By Barb Wade (Reprinted with permission)
As a consultant, expert, coach, or thought leader, your brand is YOU.
These days so-called “personal branding” is the game-changer that means the difference between being a champion or an also-ran.
Why is it so important?
Long before the Internet and Facebook, and even television, the vast majority of businesses were local and very personal.
Your great-grandparents bought most of their stuff from individual entrepreneurs with names like “J. R. Cooper and Sons.” And except for the occasional new-fangled doo-dad ordered from the Sears catalogue, they did business with these people one-on-one and knew them personally by name and by reputation.
Business was transacted on the basis of personal trust. Protecting that trust was the most important thing when it came to being a successful and sustainable business.
But then, along came the railroads, highways, national distribution, and the birth of the corporation. As faceless, nameless logos replaced family titles, there emerged a substantial credibility gap between the service provider and the client.
Brands emerged to bridge that gap.
And some of the most successful brands tried to put a face back on to the business.
The Quaker Oats Man for example was chosen because he evoked the reputation of the widely trusted members of the Quaker religious community.
His face on the box (still there today after over 100 years) declared, “You can put your full faith and trust in this product.” The same kind of personal identification is true for Aunt Jemima, Sara Lee, Colonel Sanders, and many others.
Many of these icons were actual people: Duncan Hines, Marie Calendar and Hector Boiardi (Chef Boyardee) were all real.
But just as many of these brand characters were fictional! Sorry to break it to you, but there never was a real Betty Crocker, Mrs. Paul, or Morton Salt Girl.
Either way, all the market research showed that audiences respond to a face and personality much better than an impersonal brand or company name.
So, when you hang out your shingle and start to define your brand try to keep it personal. You don’t need to sound big and impressive. Don’t talk about “we” when it’s really only you and a VA.
Address your audience in first person as if you’re speaking right to them. Express the values, beliefs, and commitments that you represent – the things for which you always can be counted on. That is how you build brand trust.
The more authentic you are, the more your ideal clients will resonate with you and begin to become true fans. Be yourself and leave all the corporate speak and posturing for Madison Avenue.
Remember you already have the “secret sauce” that the big brands spend millions upon millions of dollars to impersonate!
Business Coach & Mentor Barb Wade specializes in teaching entrepreneurs how to make more money more easily while enjoying a business and lifestyle that reflects their priorities. Download Barb’s “Word-for-Word Scripts To Overcome Objections” and book more high-paying clients now at www.BarbWade.com.