Personal Brand Checkup: Is Your Brand Healthy?
As you know, a strong personal brand can make all the difference for your business. A strong brand helps to differentiate you from others in your marketplace, enables you to attract and retain new business more effectively than ever, and allows you to charge premium rates and still win the business. So, without any further ado, here is the million-dollar question (literally): how powerful is your personal brand?
To help you answer this question, and also to identify areas in need of improvement, answer the following questions below:
1) Does the essence of your brand come to mind whenever your audience hears your name, sees your logo, or meets you face-to-face? This is an easy question to answer—simply ask friends, family members, clients, and employees to write down the first three things they think of when they hear your name. Take a look at the results—do most of the traits identified relate to your brand?
2) Does your personal brand differentiate you from the competition in your market? A powerful brand effectively places you in a different category than the competition—in other words, there may be many tax accountants in your city, but you want to be known as THE premier go-to guy for tax accounting. Come up with a list of ten competitors and compare your branding materials—including website, business cards, blogs, books, speaking events, etc. Are you in a class of your own—or is it hard to identify any differences between you and the competition?
3) Does your brand justify higher prices by establishing additional value? The goal for most small business owners is to stop competing on price. In other words, to be able to charge higher prices and still bring in business. To do that, you must be find ways to add value to your products and services. Examples could include regularly publishing a newsletter, sending out holiday gifts, or even advertising a “24 hour response” policy for all phone calls from clients. The possibilities are endless. What do you do to add value to your services? Create a list—and if there is nothing substantial, get to work!
4) Does your brand address the needs of your market? An effective personal brand appeals to its target customers—does yours? Take the time to ask several clients to list their biggest fears or worries as they relate to the services you offer. If you’re a retirement planner, these fears may include things like “uncertainty about the future,” “fear of a market crash,” or “fear of running out of money.” Your brand should address these fears by radiating stability, experience, and level-headedness. If you’re a tax accountant, the biggest issues facing your customers may be a sense of intimidation or a fear of overpaying taxes. Your brand should address these concerns by emphasizing your knowledge and experience. Poll your customers—and evaluate whether or not your brand addresses their concerns!
Your answers to these four questions will be instructive. If you are excelling in all four areas, chances are you’re currently enjoying the fruits of a strong personal brand. If you are lacking in several areas, you now have an action plan—let us know if you need any help along the way!