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GET CONNECTED: Branding YOU in the World of Business

I’d like to take you back to 1999.

This was the year that futurists were predicting that if you didn’t have your business on the Internet that you wouldn’t have a business.  People disagreed. Now think back a few years to 2004 when Facebook started and 2006 when Twitter started.  Consider now how these along with Linked In, Pinterest and You Tube have quickly become our modes of connecting.

Things have changed in business and they’re continuing to change! FAST!

Fast Company recently highlighted an article that described how the trend towards branding each of us is quickly becoming big business for each of us. In Japan people now have stamps with their images on it and we know here in the states people are having their own wine labels put on to give as presents. This trend is going to continue as our society becomes more internet driven and continue to reveal all, even their salaries to anyone who will listen!

How does this effect you and your employees and how can you prepare?

As a personal branding specialist and communications consultant, I’ve studied how a person can go from 0-60 quickly.  And if everyone can and is becoming a public brand, there are a few things to consider as you select your public identity should be and whether or not it will appeal to the demographic you seek.  Since each person at your company represents YOU, it’s important that the message is clear.

  1. Corporations for the most part are still expecting a certain protocol in house.  As a potential vendor, your image and personality still has to be polished and professional. Keep in mind they still have  casual days usually only on Fridays so it’s just every so often they’ll let their hair down.  But if they are your demographic, button up your mouth, cross your Ps and Q’s and stay consistent with their corporate mission.
  2. Entrepreneurs , sales professionals, lawyers, financial professionals, and service have a unique ability to get seen quickly in todays’ society and brand themselves quickly by speaking in public.  There are numerous places to offer keynotes, mini workshops and seminars to teach what you know. When you stand in front of an audience, you gain instant credibility.  Come up with a title that GRABS attention, then let the world know about your speech through social networking.  Giving away your information for FREE at least at first will help drive sales.
  3. Have a strong CALL to action.  Just because you need to brand yourself does NOT mean you need to be talking ABOUT yourself. If you want to be seen as credible, reliable, honest, trustworthy and experienced, share STORIES of others who you can and have helped. Motivate others to join in on a special cause or inspire them to take action that will help their own lives.  If they happen to need your service or product to do this, all the better.  But challenge people in a way that is authentic and  emotional, and will help them in business and/or in life.

If we continue on the current path and ask, “what’s next?

Then we have to assume that every person, who is in business, will be selling something from their own Youtube channel and cross referencing that on every social network medium.

Using your own hardships, challenges, disabilities or your own cause will create an emotional tie to you!  If people feel emotionally tied to you, they will BUY from you.

It’s an exciting time we’re living in and all of us need to continually prepare.  How can you best do that so you’re consistent across all mediums all the time and don’t slip up?

Develop YOURSELF into the person you want to be and admire!  If who you are isn’t who your clients need, The world will know! Instantaneously!

Mary Gardner is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire, a blogging community created by Annie Jennings.