11 quick ways to make yourself unique the first steps towards branding you
Thanks for downloading this ebook. Iâ€™m still working on most of the tips in it, because identity and personality is an ongoing process. It really is important to do this stuff everyday. No-one ever made by being the same as everyone else!
Contact Web site www.reallygoodwriting.co.uk Twitter www.twitter.com/mikegarner Facebook www.facebook.com/reallygoodwriting
Table of Contents 1.
What do you do?
Tell your story
Be likeable and share stuff
Care about what other people are saying
Be yourself and true to your core values
Do what you love the most
Focus on your skills
Know what people are saying about you
10. Learn who you are and then be you all the time
11. Put forward your best unique you
"Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You." - Tom Peters in Fast Company
We live in a world that is increasingly homogenised, some would say bland. We are afraid to stand out from the crowd. "Personal branding" is a somewhat over used expression these days but small businesses and even more so individual business owners can build themselves a great future if they concentrate on the message they send and the style in which they communicate. This ebook is obviously as very brief introduction to a subject that can’t be covered in 2,500 words. However, I hope it will get you thinking and get you to ask yourself some of the questions in it. If you want to learn more, contact me, feel free to disagree (but not to abuse, I’m sensitive and don’t take kindly to that type of thing) or to add your comments, I’d love to hear from you. Enjoy the book.
1. What do you do? Your uniqueness is based on what you do. So ask yourself that very question. What do I do? The answer isn't "I'm an accountant", "I'm a marketer" or "I'm a bricklayer". In fact "what do you do" isn't even the right question. The question is rather, "what problem do I solve?" My accountant sorts my paperwork, helps me pay less tax and generally saves me headaches. As a marketer, I help you define your communication better and I'd like a bricklayer, well, to build me a brick wall. So when you get asked that question "what do you do?" that will be inevitably asked every time you meet someone you don't know (or even you do know some times), be ready. Develop your 15, 30, and 90 second "personal commercial". The 15 second handshake intro, the 30 second elevator pitch and the 90 second interview "Tell me about yourself". But no more than that. When their eyes start glazing over or you walk away, youâ€™ve said too much. Go back to your social profiles, put the 15-second version on your Twitter, Facebook and Google + profile, your 30-second version on your blog "about" section, your 90-second version on Linkedln. Then promote the hell out of them.
2. Be consistent A brand isn't a logo and some nice colours. It comes across in what you do, how you interact with your customers and the language that you use. This must be consistent across all types of media. Failure to do this will just confuse your customers. Not something you want to do. So use the same language, colours, themes, voice everywhere you appear; web, print and on your business card. Think seriously about the tone that you intend to employ across everything and stick to it. A great example of this is Innocent Drinks. You may not have the resources or the inclination to do something and strong as this but that you will be remembered by the overall impression that you give and that better be consistent because if it's not, you will fail. Make sure the messages you portray on Facebook are the same in spirit as those you display on Google + or Twitter. People trust consistency. Also, make sure you have a presence on all major social networks, Facebook, Twitter, Google + (remember, Google owns search) and probably Pinterest now. There aren't too many to worry about, so take the extra time and effort and build your brand across all important channels and keep it consistent!
3. Tell your story This is probably the most important point of all those made in this document. All great advertising and marketing is story telling and conversely what are stories if they are not a blatant attempt to get you to sell an idea? I bet you have a ton of things locked away in your memories that make you and your business what you are today. Use these to tell people about yourself. Don't fake it but don't be afraid to pull a few heart strings, you will give readers a way to identify with you and what you do. This is so much easier now you can use blogs to describe specific projects, publications, and experiences. Then Facebook introduced the Timeline that is taylor made for telling your story The key is carefully selected categories and liberal use of tags for the posts in all types of platform. This will allow readers to quickly find the topics in which they are interested. And since you're making it easy to find the information they're looking for, you can feel free to include lots of details, making them as interactive as possible.
4. Be likeable and share stuff Oh that one. You hear this all the time in social media guides. Be open and likeable. But what does it actually mean? There's no real secret to it in the online space, it's just the same as in "real" environments. Treat people with respect and they'll be the same with you (generally). And if they don't? Well hey, that's life. Just move on to the next one. Give your stuff away for free. Euh? This is a staple of content marketing but why should you do it? It's quite simple, to build trust. How would you feel about someone who gave you something for free? Would you be more or less likely to buy something from them?
For many this may be counter-intuitive. Let's put it another way, "pay it forward". Don't be afraid to get into conversations on social media, blogs and in the newsletters you send out. People will reply and make comments. That's because they are reaching out to you. Reach back and always try to help others. Eventually this will reflect well on yourself. It takes time and patience, but building a brand does not happen overnight Sharing and free is just marketing.
5. Care about what other people are saying Don't be insincere about it, you'll be found out in about 5 minutes. It's human mature for us to want to talk about ourselves. We like it when other people care about our successes so don't be afraid to congratulate and commiserate with other people. It's one of the best ways of getting them to care about you.
