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Make Your Brand Be What You Are

Jun 4, 2008
One of the most common mistakes that people make when they start an online business is to rush into the creation of that business to create a quick buck. This can lead to people not branding themselves properly and proper branding is crucial to the overall success of a business. Many people don't understand the importance of self branding when they create a business. There are many reasons why self branding is essential to the long-term financial prosperity of your online business.

One of the latest ways that people are branding themselves online is through blogs. What is a blog? Well a blog, short for web log, is a website maintained by an individual, with regular entries or commentary about a specific topic. These entries are normally displayed in reverse chronological order. When a blog is properly maintained and constantly updated with up to date valuable information, the owner of the blog can become an authority on a subject and create a loyal following, which can help to build relationships and may lead to sales.

YouTube has totally changed the world of online sales and branding in general. YouTube is a video sharing website where users can upload view and share video clips. This is a great way to present your business opportunity to others and it also give you a great way to brand yourself through video. Creating a channel around your subject matter is a another great way to create a loyal following. Some stats for videos reveals that more than 100 million videos were being watched every day (as of July 2006).

Think yourself as a product. Self-branding is to use branding tools (e.g., strategies, tactics, communication messages, blogs, photos and videos) to maximize your own image. "Brand You" defines who you are, how you are great and why you should be sought out. Self-branding is to create your reputation in a targeted population and which may be your colleagues, potential clients, future employers etc.

Creating products or services that help others increase their online potential is another way to branding yourself. These include e-books, websites, application packages, and software. Adding you name to an e-book or a some other product can create a viral type of marketing that is unstoppable with the right content. The same goes for the products and services. With the right product or service that carters to your industry you can find plenty of people that are willing not only to use your product but they will also see you as an authority and check your business at the same time.

It has been said "Self-branding is thinking of yourself as a 'product' in a competitive marketplace, and using strategy, tactics, image development, messaging and the other branding tools so you can maximize your most important asset, "You". Branding is no longer exclusively associated with companies. Whether you are a job seeker looking for work or a business person looking for clients, you need instant brand recognition. Something special that distinguishes you from everyone else.

Branding isn't just for companies. People in all walks of life and various career stages are starting to use self-branding to get ahead. Like a company and its products in the marketplace, self-branding means looking at yourself as a winning brand.

The cardinal rule of branding is, be different. Brand strategy is about pinpointing relevant differences and creating positive perceptions. It's the same with people. It used to be about, can you do the job? Today many people can do what you do. So it has to be about something more.

Branding for people is about finding your big idea your unique selling proposition (USP).The USP is the big idea that brands are always searching for. A USP gives a brand a compelling value proposition with its target audience. Likewise, you want to represent something special that sets you apart from others and establishes a value equation for you and your abilities.

Another key tenet of branding is be relevant. That is why marketers frequently conduct a brand audit - studying a brand's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats called the SWOT analysis. You can do the same. The SWOT analysis is an intensive look at your strengths, and weaknesses in a real-world framework. Strengths and weaknesses, the first two areas, deal with you.

Start with skills, experience and accomplishments. Then expand the list to include personality traits. Expand it to include anyone you have ever known or ever met, or anything you have ever explored or been interested in. The opportunities and threats deal with things that could affect you in the future. What is going on that could dramatically change things? Business is dynamic so there is always movement and change.

If people think you are on top of your game, you will be. If people think you're a B player, you will be until you change their perceptions. You success in business or life is based on perceptions, other people's perceptions of who you are, how good you are, and even what you are worth. Branding strategies and tactics can help you build the right perceptions in the minds of others about you.

Self-branding means looking at yourself as a marketer would look at a product that he or she wants to make a winning brand. You don't think of yourself as an employee even if you work for a boss. You think of yourself as working for yourself marketing the brand you. The first thing a marketer does is analyze the market and the product to understand what the opportunities are, what the threats are.

Brands try to imprint a word, or a short phrase, in the minds of consumers. If they succeed, people think of the brand when they hear the word, and vice-versa. For example, overnight is FedEx, and safety is identified with Volvo. Owning a word helps people too. Your word can be a positive attribute that defines you, your philosophy or your accomplishments. Smart business people use a defining word or phrase in defining key initiatives or the business philosophy at their company.
About the Author
Gav Shannon is a Network Marketing Professional who writes about different topics that he feels may be of an interest.If You want to know more about him go to http://www.gavshannon.com
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