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Self-branding - Making a Name for Yourself

Aug 21, 2007
The trend in Internet Marketing is for new businesses to be eponymous: named after a person. It's a refreshing trend, moving away from the hype that often is associated with many B2B IM enterprises. If both businesses have the same product or service, the "name" brand will be less likely to repel customers and more likely to be remembered.

The real power of name branding is making an emotional connection with the marketplace. People want to know there's a real person behind the facade of the business. In IM, personal connections count for more than any physical or financial benefit that might be offered. There are plenty of good benefits out there. The way to make your benefits more attractive is to be there to back them up, personally.

There are exceptions to this rule of thumb, but that's the point. They are exceptional, and not part of the general trend in doing business with other IM business owners. A name and a face, associated with a company name and logo, do more for credibility and creating trust than not knowing who's behind the curtain. In an area where scams, rip-offs and "under delivering" are a part of doing business, knowing exactly whom you're dealing with makes it easier to decide to try someone new.

How you position yourself with self-branding is a flexible decision. You can have a company name that doesn't use your own name in the title, but puts you up front as the "face" of the company to the world. As you build your company's brand recognition and reputation, you'll become synonymous with that reputation. This means you had better be everything you imply you'll be. Predictable, reliable, dependable - these synonyms all mean that you are a safe and trusted choice for the customer to make. Make sure your actions back them up.

It's also a good idea to consider being a bit "bigger than life". Having a wild look to your brand, using humor and visual exaggeration, can be a big plus. You need look no further than Seth Godin's "Purple Cow" as an example of using a "shock value" image to garner attention and a following. Hype, properly used, is still a great way to get attention. Just make sure the hype is applied to your image, not your way of doing business.

Self-branding will make your reputation the most important part of your brand. A good reputation is like fine china: hard to make, easy to break and nearly impossible to repair. As long as you preserve your reputation, as if it was irreplaceable, you'll do just fine. If you ignore the importance of it, you'll be in for a rude awakening. In the marketplace, perception is reality, when it comes to brand awareness. If you are perceived as less than trustworthy, no amount of discounting, bonuses or freebies will make others feel differently about you.

Ultimately, self-branding is about being transparent. What people see through your marketing is what they'll get when they meet you in person or do business with you online. Your message and your product or service need to be congruent with one another. They should fit together seamlessly.

Your qualify as a person may exceed the actual quality of your goods, without harming your business or reputation. Being less than first quality in your communication and dealings with others will dilute the value of your products or services. Make sure that what you project to the world, especially the IM world, is consistent with what you are going to deliver. Give the best of yourself.
About the Author
Jo Han Mok is the author of the #1 international business bestseller, The E-Code.
He shares his amazing blueprint for creating million dollar internet businesses
at: http://www.InternetMillionaireBlueprints.com
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