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 about 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 customers life.
- Do everything with a creative flair. 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 – be the best. Not the material goal — 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.