What do you want people to say about you?

by Sonja van den Bosch

What do you want people to say about you?

I am a big advocate of personal branding and believe that it is a useful marketing strategy for a lot of businesses, especially when relationships are important. What do I mean by personal branding? Personal branding is about bringing your unique personality to the forefront and using this in your client and prospect communications. It is not necessarily about what you say or what you do, but it is about how you make people feel.

Personal branding starts with who you are on the inside. It is about your values, your passion, your skills, the way you communicate, the way you look, the way you behave. It is the total picture of who you are as a person.

The main question to answer is:

‘What do you want people to say about you when you leave the room?’

Once you’ve answered that question, see how this relates to your business, your staff, your clients and your strategic partners around you. You’ll realise that you are having the most rewarding and lucrative relationships with the people around you that fit best with your personal brand.

Often business owners are scared to bring their personal brand to the forefront. They think it is not professional. Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about telling the whole wide world all the ins and outs of your personal life (as too many people do on Facebook), but it is about giving yourself an edge, making yourself human. There is nothing wrong with telling people what you stand for. Yes, some people might not be attracted to this, but I can assure you that you’ll attract the right type of people. Also remember that people like to do business with people (they like), so showing your human side will help with this.

Personal branding is a great tool to differentiate yourself
If you are offering a commodity product or service, or if you find it hard to find a point of difference, think about who you are as a person. I bet you there is only one of you on this planet. Think about what unique strength or combination of strengths you can bring to the forefront and be very clear about who you are and who you are not.

Personal branding can help you build your business
Often business owners are too afraid to attach themselves too much to the business. However, a personal brand can help you build your business. Look at Richard Branson who has been the king of personal branding to build his business empire.

On a final note, I’d like to finish off with a personal branding quote from Oscar Wilde:

‘Be yourself, everyone else is already taken’.

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Inspirational marketing is about being true to yourself, being aligned with your core values and doing something you truly believe in and are passionate about. It is about creating meaningful relationships with everyone you encounter. It is about thoughts from the heart.

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