The only way to be recommended and referred is to be remembered. Does your personal brand pass the test? Can others recommend and refer you, based on how well they know who you are and what you do?
Make a short list of keywords for yourself based on your interests, strengths and skills. Now ask some people in your network for the words they associate with your name. If there are a lot of matches, then you’ve done a good job conveying your personal brand to others.
But if there is a disconnect between who you think you are and how others see you, there is some work to be done. Either you are not effectively communicating that brand image or others have noticed characteristics about you that haven’t yet been self-identified.
Why do you constantly struggle, while others are successful? Why does it seem like they are getting referrals and business, while you struggle to make ends meet?
Networking your way to branding yourself is one of the first steps a small business owner should take when wanting to make people aware of what they do and what they have to offer. This also includes using Internet Marketing, doing a Talk show, using Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, Plaxo and the 1000’s of others that are out there to network you way to being branded.
When I first started Marketing my business I had no clue what I needed to do. I joined the Chamber in my town and met a few people who invited to these meetings that they called “networking meetings” . Without know a thing about it and being on the shy side, I was in for a rude awakening when I got to the meeting and found out that I was suppose to give a 30 second commercial for the business. Panic and lack of knowing what I was doing became an instant hit, the people at the meeting were very nice and very helpful, even though they had a great laugh. I tell you this so that you will understand that it’s ok to “not know what your doing in the beginning”, as long as you are willing to learn. I also joined many online platforms as you read above to enhance getting the message out about Apostle Radio. In my ignorance I set up the pages under Sheila Tucker, instead of the company. Creating a brand of Sheila Tucker is the face of Apostle Radio. However, would I do it differently …probably not, we have grown in the past years as a company by the reputation I have as a person and as the business. This also means I have kept my character, my associations and my etiquette clean as well.
If you Google or search for Sheila Tucker, Apostle Radio or Apostle Internet Radio you will see how well I have branded myself and our flagship station. Many people in the DFW Metroplex have heard of me or my company. Why? Because I set out to introduce our new unique Internet Radio station and the products we offer, and over the years of promoting Apostle Radio, I became the face of the company. Many people don’t associate Tucker Communications as the parent company of Apostle Radio or the other 5 stations we have, not to mention the 3 affiliates. I have made an impact by using the above to grow my company and our stations through what people know of me and about me. Stength, compassion, caring about others, willing to help small business owners, passionate about helping non profits, volunteer, founder of networking groups, sat on the board of non profits, affordable for any budget, quality work and cares about helping others grow their business. You see, for me it was not and is not all about the money. It was about what I could do for others. (It DOES not always have to be about the money!!) In doing this, I created a brand of Apostle Radio/Sheila Tucker. The only draw back, if you want to call it that, is my sales people rarely meet someone who hasn’t heard of Apostle Radio or know who Sheila Tucker is. The best thing about it is that when training a new sales person, I get lots of feedback from everyone who knows me.
I tell you this so that you will decide accordingly how you want to be branded. I was lucky that mine worked, not all have that success. Choose wisely. Do you brand you as the face of the company? Do you brand the company? Regardless of which you decide to do, do it do-diligently and have consistency and persistency to be successful. Branding does not take place over night, it takes time and patience.
If you would like consulting on how to get started, I am available to help out a select few and as with everything it is affordable to small business owners. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Or email me or comment on this blog with your answer to this question, “does your personal brand pass the test?