Can you market yourself as a brand?
You’ve heard people refer to someone as “Having her own brand of charm” or “His own brand of wit.” But what about your own brand of doing business?
Do you go about your business in a way that makes you unique? My guess is you do. And since you take the time to read about and think about marketing, my second guess is that your brand is probably a good one.
I’ll have to admit, when I first thought the words “brand of doing business” I immediately thought of someone whose “brand” you would not aspire to. He was a carpet installer, cabinet maker, and general remodeler. His unique brand was to say he’d be there on Tuesday, but you could never be sure if that meant Tuesday next week or Tuesday next year. Then, when he did show up, he’d work (?) for an hour or two and rush off to try to pacify some other poor soul whose job wasn’t being finished. I knew better when I hired him, so my cabinets being installed 5 months late was my own fault.
He is his own unique brand. Among the local contractors, when anyone says “He pulled a Duane,” everyone knows exactly what that means.
I’ll bet you can think of a few people like that yourself. People who are well known in a negative sort of way – and who are so good at it that when their name is mentioned everyone else knows what trait you’re talking about.
But that’s not you. Your brand may be to always be on time! It might be a talent for putting people at ease around you, or for solving problems, coming in early, or working late. It might even be your adventurous nature or your willingness to explore new marketing ideas.
Think about yourself and your business. What is it that sets you apart from the others? Can you expand on it, and turn it into a brand you’ll be known for? How will saying it fit into your current marketing? Will saying it give your marketing even better impact?
I know its easier to talk about your products or perhaps the people who work for or with you. Many of us grew up with moms who said “Don’t brag” and who admonished us not to make ourselves “seen” in public. So when we say “I’m good at this” we feel a little guilt. Mom would really not approve.
But, there’s no way around it. If you want to make a good living you need customers and clients. And as nice as it would be if all business could come from other people singing your praises, it just doesn’t happen that way. You have to promote yourself.
So this time, before you send out your next ad or letter or email… think about your brand and how you’ll let strangers know about it. Take the time to incorporate it into your marketing messages so it will grow – and some wonderful trait will automatically be associated with your name.
Until next time – good marketing!