6. Be yourself and true to your core values Even if people disagree with you, stick with who you are. Everyone may not like me but motives are good and I am ethical, I try to do things as they should be done. That is what is important. If your customers and perspective clients can't feel that you believe in yourself and your product then all the marketing in the world won't get you anywhere. Do what you believe - and believe in what you do. This creates an underlying relationship built on trust that will net you the customers and clients.
7. Do what you love the most I'll be willing to bet that at some stage or other you've done a job that you hated, even if it was a holiday job delivering leaflets to businesses on an industrial estate. Did you do that job to the best of your ability? Of course you didn't. It was rubbish. Why did you start your business? Was it for freedom? To get rid of the boss? Was it to become a millionaire or because you just had to see if you could do it? Whatever the reason, you will only do it best because it's what you love doing. When you get up in the morning, you can't wait to get to your desk. Your disposition is great and your clients know that. They trust you because they can see your passion for your job. And you're happy. What else could you want?
8. Focus on your skills You’re really good at what you do, aren’t you? (If not, why are you in your business then?) The sole aim of your online presence is to show what you know how to do. Your message must be "I'm an expert" (‘cos you are). There will be someone out there looking for bird scaring skills and you are pretty much the one person to go to in that field. I really can't help you with the technical stuff in that particular area but I found out that you exist from a Google search. That should tell you something. People are looking for you so make it easy for them to find you.
9. Know what people are saying about you Treat your personal brand the way you would your corporate brand. This means promoting, tracking, analysing, and optimising. Record all interactions, use unique URLs to track traffic sources to your personal site(s) or blog(s), create measurable goals, analyse data, review what is working and implement your own best practices. There are many reasons to monitor what people are saying about you. First among them is customer service. Then there's marketing, looking for people that are looking for what you do. It's also a way of developing your uniqueness. Your uniqueness to your customers. Your brand is your reputation and your reputation is what people think and say about you. You can go well beyond Google Analytics with this, Facebook has its own Insights package that will tell you who's coming and going and what they are doing. Here's a few other ideas. Set up Google Alerts for your name, brands, blogs etc.
Use Search Twitter to monitor mentions of you, your business etc. Even if you are not on Twitter, this is a good idea. Load the searches into an RSS reader. If you want to do it all in one place, use Hootsuite or TweetDeck . These are both tools that will help you monitor not just Twitter but Facebook and Linkedln. You'll be able to set up alerts, just like in Twitter Search, plan your posts for the next week or get analytics. With the Pro version, you can manage more than just your own accounts, you can handle your clients' as well. Engage in conversation with people from varied backgrounds. You want to know opposing views. People with different backgrounds can provide insights on the image you are projecting." Apart from Hootsuite, there's a host of other third-party applications to measure the metrics of your online presence. You can even determine when's the best time for you to post!
10. Learn who you are and then be you all the time There’s not reason to over-complicate this, we’re not talking years of therapy here. The “you” in question is your business and has nothing to do with your screwed up childhood (if it was screwed up that is - delete as applicable). What’s in your businesses DNA? What are its values? How does it serve its customers? There is one harsh truth. You can’t do “everything”. When I first started translating in 1996 I was told, “there are two types of translator, the specialist and the hungry. Hunger’s not good So drill down to the main benefit of what you do. That’s the starting point of your communication. If you say to yourself, “I do everything in accountancy”, people will think you’re a jack of all trades. And you know what people think of them. This will help you to be authentic and believable. Benefits, benefits, benefits. And remember, specialists charge more.
11. Put forward your best unique you We’ve figured out quite a lot of uniqueness, haven’t we? Do you feel you know what makes you unique? Most of your competitors are generic. They’re sheep. They don’t get the reasons for being different. But you get it don’t you? You understand that if you’re likeable, consistent and love what you do, you’ll stand out. The others are pushing qualities that are average in their industry. They are just white noise. Now you’ve found that best unique you, go out and promote it. Shout it from the roof tops. No-one else will. Get out there on social media, get sending that email newsletter that you’ve always wanted to do, and talk to everyone you see about your great little (soon to be big) business. Only you know how to do it (you do really). You have the guts to do it. You’ve worked it out now. Off you go!
The End So there you go. 11 quick ways to make yourself unique. If you want to learn more, I run sessions on identity where I ask you some very difficult questions either face to face or on Skype. Iâ€™m also designing and writing course about how to make the most of your personality when you communicate so I love to to get in touch with questions and challenges. What would you like to learn? I also write copy that can be interesting and wacky or sober and serious. Just donâ€™t ask me to write corporate. Thanks for reading. Speak soon.
Really Good Writing www.reallygoodwriting.co.uk www.twitter.com/mikegarner www.facebook.com/reallygoodwriting
the first steps towards branding you