Many of my colleagues over at SteamFeed.com write about and teach about Branding. Branding is one of the most important things one needs to understand and pursue correctly when owning a small business. How you brand your business can be the difference in making it or breaking it. Your brand is the first thing people will see and “associate” with your business. Your Brand makes the first impression and speaks volume’s about who and what your business is all about. But what about when you are the brand?
To Be or Not to Be…
For many, the business and yourself are one in the same brand. Many in the speaking
Marietje Schaake @ State of Social Media Summit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
industry as well as the social media profession fall into this category. One of the first things you have to ask yourself is which one is going to be my “main” brand focus? My business or myself. For me I chose to focus more on myself being a social media professional with a solid social media presence and reputation first, with my company brand following a close second. No matter which way you choose to go, there is no right or wrong answer, it’s really just which approach you decide to take.
Your Committed, Now What
So you have decided that you are going to be the Brand, you will be putting you, yourself out there first and foremost, what now. You need to establish yourself as the “go to” person in your chosen business category. Get people to see what it is you want people to know about you. For example, my field is a holistic approach to Social Media and Technology. So I want people to immediately think Social Media when they see, I am the brand. Some of the things that I started doing to build my brand, and continue to do to this day.
- I write a column for the local newspaper about Social Media subject matter and how businesses can utilize the many different aspects of the social space.
- I write a regular blog, not only one, but a number on a number of different platforms, of course always about the same subject matter….one topic or another in the social media space.
- I work closely with our local Chamber of Commerce and do “lunch & learn” presentations to local business owners helping them understand some of the core strategies involving their business and how it fits into the social space. I involve them and always ask at the end of each presentation what topic they want me to talk about the following month
- I do a podcast that talks about the social space,,,and I make sure the local business community is aware of it, and how they can find it to further help them in their social media needs
- I often write from local cafes, etc using different tools. Many times I use my Galaxy Note Smart phone with a portable keyboard that I carry in my pocket and fold out. I can’t tell you how many times doing this one exercise people have struck up a conversation with me about what I am doing and the tools I am utilizing to do it.
There are a number of other things, however I believe you get the picture. In a few years I established myself as the “social media guy”. I am now consulted on social media topics from every level of profession in our community, from the County Commissioners to the local business community, to individuals that have a question about their own social media activity. When they think social media, I come to mind. I can’t tell you how many times I have been referred to as “that social media guy”, I have succeeded in making me my brand.
The Key is in the Service
I would have to say that for me, I have found the key, the golden ring has been in serving your community, giving back, educating, being an available and trusted resource on the topic of social media. Often times I have colleagues ask me, why do you give away so much information for free. Well the answer is, because I only give away what my audience can digest, and more often than not, that amount is “the basics”. When they dive in and realize that they are going to need to devote a lot more time to really be successful in utilizing the social space, who do think they call, yeah that’s right.
So what things do you do or have done to brand yourself: