deeper level. People and businesses that connect with you on a soulful or emotional level will magnetically be attracted to working with you. Your why you do it statement tells other people what it is like to be around you.
Think Big! What is your purpose or vision that you hope to achieve through your work? List whatever comes to mind – brainstorm! Ask friends and family to brainstorm it with you.
Remember that this is a destination and not a journey. Just keep working on it as you have new ideas. The most important thing is to start! A brilliant moment will happen when you least expect it because you have planted the seed.
Also, remember that you are trying to attract your ideal client that is drawn to your unique skills and persona. Don’t worry about the family member or friend who doesn’t get it or thinks your brand is silly. Your personal brand needs to be a bold, full color self expression. It needs to be as unique as you are and your business.
Editor's Note: Brian Erickson is holding a Biznik workshop Creating Customers For Life on Wednesday, February 11th at 1:30 to 3:30 at the Mercer Island Library.