In my years of entrepreneurship, I have found three levels of distinction in business as I journeyed through self-education. These are: Brand, Branding and Collaboration. As opportunities for collaboration arise, it is as important as ever to maintain the integrity of the brand.
Upon attending my very first networking event and blurting out I was a sales trainer gave other attendees reason enough to either laugh or run away. The need for developing my personal brand became very apparent.
Seeking advice, I was told the first step to building a successful business is to know your niche audience inside out. Questions to answer are: What are their problems and how may you solve them? What is your value add that will make you far more desirable than any other provider? Likewise, this applies to sound sales advice.
The next phase for developing your brand is to succinctly express the answers to the above questions in a variety of ways including a quick tag line and a personal two-minute story of why you developed your business. Adding a touch of humor or creativity will have new acquaintances craving more information.
The final point to remember for stage one of business development is consistency. The experience of working with you and all that you have to offer begin to precede the actual work.
Now that you have your brand underway ,and you have become very familiar with your niche clientele, the second step becomes branding. This is the act of putting your personal brand into motion to reach wider audiences.
Before making the leap into a new venue, analyze how you may translate your brand to the medium to maintain consistency. For example, my mantra is relationship building prior to the sale. Adapting this principle to social media, I do my best to communicate personally on social media sites encouraging questions, providing sound advice, and responding to that which I find helpful or enjoyable.
Some popular venues for promotion to consider are writing a blog, article, e-book or formally published book, developing a product line, creating short video tips to post on various sites, training and speaking services, hosting an internet radio show, appearing as a guest on radio and television shows, and/or participating in discussions on a few social media sites. Begin with the easiest or most appealing and then advance to the next project.
As you develop branding practices, do so from a place of being of service. Post online by giving away free and usable advice without attempting to sell. Using this model attracts the right attention serving to dramatically increase followings and requests for services.
Collaboration drives your following numbers and further possibilities for branding exponentially. This is where your confidence meter rises. Almost without recognizing it, you make the leap into expert status. This new level attracts further requests for services and collaboration. Your job now becomes choosing the right partners with similar values to maintain your consistency and brand.
By following the steps of brand, branding and collaboration, your personal brand will become well recognized with a flourishing business and enabling the Smooth Sale!
Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, LLC authored the International Best-Selling book, “Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results”, Sourcebooks and the best selling career book, “HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews”, Career Press. She provides team sales training, private coaching and highly acclaimed inspirational keynotes for conferences. Elinor is available upon request for consultation.