Marketing your personal brand should not be a blobby, shapeless, unstructured effort. Nor should most entrepreneurs take the ‘Kardashian approach’.
To effectively put your best foot forward, you must first determine your target audience, find out where they will best respond to your message, prepare a value statement and then engage and delight them. Simply put, you’ll need to develop relationships so people will want to do business with you, hire you, work with you, work for you, refer you and help you.
Here are three easy ways to make people fall head over heels in love with your personal brand.
Communicate with the right people.
Start conversations with clients, customers, vendors and supplier and professional service providers. So many of us want to attract more customers. But what if I told you, the best way to start is to pay attention to people who are already your constituents?
For example, your accountant knows what you do. This person also has all kinds of clients that could possibly benefit from your product or service. Your existing clients also know you, your work and your capabilities — remarket to them. And don’t forget that your vendors have a vested financial interest in your success. Today, make sure you know, and create a list of, all your stakeholders.
Communicate in the right way.
Now that you have a list, you have a direction. Every person on that list has a tangible or intangible stake in your success. Your clients want you to succeed because you do important work for them. Your vendors want you to succeed because you pay them money. Your peers want you to succeed because you can refer them and create business for them, thus heightening their sphere of influence and network.
Building relationships with important stakeholders is what self-promotion is about — a targeted and unique mini-communication plan for each person on your list. Some will prefer an occasional email while others would like a phone call or a small gift in the mail. When you pay attention, people take notice and never forget.
Today, next to everyone’s name, list the preferred contact method (i.e. email, social media, snail male, phone, skype or meeting) for each person in your network. Then create a ‘keep in touch’ schedule at least once per month. Start with low hanging fruit – people you know well and have an established relationship with; then work to build new relationships.
Delight and engage your network.
Even though everyone on your list cares about you, they care about themselves more. So, you have to engage them in their world. What are they interested in? What could you send them that would blow them away? How could surprise them?
Show others what you are good at instead of telling them. For example, if you are a print designer, create a gorgeous calendar from a clients’ Instagram photos and send it to them. If you’re well-connected, showcase your brand evangelists in your personal blog and social media profiles.
Impress clients by knowing something personal about them. If your client, Suzy, loves dogs send her dog Charlie a bone wrapped in ribbon. If John is a family man, send him an email congratulating him on his daughter’s baseball win you noticed on Facebook. Today, create a plan to showcase your talents in a unique way. Plan ahead and deliver year-round.
Elaine Joli is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and founder of indieawesomeness, the independent business network for small business, entrepreneurs and freelancers. Elaine has had an extraordinarily varied, long and successful career as a management consultant, business owner, sculptor and writer.
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