Being in the business of building brands, I often get asked about some of my more prominent clients like Coach JC, founder of Bootcamp Tulsa, Dynamic Sports Development, and Fit First Responders.
People often ask, “How does Coach JC get his name out there all of the time? Everywhere I look, I see his brand!”
My response is simply, “He is his brand! He lives his brand! Everything he does personally promotes his brand!”
As a business owner, your personal brand affects how people perceive your company. Are you dressed to impress? I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want is a personal trainer who needs to lose weight or a lawyer who appears sloppy and unorganized.
Creating a personal brand as the “expert” in your industry can be a game changer. The media is more likely to cover you, customers are more likely to do business with you, and partners are more likely to go into a business development deal with you if you have created a brand as the expert in your industry.
The next step is for you to deliver, but you cannot even get started if you don’t have a strong personal brand.
Here are four questions I ask my clients who want to build a personal brand:
1) What is your story?
Some of the biggest brands out there start with the founder’s story. Think of Oprah. She wouldn’t be who she is without her story of hardship. Millions of people relate to her and pour their hearts out to her because they hope to overcome just like she did. If she never had any adversity in her life, it would be difficult to relate to her.
2) What do people find when they Google your name?
What would a potential client or partner find if they Googled your name? Have you been featured in the local media as an expert in your industry? Have you written an article in a trade publication about your industry or have any press out there that establishes you as a credible source? Most people do research online before they make any purchasing decisions. If they Googled you and your company, would they like what they see?
3) Do you have a personal website?
Your website should reflect who you are and what you want your personal brand to be. Your website and social media channels should feature you and your story and how that relates to your business.
For example, Thrive15.com founder Clay Clark started his affordable online business education technology platform because he grew up with no money, couldn’t afford college and became a successful entrepreneur by relying on mentors rather than traditional education.
Clark created Thrive15.com to mentor millions online for only $49 a month. His story is why he has subscribers in 41 countries.
4) Post with a purpose.
Although it may seem like a good idea to share your political views all over your Facebook page, could this be offending potential customers to your business? With social media, potential customers can find out anything they want about you. Is what you are posting on social media a positive reflection of your brand?
Michael Levine, public relations guru and author of Guerilla P.R. 2.0, describes packaging best with his Tiffany Theory:
“My Tiffany Theory states that a gift delivered in a box from Tiffany’s will have a higher perceived value than one in no box or a plain box,” he said. “That’s not because the recipient is a fool; it’s because in our society, we gift-wrap everything: our politicians, our corporate heads, our movie and TV stars, and even our toilet paper. Tiffany paper places a higher perceived value on things.”
You are the package for your brand. Are you more like a Tiffany box or a generic box from Wal-Mart?
Deedra Determan is the founder of D2 Branding; an innovative marketing firm that helps companies ignite their brand to increase their profit. Determan is also a public relations mentor on Thrive15.com.