You Are Your Brand

Here’s what secret successful marketers know: customers don’t buy a product. They buy you. 

Your personality.

Your experience.

The unique qualities only you possess. 

There was a time when “branding” meant a corporate-looking logo and a slick catalog, but in today’s online marketplace, the real value is not in appearing to be a big company, but rather in just being you. And your personality shines through in a variety of ways. 

Your Authentic Voice

How you speak and write and even how you act on camera or in an audio interview has the power to instantly identify you to your audience. You can see this in action if you scroll through your Facebook feed. It’s easy to know who has posted a particular image or status update, just by recognizing the voice with which they generally speak. 

Here’s an even more important aspect of your “voice” though: it has the power to attract a specific audience. In recent years, a few high profile coaches and product sellers have become celebrities of a sort, largely because of their harsh, “don’t hold back” language. Ash Ambirge over at www.TheMiddleFingerProject.org makes no apologies for her use of offensive words, and her fans love her for it. And those that don’t? Well, as she says right on her home page, her site and services are “not for humourless bores.” 

Snarkiness and foul language is not the only way to go, though. Carrie Wilkerson has built her brand almost entirely on her ability to be kind and generous. She always has a nice word, never appears defeated or overwhelmed, and is an inspiration to her fans and clients. 

While very different in their approach, these two women have one thing in common: authenticity. It’s clear that if you were to meet either of them in person, they would speak and act exactly as they do online. And their brands are stronger for it. 

Your Story

How did you get to where you are today? The backstory—which to you might seem boring and uneventful—is a powerful tool that can help solidify your brand and attract just the right audience. 

Melissa Ingold tells of being a struggling single mother, and of creating an online business rather than simply choosing to work one dead-end job after another. Her success is an inspiration to her audience, and is a huge part of her branding. 

Kelly McCausey speaks often of how she got started online when she was looking for a way to earn just a few extra dollars every month to keep the lights on. Creating graphics at $5 each quickly turned into a full-time online career. 

Your story doesn’t have to be dramatic, and you certainly don’t have to share more than you’re comfortable with, but it does have to be yours. Be your true self, and you’ll never have to worry about attracting the right audience. They will self-select, and your perfect client will find you.

Know Your Ideal Client!

Show your potential customer why your proposal is worth the hassle!

KNOW YOUR CLIENT

Why do I think it is extremely important to Know Your Client (KYC)?

Not only do you need to know and understand your client in order to be able to market to them (and I really do think this is very important), but you also need to understand who they are, how they think and what they need.

Know their objections and have answers for every question and concern!

Most business owners will automatically throw up objection to a new proposal.  In some cases it is just a reflex.  They’ll say no before they say yes.  In other cases, they are simply testing you.  In any case, you need to be prepared explain, in detail, what you can do for their business.  Tell them why they need you.. and how you are the right person to work with.

How can you do that if you don’t know who they are and what their business mission is.  Do some research – do your homework!

“Put yourself in your client’s place”.

RESEARCH

Get to know the person who runs the business you would like to work with.  Who is that person, or group of people?  Besides learning what they sell, coach, offer…  find out what their core values are.   Google is your best friend.  Do some digging!

MARKETING

The most successful businesses understand their client’s mentality.  How do you do this?

The key here is knowing your client, inside and out.  Do Your Research!

Zero in on your target audience and your marketing will become very clear and then it will suddenly become easy to do!

Learn everything you can about them; what makes them tick, their pain points, how they measure their success.

Whether it’s simply knowing what colours appeal to them, or knowing what ‘turns them off’, you will make your life easier if you can figure this stuff out before you put it out there.

CONSISTENCY IS KEY IN MARKETING.

For example,  it’s important to be consistent with the language you use on your website, in social media and in all your marketing.

You need to decide what you are going to sound like in all your communication.  Knowing your client will help you to discover your voice.

For example, if  he or she is an older professional, you might be less inclined to use a lot of slang terms or even a few curse words.  That being said, if you are talking to a hip young audience who aren’t offended by the occasional curse word, then you should consider speaking like they do.

Now that I’ve said that, I believe it’s important to sound like yourself.  If you are the ‘rockstar chic’ type, then is your ideal client going to be an serious, middle-aged business man?  Not likely.   So, why would you go after this client?

Knowing who you are before you figure out who your ideal client is and you’ll come to your ‘sweet spot’.  Where yin meets yang.  Where you are going come together with the person you can help the most!

Do you know who your ideal client is?
Before you should do anything with your business, take that pre-branding journey of discovery.

 

Jen