Brand Yourself and Your Business Too

 Entre – Adventures in Business. |. By Jill Russell. |. NC Columnist

One of the most overlooked aspects of creating sales through brand loyalty is creating brand ideas about the person or company actually making the sale. For small and micro-businesses, the person in need of a brand identity is typically the business owner…in other words, you! Sure, people are attracted to brand marketing and will buy products “off the shelf” based on brand imagery alone, but sales heat up faster when personal connections are made, especially when the branding of the person selling the product or service is connected with the product.

This strategy enhances the product brand while helping the business owner create more sales and build a solid reputation for the person behind the sales. The two brand positions work hand in glove to present the most attractive buying proposition for the consumer. The easiest and most cost-effective way to get started on your personal brand is to:

  • Create a Social Media Presence
  • Sponsor Contests on Social Media
  • Post Videos of Yourself Using the Products, Goods or Services
  • Publish a Newsletter about What your Products, Goods or Services Will Solve

Social Media Presence

Social Media (SoMe) is rapidly growing into the go-to marketplace for advertisers and shoppers alike. SoMe pages are no longer just a place to collect a cumbersome list of friends of friends of friends with the occasional odd-duck stranger thrown into the mix.  Businesses, large and small, incorporate SoMe pages, as do attorneys, health care practitioners, entertainers and pretty much every category and level of commercial enterprise. You do your business a disservice to miss the boat.

You may have heard the term “keep a high profile.” Basically, a personal high profile means you and your brand is always on the customers mind. Establishing and maintaining a high profile requires more effort than making a few sales calls or selling a product online. Here, you need to raise your personal profile to as wide a market as possible that leads to you making a personal connection with your potential customers.

Creating a page or a group in addition to your personal page is dedicated to only one thing – branding yourself so that you are recognized by people as the go-to source for a product or service, particularly if you are selling a brand that is sold by many others.


Sponsor Contests on Social Media

Of course, you want to attract people who will actually buy your product or participate in your program. One strategy that is effective in getting the right people to like and follow you is to offer contests on your personal brand pages and accounts. Contests help speed up the viral effect that SoMe is known for. When you launch a contest, and promote the challenge by inviting your friends and followers, their friends and followers will be able to see what you are offering. Then, follow and like each of the ones that have followed you. You may need several successive contests to achieve viral velocity, but along the way you will have built a dynamic group of loyal fans, participants and buyers…all identifying with and connected to your personal brand!


Videos Speak a Million Billion Words

SoMe is an excellent place for small and micro-businesses to post live or created video presentations. Your smart phone and a SoMe platform, like YouTube or Facebook, is the modern-day equivalent of widely distributed video promotion previously reserved for expensive, hard to access network broadcasting. Nowadays you have an HD quality television studio right on your cell phone and an entire broadcast network in your SoMe account. All you need to do is turn those readily accessible tools into helpmates that work for you and help drive new customers to your door.

Video content, whether live or a created presentation, lends itself to many levels of promotion. You can announce ahead of time and invite people to join in and watch your live video to gain initial attention. Live videos also have live discussion that gives you immediate feedback. The live presentation is then saved as a created video that people can access later on with continued ongoing discussion and feedback. Live video is more effective in the current marketplace than highly edited, polished created video. People are attracted to authenticity and that helps build your brand by making a human connection.

When you do place edited video presentations, make sure they are made with human-to-human qualities such as personal product demonstrations that show the viewers answers to questions they may not even know they have. Speak directly to the camera as if talking one-on-one with a person, and whatever you do, don’t use one of those robot voices that disguise you. Remember, you are branding you with these presentations and people want to see the authentic personality behind the product, even if you’re shy or nervous.

When someone posts a comment, reply that you are responding to them in a direct or private message and then do just that. Questions answered in a reply to the whole forum may keep others from asking the question and the point is to establish a personal online connection with as many individuals as possible.


Publish a Newsletter

As you build your personal brand, you are also creating a potentially loyal fan and customer base. These people are vital to your business success and it is important to maintain an ongoing relationship with them. Begin this process by collecting email addresses from as many of them as you can (always through private messages so that their addresses aren’t exposed to the public). Next, publish a weekly or monthly newsletter that keeps your fans up to date on you, your business and its products and services. The newsletter helps you to keep people current on your products but also keeps your brand and product brand fresh in the consumer’s mind, which in turn drives new and repeat sales.

Doing these few simple strategies will help you build loyal customers. Don’t be intimidated by the thought of using technology or speaking to an audience. In this part of your adventure in business, always remember that you know yourself and your product or service better than anyone on the planet so you are the best person to convey your unique personal message. You’ve got this!


About the Author:

Jill Russell is a small business entrepreneur that utilizes todays effective marketing practices to build and maintain the business, including Social Media, Direct Marketing and Personal Relationship Marketing.

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