Martha Stewart. Oprah. Donald Trump.
All of these insanely wealthy professionals sell stuff. But what’s their product?
Do you think Martha wakes up every morning concerned about a new pattern design for some bath towels?
Nope. All she has to do is concentrate on selling her most valuable asset.
Martha Stewart! (sometimes she messes up, but that’s life)
Every company, no matter the size, should be in the business of building a long-lasting brand based around a personality. Your product is too generic to compete on its own in this overcrowded, over exposed and highly distracting market.
Let’s use Bent Business Marketing as an example. My business offers several different marketing and advertising services designed to make any entrepreneur’s life easier. But to the average Joe, I’m just another marketing firm looking to promote social media, direct mail, ad design and website development. There’s a company advertising those same offerings every 50 or so miles from any given location in the entire country.
I am one of many!
But you know what I offer that no other company can even dream of competing with?
Andy Sokolovich “The Marketing Guy!”
I’m not in the marketing and advertising business; I’m in the Andy Sokolovich business.
As long as I offer a solid product, and ensure the value in my services is undeniable, my business will be just fine. But if I fail to brand myself, I will never reach the high level status of those names listed in the first sentence of this post. I don’t want to be just another business; I want to be the best I can be!
6 Ways to Highlight Your Most Valuable Asset…YOU!
1) Leave the business cards back at the office
Once a week, I want you to attend a social event and leave your business cards back at the office. Sever that connection to your business like an umbilical cord. If you have them burning a hole in your pocket, the first person you meet will be on the receiving end of a rapid sales pitch followed by the quick trade of a 3.5”x2” slice of colorful cardboard. Your mindset and attitude change when you engage in conversation purely to sell your business to a stranger. Try turning that stranger into a friend! Talk about your hobbies, interests or the sorry season of your favorite sports team. If he or she attempts to exchange business contacts with you, simply reply by saying, “I left the business cards back at the office. Tonight, I just wanted to make new friends.”
That will blow their mind! And they’ll be sure to remember YOU…not your business.
2) Get personal on your business’s Facebook page
Facebook is a great way to promote your business, but what makes you think that people want to engage with you based solely on the product you sell or service you offer? Just like a storefront, we only take the time to stop in when we want to make a purchase. But if we had a real relationship with the owner, or learned to love the personality of their employees, you might make time to visit simply to connect with a friend.
Post pictures of your family, employees, vacations, anything that will not be followed by a request to spend money. Highlight a member of your team that has awesome social skills! By creating a digital personality around your business, you are lowering any sort of resistance a prospect might experience when doing businesses with you for the first time. When they walk through the doors of your establishment, they will be greeted by familiar faces.
Plus, it’s always easier to spend money when you know and trust the person exchanging it with you.
3) Take the time to give back to your community
I’m not talking about cutting a check to sponsor an event, or donating money to a good cause. Those are both great ways to build buzz around your business, but this post is about building buzz around you.
Join a local organization like Kiwanis Club, Rotary, Lions, some form of weekly commitment where you can become a dependable member. Sacrifice time on your coveted weekends to help with downtown clean up projects. By doing selfless things to help those less fortunate, you are building some serious sweat equity, and as a result, increasing your personal resale value.
Nothing will pay off faster than hard work!
4) Implement my favorite core value: Integrity First
Integrity is defined as a firm adherence to a code of moral or artistic values. If you want to blast your personal value sky-high, do what’s right even when no one is looking. Exemplify the virtues outlined in the Golden Rule. If you want your business to be perceived as trustworthy, honest and credible, you will need to first define yourself as trustworthy, honest and credible.
One does not come without the other.
I recently met a gentleman who owned and managed a very successful business. His business’s brand was well-known, but I knew very little about him as a person or a professional. After spending approximately fifteen minutes in his company, it was obvious to me that I would never give him a cent of my money in the future. His arrogance was overwhelming. For that reason, I will never be an advocate for his business; I will never promote, advertise or recommend any organization in which his name is attached as the leader.
And that only took 15 minutes!
5) “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” ~Zig Ziglar
Now Zig wasn’t the first person to come up with this concept for building a massive amount of success. He just grew famous by adopting biblical virtues that obviously paid off. If you give more than you take, people will be quick to notice. Just be careful that you don’t unintentionally spread yourself too thin. I’ve done this recently, and when my efforts to help others suffer in quality; you are doing more harm than good. Do what you can to make others happy.
If you possess a skill that you can offer a person to help them reach unforeseen levels, they will be sure to repay the favor. Even better, they will become the chairman of your fan club. They’ll spread the word, promote your services, and give you two thumbs up!
That right there is priceless, and an investment well worth the effort.
6) Be Positive….Always.
Be someone people look to to provide the solution or cure for their problems. By maintaining a positive and optimistic outlook on life; people will naturally gravitate toward you. Become that guy or gal who seems to hurdle any red tape. Aggressively move toward making a difference, and never take “No” as an answer.
Just imagine the buzz that you will create when you start being labeled as a “problem solver!”
Trust me! It feels awesome!
P.S. Be sure to follow us on Facebook!
You can meet my family 🙂 ~Andy
photo credit: Bildbunt via photopin ccphoto credit: anarchosyn via photopin cc