When you wake up in the morning, who are you? If you answer anyone other than your given name, you might need a psychiatrist. Kidding…kind of.
But, in all seriousness, entrepreneurs need to pay careful attention to who and what we are as we go through our daily life. Branding is everything — both personal and corporate. When you meet with a new potential client or strategic partner, both of these reputations precede you.
Your corporate and personal brands communicate authenticity and value. If you let one of these brands fall down, you’re making the path ahead that much rougher. For example:
If someone uses your restroom and realizes there isn’t toilet paper on the roll, the light bulb is burnt out and the toilet doesn’t flush, do they want to hear about how sorry you are? No. They want you to get them a roll of toilet paper, fix the light and get the toilet working again.
This analogy is something I share with members of my team when they come up short. Driven entrepreneurs focus on solving the problem, instead of talking about how sorry they are. If you can quickly jump from problem to solution, your brand will benefit from your customer’s faith in your ability to deliver — even if it isn’t perfectly executed.
If you find a way to execute every plan perfectly, let me know. Mistakes happen. Communicate and fix it.
Here’s how you can master your personal and corporate branding in a way that generates positive impressions and opens new doors so that you can achieve your true potential.
Communicate Benefits and Values in a Relatable Way
A brand is just a fancy word for a reputation. And how do you earn a reputation? You earn it by helping people. Whether you’re chasing wealth or votes, you need to communicate how your work can help the people you want to attract. Then you need to deliver on those promises.
Step back from just hawking a product. Dig in and look for all of the ways that your product or service will help your target audience. Literally create a list of five different ways you can help your target audience.
Luxury brands tend to dive into selling a lifestyle or an experience. Commodity brands love to compare themselves to the competition on price, quality or availability. And artists do an incredible job of communicating a passion and passing that feeling onto their audience.
Pursue Feedback With Intensity
Now that you have your five items, go and interact with your audience. Gauge what they care about most on the list. It’s virtually impossible to guess what will be most important to the people you want to sell to. The feedback, as you hone your message and craft your brand, is invaluable.
I love providing free samples, sneak-peeks at new offerings or special discounts to clients who are willing to give me their feedback at every stage of the relationship. The feedback keeps my company on course to achieve all of our revenue goals.
Evolve With Your Clients
This one’s really important. Even after all of the research and valuable feedback from clients, you need to keep hustling. Get more information, learn about how your audience is changing with time. Answer these five questions:
Is my customer base experiencing financial success or personal setbacks?
Do my customers understand and appreciate the values of my brand?
Are they more connected to my corporate or personal brand?
What products or services do my customers need that I am not currently offering them?
How can you personalize your brand to the individual customer?
If your goal is to provide a narrowly focused set of services without growing outside of that category in the future, your corporate brand is more important than anything else. But, if you want to unlock a world of entrepreneurial opportunities (think of Sir Richard Branson), you have to pay attention to how consumers feel about both your personal and corporate brand.
By staying closely in touch with your customer base, you’ll get real feedback on how your efforts are helping or hurting your personal brand. Join me on the journey to financial freedom by establishing your own brand, aggressively communicating with your client base and acting on feedback to create a brand that customers can trust.