The old adage that “people like to do business with people, not companies” still rings true today, even in this “everything’s a commodity” marketplace. As a small business owner, how do you become the person with whom people want to work?
How do you establish your unique brand?
Make a Connection:
With a few clicks, you can have music, books or movies in the palm of your hand. Even services that once required a face-to-face with a provider are now just a click away. In 15 minutes you can have car insurance. Want to know how to treat your sniffles? Check out any number of online symptom checkers. While it is not always wise to rely on the internet for things that can impact your security and health, it’s so convenient.
People need a reason to interact with a person. In order to grow your business, you have to connect with people. It is no longer as simple as remembering where she went to school or her favorite team. You have to share a little of yourself and encourage her to share a little of herself. Form a genuine bond over something you both enjoy. It might be your shared love of Aggie football, but it may also be your favorite wine, dog rescue or running marathons.
Not only should your company have an identifiable brand, but so should you. I’m not talking about always wearing a company logo or talking about your brand incessantly. Show your personality, and be known for more than just your company. In business settings, always be professional, courteous and consistent. Learn how people identify you. Steve Jobs always work a black turtle neck and light washed jeans. I’m not suggesting you adopt this less than fashionable strategy, exactly, but create a way to stand out. If you are the person with great restaurant recommendations, have a few new ones to suggest at your next networking event. If you are recognizable, like me, for your big curly hair, don’t show up at events with straight hair and expect people to find you in the crowd.
Exhibit Your Leadership:
You started your business because you had an idea. You do something really well, and you believe others can benefit from your knowledge. Share your knowledge freely. Give advice, and become a trusted authority in your field. Don’t give away your trade secrets, but share enough that people know you know your business. Writing a blog, posting tips on LinkedIn and speaking on your topic will go a long way in establishing you as a resource in your field. You may even consider writing a book if you have new and fresh ideas to share.
You are your own brand ambassador! Let people get to know you, and they will want to do business with you.
Join us on August 20 to learn from the experts how to up your social media strategy to build your brand.
YES Board Member