How 21st century solopreneurs build a magnetic brand.
Updated: Nov 30, 2019
If you're a new soloprenuer, now is the perfect time to think about a brand new you. Or more to the point–a new brand: YOU!
Big name marketers spend billions of dollars each year managing the perception of their brands in the hearts and minds of their customers. In good times and bad, marketers strive to harness the power of perception to influence behaviors and turn prospects into customers. Brands are the basis of our consumer society. Brands connect with us on deep emotional levels.
The sum total of a customer‘s perception and experiences with a product, service, organization and individual is called a brand. As a solopreneur, you can and should think of yourself, your talent, and your capability in the same way. You are a Brand.
Like a brand, the manner in which you “face the world” represents attributes about who you are, what you do and how you do it. I call this the "quality of your presence". People all around you are constantly in an emotional state of connecting (or not) to these attributes.
Your spouse, family, friends, colleagues, customers, clients and your community at large, (we'll call these customers of your personal brand) are experiencing some aspect of what your brand promises them. In marketing parlance, we call this brand experience.
Take a good hard look at what you represent in the marketplace. Are you an established leading brand, an innovative up-and-coming-brand, or a me-too discount brand thrown in the slush pile at the dollar store?
A new brand YOU–is up to you.
You have an identity, a persona, a unique way of being in the world. You also have expertise, skill and talents that add value to people. To build a strong and influential brand called YOU, you need to be clear about who you are, what value you offer, and why what you offer is important to people (customers).
Now more than ever, to succeed, you must have a solid value system that guides your important decisions. You will make a promise of value that people need fulfilled, and you will deliver in accordance to your values. Or, stated another way, you keep your promises.
As a result, your brand will be highly trusted and valued by people who sing your praises to others in their circle.
A positive perception of your brand (you) is your biggest financial asset. As you grow the influence of your brand, your brand equity (the sum total of your good will) grows accordingly.
There are three main components that comprise your personal brand. Like three legs of a stool, they must be in harmonious alignment. Let‘s look closer:
This is who you are, what values you represent, your heritage, your story, what you are called, and how you represent yourself in the marketplace. Think about this for a minute. What is your brand identity? What do you stand for and represent? What makes you –you? Is your identity in the world aligned with your purpose? Are you true to yourself? Your brand identity, when properly positioned in the minds of your tribe, distinguishes you from others. Your identity makes you unique and therefore special.
This is what you do, your expertise and capability, your product, the thing you do to create value for people. Value creation is the foundation of a brand‘s utility. Think about how you might continuously improve your product (you) to create more value for the people in your life (customers).
This is what customers (people in your life) believe their benefits are in associating with your brand. It is your unique value proposition to your customers. Think about your brand promise. What value can you create for people? Do you over promise and under deliver?
When customers, (people in your life) think of your brand (you), naturally you want it to be uplifting and inspiring.
When these three components of your brand are all in sync, you will have created a compelling, consistent and positive set of thoughts and associations in your customer‘s minds. In marketing speak; we call this “brand image”. Conversely, when these components are not in sync, the components still form themselves into a perception in people’s minds –it’s just not a positive one.
When customers (people in your life) have positive associations with your brand over time, you will have earned “brand equity“ the power within you to influence others and make bigger things happen in life that you desire. Only then will you own the influence to shift demand for your offerings toward you, because you are providing greater value for all concerned.
Your brand is the foundation on which your dreams and desires in life and your business are built. I‘ll leave you to ponder this question: