Back in the day, marketing your business looked like this:
- Hang a shingle; join the local chamber of commerce; hire someone to design business cards and a tri-fold brochure … wait for the phone to ring.
- Sell, sell, sell.
- Send out a direct mail piece … wait for the phone to ring.
- Sell, sell, sell.
- Flyer the parking lots around town … wait for the phone to ring.
All that old school sitting around waiting for the phone to ring can be depressing and scary. We feel much better today, don’t we? Today we just launch a product, tap a few clever social media keystrokes, and then wait for the payments to fall into whatever account is connected to the “Buy” button.
What about the days when the buy button seems to be broken? How about when the email that says “you just got paid” is delayed? I know … hang a shingle, join the chamber and make yourself some new business cards!
Going “old school” is not a bad thing. It’s simply a matter of going to the well of wisdom (like the people who say “back in the day”) and pulling up a pail of what has always worked.
Customer service, a reliable sales cycle, and relationship-building are needed whether your marketing strategies are old school or new school.
I assume you are a focused, directed, optimistic and forward-moving person with a message, a gift, a product or service that the world is waiting for. How do you thrive and flourish in a buzzy, noisy, crowded arena? You need well-honed strategies for crafting a clear and concise message that gets you noticed and remembered. Here are three things to remember:
- Clever never goes out of style (but not TOO clever).
- Unique wins the prize (but not SO unique that you have to struggle to educate people before they buy).
- Offering up what your ideal customer wants is the ultimate brass ring (what they SAY they want, not what you think they want).
If you are that person with something the world is waiting for, your personal branding strategy is really important. Your brand is all about what makes you unique, relevant, irresistible and compelling to your market.
There has NEVER been a more important time to build your brand because today, no matter what business you are in, your customers are online checking you out and checking out others who do what you do. Never has there been a more vital time to stand out and make sure your potential customers choose you, recommend you and stick with you.
Branding is the conversation about trust and expectation that occurs between you and your clients and would-be clients. It may not happen in words you will ever hear, but the conversation is happening. You want to control it by giving people all the possible visual cues, consistency, and tools for remembering you.
The essential parts of your brand include dozens of touch points: your business card, stationery and collateral materials; your voicemail greeting and invoice; your attire and where you choose to network; your CD, web or print portfolio; your blog and other social media, including what you do or don’t reveal about yourself; and on and on.
Your brand includes the colors and style and consistency of message, of course, but it’s also the promise associated with all the physical components you have chosen to represent you and your product or services.
The promise is the strong emotion or feeling you hope to convey, and you need to live up to it at all costs! Your promise is an agreement with your prospects and clients alike that you are indeed the best choice, and the trust they are going to ascribe to you is an asset they won’t give away to the unworthy.
Your brand is an experience. It’s all the parts that make YOU (if you work in a company) or YOU (if you are an entrepreneur) stand out in the crowd. It’s your promise to be a certain way, deliver your goods a certain way, correct errors or disappointments a certain way.
Add Some Va Va Voom
Va Va Voom will help you put your values, passions, and strengths into a more effective branding strategy.
The first “V” is for VECTOR, which means a heading or a chosen or taken course. Take time to establish where you are, where you’re going, and once you get there, will you like it?
The second “V” is for VITALITY. You’ll need to exhibit all the spunk, pluck, pizzazz and sparkle you can muster to not only stand for your promise, but to stand out from your competition. The audacity, intensity and zest you deliver in all your communication and relationship management will be a signal that people will remember – so tune up and go for it! And while you’re at it, see what you can do to ensure that you are indeed the best choice, maybe even a “Category of One” (think Virgin Airlines).
The “V” in Voom is for VISION. The quality of your vision determines the creativity, quality and originality of your ideas and solutions. A powerful vision statement should stretch expectations and aspirations, help you jump out of your comfort zone, and open your eyes to what is possible.
The “M” in Voom is for MISSION. A personal mission statement is a brief description of what you want to focus on, what you want to accomplish and who you want to become in a particular area of your life over the next one to three years. It is a way to focus your energy, actions, behaviors and decisions towards the things that are most important to you.
That takes care of the consonants – now what’s left in Va Va Voom? A couple of a’s and a pair of o’s. Aaaa, oooo. Or better yet, ooo aaa. That’s the piece you can really use – what is the ooh ahh you want to convey? That’s the thing that makes you different!
Deborah L. Brown has over 30 years’ experience as a publicist, marketer, editor, publisher, promotional consultant, and freelance commercial writer. As the co-host of over 1000 episodes of The Boomer and The Babe Show, Deborah has given voice to 78 million Baby Boomers from coast to coast. She operates a boutique firm that provides platform-building and publishing services for authorpreneurs, including editing and formatting their books. In addition to writing a series of marketing books and trying her hand at flash fiction, Deborah designs and illustrates coloring book journals for adults and children. Connect with Deborah via http:ColoringJournalsforHealthyLiving.com