Brand “Me” – Execution for Results…
I have a brand. Or should I say: I AM the brand. I have taken my name, “Gitomer” and turned it into my brand. My column has been in the Charlotte Business Journal every week for twelve years. It’s now in 95 markets. My website is my name: gitomer.com. My company is my name: Buy Gitomer. And everything I do has my name on it.
What’s your brand?
How do you get a brand?
First: If you’re a small business person, don’t read a book on it. I have yet to find one that is pragmatic enough to work. Second, think “me” and “give-to-get.” Third, think “promotion” not “advertising.”
Here’s my personal formula for developing a personal brand:
Be willing to give of yourself first. It’s not the only way, but it is the best and most long-lasting one I’ve found.
Dedicate time to make it happen. Or it won’t happen. If you want to make a lasting mark, it must be preceded with a master plan.
Get others to help you . List the people you think can help you or help you connect and ask for their support. (The easiest way to get support? Give it first without keeping score.)
Make a brief 30-second commercial . Include what you do and how you can help others. Deliver it AFTER you have asked the other person what they do.
Combine outreaches . Example:
— Get your charity to get you into the community as a spokesperson.
— Donate a scholarship to the trade association of your best client.
— Give a talk and donate the speaking fee to your charity.
— Make a donation in honor of a significant event in a customer’s life.
Do everything with a creative flair. Do something that makes the time and effort you gave worth remembering. Memorability is a vital link to building market awareness.
Get the best business card money can buy . It’s your image and it makes an impact every time you give one. Either wow, positive, mediocre or negative. Engrave it, blind emboss it, foil stamp it, logo it, graphic design it, multi-color it. Here’s the acid test. When you give out your card, if someone doesn’t look at it and say “nice card,” get it redone.
Stay in front of the people you want to do business with. By combining your outreaches, you can create a steady flow of your images (in the paper, weekly ezine, on TV, your newsletter, etc.) to your target market. It takes between five and ten images to create awareness great enough to make a buying decision.
Become a resource. It’s much more powerful than someone perceiving you as a salesman or entrepreneur. People will want to be around you, and pay attention to what you say, if they believe what you say and do has value to them and their business.
Persistence and consistency are the secrets. Don’t do anything once and then sit back and wait. You must keep plugging without expectation. If you’re good, have patience. Your phone will ring.
Have a good time doing it. People who take it too serious have problems sorting out what’s important in the world. Treat it like an important game. Play as hard as you can to win.
Strive to be the best at whatever you do. Go for the personal goal to be the best. Not the material goal to make a lot of money. Be the best and the money will automatically show up.
Ignore idiots and zealots. There are a lot of jealous people and nay-sayers in the world. Ignore them. They are the people who rain on your parade because they have no parade of their own.
One personal branding step at a time…
What should you do first? Make a plan. Write your specific objectives and what you expect to get from each outreach. Note well that the best plan is a solid mix of things.
Your best initial investment? Seek professional help. Pay a public relations person an hour or two fee and bounce ideas off them. Ask them what they would do if it were them and their zero-budget. I’d rather have $200.00 worth of professional advice than a $200.00 worthless ad that gets no response.
Get an ad specialty that’s novel. Get something people will talk about or show to others. Get something they will see or use daily and think of you in a positive way. Make sure the quality of the ad specialty reflects the quality of your company. Go first class or don’t travel.
To get the fastest (and best) results, go slow . A good plan takes a year to start working, and gathers momentum between year one and year three. The business community (local or by industry) is wary of a flash in the pan. Slow and steady is the watchword, especially steady. Low heat takes longer to cook, but always tastes better and you never get burned.
Become known as a person of action …
A person who gets things done. A leader. It’s not just a reflection on you it’s a reflection on your company, the products and services you offer, and your brand.
It’s something you can’t place a value on or buy, but it’s the difference between sale and no sale. It’s the difference between having to sell, and people wanting to buy.
Free GitBit. Want Harvey Mackay’s ten rules of networking? We have been given permission to excerpt a page from THE BEST NETWORKING BOOK EVER: Harvey Mackay’s Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty. Just go to www.gitomer.com, register if you’re a first time user, and enter the words DIG YOUR WELL in the GitBit box.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible , and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts internet training programs on selling and customer service at www.trainone.com. He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
2003 All Rights Reserved – Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer