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How much is your personal brand worth anyway?

Everyone talks about the value of strong and positively charged brands today – we simply want to reinforce positive emotions in our customers' minds. We want them to think good things about us and here comes the million dollar question: “What are the main connection points between a customer or a potential customer and your business?”Is it knowledge, generosity, speed, great value for the money, good service - or is it arrogance, sloppy work, will never be ready in time, expensive …?

The job of reinforcing brands really start at the micro level - with you, that is. For many of your customers, it's you who personifies the brand. And then there's another important question: “What do the customers think when they hear your name”? Are you reliable, knowledgeable, generous or do you never return their calls, use strange excuses, never deliver in time, send vague invoices or do you appear sloppy?

It all starts with you. Therefore you'll get some quick advice that you can use. Think about whether they can help you and your company gain a stronger brand recognition in today's recession.

1. What first impression do you give? Are you dressed for the task, are you on time, are you well prepared?

2. Do you inform the customers of any bad news in time? Sometimes things go wrong and anyone who cares for his brand has to tell the bad news the moment he/she gets them instead of waiting for three days (by this time the customer is already angry).

3. Do the customers feel that you care for them? An ideal business is one that makes customers calm and always takes the initiative when it comes down to providing information about the current situation. Customers who know that you take responsibility for solving their problems, will keep enjoying being your customers.

4. Are you the one who comes up with solutions to the problems? Some people spend most of their time looking for problems and honestly, it's not that hard to find problems. If you provide your customers with thoughtful solutions to their problems, you will get more respect and you will be admired by your customers and managers. (and friends)

5. Are you nice? What you say and don't say is important. If you talk disparaging bout others, use sarcasm or in general appear unpleasant in front of others, people will become afraid of suffering the same treatment. People will try to avoid further contact with you.

6. Do you bring the problem to the one you have trouble with? If you find it difficult to work with a certain person, talk to him/her and don't go to the boss or discuss the problem at a meeting.

7. Do you stand firm in your commitments? Since others depend on your work, you will give them a problem if you don't do what you have agreed on in time. If you are the one who always do what you have said that you will do, the strength of your brand will increase.

8. Do you help others to become better and develop? Everyone has their own talents and experience. If you can help an employee to develop, you won't just help him/her, but ultimately the company and yourself because you will gain a new friend.

Consider the people you work with as your customers. Then it's easy to know how to behave towards them. It may feel excessively - oh my God, we can't walk around on pins and needles and smile all day, but then I must tell you that I think you should treat your customers as your best friends, not just as someone you should just suck up to. You should give them your skills and knowledge – that's the way to treat customers because eventually you will also get something back for yourself.
10. Do you compliment other people?
There is a cynical expression which, unfortunately, is fairly correct: “People believe in anything as long as it's a compliment”. I do. You do, too. But sincere compliments are all about work, not about looks (sleazy ones from a man to a woman), are always appreciated. It's wonderful that such a simple thing as telling someone that he/she is doing a good job can make such a huge, positive difference for other people - and it's because you praise someone and really mean it. He/she won't forget that it was you who made his/her day

Finally: Which of these points will you invest in to strengthen your brand this week?


About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.