Entrepreneurship no image

Published on August 10th, 2010 | by Olumide

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Promoting Yourself: The Art of Self Branding

How do you announce yourself to the world? How do you sell your products, ideas or services? How do you create a positive image in the minds of people whenever your name is mentioned? How do you get to be the only first option to come to mind whenever services/products in your area of expertise are required? I presented a lecture on this topic at a training session organized for club and district heads of LEO Club District 404B. Based on the responses I have received, I have decided to share the same lecture on my blog.

  1. 1. WHAT DO MEN SAY I AM?

At a point in the life of Jesus, he called his disciples to a meeting and asked them this question. This was necessary because most times, what people see about you is different from who you really are. Unfortunately, they will buy your words or actions based on what they think you are.

When your friends, co-workers, lecturers, employer, employees… see you, what jumps into their minds? Is it the image of a cat, a dog, a mouse or a goat? Which of these words would people describe you with: bold, daring, stupid, aggressive, taskmaster, annoying, nice, computers, latest clothes, bad grammar, selfish, food loving…?

You need to find out because that is your brand.

  1. 2. WHAT AM I?

In order to make people think favorably of you, you must know who you are. This process of critical self analysis can be done best by carrying out a SWOT analysis.

S: Strengths: This refers to your competitive advantage, or area that in which you can perform better than most people due to your natural abilities or location.

W: Weaknesses: What pulls you down?

O: Opportunities: What openings do I have in what I do?

T: Threats: What are the possible sources of trouble?

  1. 3. BRANDS ARE BUILT ON WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT happy wheels demo YOU, AND NOT WHAT YOU THINK OF YOURSELF.

In order to create a good brand therefore, you have to incite people to say what you need them to say about you!

  1. 4. BATTLE FORMATIONS

The business of branding is very much like football. You can plan your brand strategy based on your SWOT analysis result.  You can decide to play an offensive game: Focus on your strengths and thereby utilize your opportunities. This strategy works fine for new and upcoming brands. Just like football, to win, you need to score a goal. You can only score by trying to score!

You can also try a defensive strategy. This refers to working to strengthen yourself in areas of weakness so that you are in a position to deal with threats. As you can envisage, this method would be good for already established brands. In major football competitions, as soon as most teams are leading in terms of goals, they change over to the defensive strategy so as not to concede goals.

Please note that there is no hard and fast rule to your strategy. You are free to make your choice.

  1. 5. UNLIKE COMPANY BRANDING, PERSONAL BRANDING IS VERY SUBJECTIVE

If you can project the image, it can be sold. A company brand is much more difficult to sell if it is not totally realistic.

  1. 6. WHAT MAKES A BRAND SUCCESSFUL?
  • It always delivers the same message (consistency)
  • It understands the needs of its target audience
  • It speaks the language of the target audience (communication)
  • It  catches attention (creativity)
  • It makes sense (relevance)

I know this post is begging for examples and more explanations, but if you want them, you will have to get my upcoming book. I will let you know as soon as it is out.

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