Got Brand? Be Like Mike and Get One!

Who'd have thought 10 years ago that we could sit at home on the computer, market our services, and make a living from home? The Internet has opened up a wealth of opportunity for entrepreneurs by instantly opening up the market from local, to global.

But the challenge remains of how to create a relationship with strangers, build trust, and make the sale. In this day of SPAM and con men, we as business people need to create a relationship to build trust for new customers.

So how do you move from being total stranger to becoming a trusted friend and vendor? Enter the personal brand. Personal branding is the secret weapon of savvy entrepreneurs today. By letting people get to know who you are and what you believe in, you can effortlessly attract customers. Branding isn't just for Fortune 100 companies. Smart entrepreneurs are realizing that personal branding is the key to attracting a steady stream of lifelong, loyal customers.

Why Branding Works

The magic of personal branding's strength is because it's about attracting customers to you. When customers choose you, it's because they resonate with your beliefs. They feel good about doing business with you. You become part of their inner circle rather than just a business from which they get a product or service. The truth is that people like doing business with people they like. By communicating who you are in a powerful way, it let's potential customers build a relationship and trust with you.

Think about how celebrities use their personal image and persona to attract fans. You don't see Michael Jordan peddling the street asking people to buy his t-shirts and other Jordan gear. Michael Jordan fans are drawn to him because of his charisma and his incredible talent. That's why kids want to be like Mike.

Secrets to a Powerful Personal Brand

For a brand to be effective, it's got to be real. When you try to be something you are not, people see right thru it. That dishonesty creates an atmosphere of mistrust. To create an authentic brand look at your passions, personality, experience, and philosophies and determine what it is about you that people like. By communicating who you are, what you do, and what you stand in a powerful way, you'll create a magnetic personal brand.

Communicating your Personal Brand to the World

The strongest personal brands are created by people who are passionate about what they do. What they believe in becomes a natural part of everything they do. You can see it in their face, it's in their voice; it's even in the way they carry themselves. Take Dennis Rodman for instance. His personal brand is about attitude and freedom. He dresses in outrageous clothes and creates a media frenzy just by being his "bad" self. So think about your personal mission and your passions. Why is it you do what you do? What makes you unique? Then find a way to communicate that in your marketing messages.

There are so many ways to express your personal brand. By bringing your "voice" and personality into the writing of your web site, the wording of your brochures, and your company slogan, you reinforce your personal uniqueness. Create a "look" that is cohesive on your web site, your business cards, and your stationary. Think of it as personal packaging for the product of you.

Marketing materials are no place for skimping. If you want to create an image of quality, dependability, and business expertise, then spend some money to have graphics, copywriting, and web site professionals to create your materials.

Benefits of Branding

Entrepreneurs can use a personal brand to become the number one most recognized expert in their field. This positions you miles ahead of your competition. By emphasizing your uniqueness, it also sets you apart in the minds of your customers. Instead of becoming a favorite choice, you become the only choice for your product or service. Remember, "Coke is it"? You want to be the "it" for which they will accept no substitute.

Personal branding is helps entrepreneurs to even the playing field with the larger retailers. By creating a powerful bond with customers, they entrepreneurs can deliver a personal kind of service that retailers could never dream of offering. And by making your customers deliriously happy, you are creating enthusiastic brand evangelists who will eagerly tell their friends, neighbors, and associates how incredible you are to do business with.

So if you want to create a powerful edge for your business, I suggest you get to the heart of who you are, package it, and create a personal brand. It will create a powerful asset to launch your business into a more profitable future. (c) Kristie T All rights reserved. Permission is granted to reproduce, copy or distribute Branding Magnetism if you copy the article and authors contact information in its entirety. Kristie Tamsevicius is the publisher of "Branding Magnetism," here this article first apeared. She is the author of the new book, "I Love My Life."

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