Just because you run a business out of your home does not mean that you should ignore branding. Personal branding, no matter the size of your company, will help you separate your business from everyone else, even if you are competing with larger businesses.
Understanding Personal Branding
Branding is not just about having a good product name, a slogan and a logo, although they are all important to branding. Branding means understanding the special features of your product or service and communicating that information to your target market. Good branding communicates the essence of your business.
Personal Branding Strategies
The key to developing branding is knowing who your clients are. Understanding their demographics will help you refine the name of your service or product, help you create that logo and put you on the road to creating slogans. For example, even if your all-time favorite color is hot pink, you will probably not want to use the color if a major part of your target market consists of men between the ages of 35 and 55 who watch football every Sunday.
Next, think about how you interact with those clients. How do your rate your customer service and contacts with the public? It makes sense to have a personable, but professional attitude with the public during working hours because you realize that one single contact out of the many that you make during the day can change the future of your business. Branding takes this concept to another level. You, your reputation and how your run your business become part of your brand. This is something that you control and can improve upon every day without spending a dime.
Communicating Your Brand Through a Blog
If you have an active Web site, consider writing a blog. Your blog, while not technically a selling tool, will provide the public with information relating to your product, service or industry that is useful and interesting. When you write a blog and receive comments, make sure that you respond to each comment to develop an online "dialogue." Visit other related blogs and leave comments. There is an unwritten "law" that, if you leave a comment on a blog, the blogger will visit your blog and do the same, thus increasing interest, as the more comments that visitors see, the more likely they are to participate. In addition, your comments on other blogs can increase your traffic through a link to your Web site.
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