In the old days a brand was a promise of the value you would receive for the time and money you spent on a service or product. But nowadays, everything is branded. Even you. And if you’re brand isn’t strong, neither is your business. You need a strong brand to distinguish you from the competition. So take a lesson from the big brands and rebrand yourself now.
Start by writing your own mission statement. What drives you? Learning something new? Gaining recognition for your skills as a technical wizard? Shepherding new ideas from concept to market? The answers to questions like these form the nucleus of your mission statement.
Next, decide on the service or product that will deliver what drives you to yourself. What value does this service or product also provide for your customers? How is your product or service different? Identify the qualities or characteristics that make you distinctive from your competitors. What have you done to make yourself stand out? What do you do that adds remarkable, measurable, distinguished, distinctive value?
The answers to these questions come from your Mission Statement. If your statement wouldn’t light up the eyes of a future customer, or even grab you, keep working on it until its right.
The second phase of your rebranding is to create a message and a strategy to promote your brand. The first step is visibility. People have to see your brand. Everything you do communicates your brand, including the way you handle phone conversations, emails, and business meetings. The point is to build influence through word-of-mouth marketing.
Here are a few ways to promote your brand:
- Sign up for an extra project inside your organization to introduce yourself to new colleagues and showcase your skills.
- Take on a freelance project that gets you in touch with a totally novel group of people. If you can get them singing your praises, they’ll help spread the word about what a remarkable contributor you are.
- Teach a class at a community college, in an adult education program, or in your own company.
- Write a column or an opinion piece in your local newspaper, professional newsletters, or in-house company publications.
- Get yourself on a panel discussion at a conference or sign up to make a presentation at a workshop.
- Contribute to blogs
- Joint groups on Linkedin.com and start conversations or contribute to current conversations
- Setup a facebook.com page and a twitter account for yourself and start discussions
- Join Focus.com and contribute to conversations
Finally, reinvent your brand on a regular basis. Review your mission statement every six months to ensure that you still believe what you wrote, and refine it to include any new skills you’ve learned or achievements you’ve accomplished. Then review the strategies you used to promote your brand and the impressions both your brand and your strategies made on those who experienced them.