Nine Ways to Build Your Personal Brand
You are a brand. Your brand is you and you take it with you wherever you go, whether you work for yourself or for someone else. It even follows you if you change industries. But here's the thing, Brand YOU is constantly evolving and you can continuously build your brand.
My favorite definition of brand comes from one of my favorite business thinkers and writers, Seth Godin. I've modified it just a bit to relate to your personal brand as a promotional professional. "A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a client's decision to choose one provider over another. If the buyer doesn't pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that buyer. Your brand's value is merely the sum total of how much extra people will pay, or how often they choose, the expectations, memories, stories and relationships of one brand over the alternatives."
So how do you go about building your personal brand? Here are nine suggestions:
1. Establish Expectations for Remarkable Experiences.
You must always be stretching beyond good. Never be satisifed with delivering a good product at a good price on time. Everyone who is still is business does those things. Those are the cost of entry into the game. With every interaction with your customers, you need to leave them feeling great about themselves and about you. Set a standard for yourself to be fascinating, remarkable, outstanding. Create high expectations for yourself and then deliver.
2. Make it Memorable.
What are the little extras that you can do to make your interactions with your clients memorable? Your customer will remember the handwritten thank-you note that you send. She'll remember the extra spec samples that you had made up to show her what her logo would look like on some additional ways to help her achieve her goals. He'll remember that you took the time to provide a post-project review of what worked, what could be better and the results of the program. They'll even remember that your invoice was accurate, timely and conformed to their corporate requirements. Your brand is built with the details and the extras.