If you’re anything like me, you know that gone are the days of firm handshakes and fancy suits. With the workplace getting increasingly more casual and more and more workers opting to telecommute, it’s no surprise that the standards for making a good first impression are changing. Chances are that if you show up to work in a three-piece suit (power to you, honestly), your clients are probably going to think that they’re about to get raided by the FBI or--worse, audited.
That’s because the way that we make a good first impression and maintain client relationships is vastly different now than how it was 50, 20 or even 10 years ago. In today’s fast-paced, digital working environment, you aren’t going to close a deal Mad Men-style.
So how do you entice your customers and keep them coming back for more, if not with your Don Draper-esque good looks? The answer is simple: you have to brand yourself.
3 Reasons Why You Need to Brand Yourself
Reason #1: They Want a Human
Okay, how many times have you called customer service and gotten stuck with an automated machine? 10? 100? More? If you have, you know that there’s nothing worse than having to repeat yourself over and over, before finally just begging the robot to connect you through to a customer service representative. It’s the worst. And it reflects poorly on how you feel about the company you’re trying to get in contact with, right? That’s a branding issue.
People are tired of big business and robots. They want you: a warm smile, a friendly demeanor, and quality relationships with the people who run their favorite brands. And you can give that to them. When you brand yourself, your customers feel like they are being cared for. Don’t believe me? Check out what the Harvard Business Review has to say about personalized marketing.
Reason #2: Who’s In Charge Here?
There’s something really vulnerable about branding yourself as a budding entrepreneur. It’s like you’re saying to the word, “I care about this--and I care about you, which is why I’m in business.” Total power move, right?
When you brand yourself, you’re endorsing yourself and your company. Give it a go. You’ll be surprised just how far your own vote of confidence can go. When you brand yourself, you’re making a very public statement of your values, thoughts, deeds and self-image. People are more inclined to trust a company (and a person) when they feel like they know what the brand stands for.
Do you want to create a quality brand image that will keep your customers coming back for years to come? Click here to find out how to increase brand loyalty.
Reason #3: You Do What You Want, When You Want
When you’re just starting out as a small business owner/soloprenuer, your brand is your Bible. Every piece of communication needs to be on message, thoughtfully positioned to limit the competition and just all around rockin’. If you brand yourself--or at least align your company’s brand with your personal image--doing this gets a whole lot easier. Suddenly, you aren’t tied down by inauthentic rules or guidelines that limit you. You can use your personal voice, play up your strengths and articulate your position in the market much more effectively when it comes from the heart.
So there you have it. Are you convinced yet? If you’re ready to start thinking about your personal brand, we love HuffPo’s 5 Personal Branding Tips for Soloprenuers to get you off on the right foot. We know you’re a delight--why not brand yourself and make sure the whole world knows it, too?