If you’re not appearing, you’re disappearing…
~ Art Blakey, Legendary Jazz Musician
In order for you to increase your chances of success, people need to know about you and what you have to offer. They need to meet you, see you… hear from you. If you want people to talk about the remarkable things you do, then you need to give them the opportunity to experience you. This doesn’t need to be a sleazy car salesman pitch (no offense to any reputable car salesmen!), but it does mean you need to get out there and have the capability to produce clearly choreographed 30, 60, and 90 second “elevator” speeches that will serve as an introduction to Brand YOU.
Once you know how you will introduce your brand, start attending networking meetings (both social and professional) and getting involved in external organizations in your field. However, one of the best (and least recognized) opportunities you have to communicate Brand YOU is to expand your involvement to organizations not in your industry or field of expertise. Some of your best contacts may come from quite unexpected places, but you will never know unless you get out there and share your brand.
In addition to physically sharing your brand at select events, there are many ways to capitalize on Brand YOU that will facilitate both the growth of your brand and your intellectual growth:
- Become an expert in a specific field and make yourself available to media companies, corporations, and other organizations looking for expert commentators, public speakers, or consultants. Let people know through your social media connections, networking activities, and web site that you are available to speak or consult – for free or for a fee. Many experts initially speak for free to become known, but eventually command thousands of dollars for a single keynote address.
- Develop a website or blog using your full name. A wide variety of sources use search engines to search for expert sources, connect with you and/or potentially either do business with you or interview you. By creating a website or a blog under your name, you are far more likely to generate the first result for your name on the main search engines. Once you establish your domain name, add your picture, a bio, your e-mail address and links to all of your online presence outlets (i.e. Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter) – and of course, clearly state your areas of expertise and how you can be of service. This will not only help people to reach you using their media of choice, but also to better understand Brand YOU and what you have to offer.
- Make the effort to discover your audiences preferred media outlets – what they read and listen to, as well as what they watch. Research the content provided and locate specific gatekeepers you can pitch your expertise to. E-mail journalists, editors and producers in response to one of their articles or media content, with a note that you are available to comment on future articles. When you are contacted for an interview, respond straight away because they are typically on deadline. Answer questions thoroughly, while making sure that you communicate exactly what you need to. When you are interviewed, promote yourself and/or your company through your byline, which will help build brand on both accounts. Once the interview is complete, send a follow-up e-mail asking if they have any more questions, including your bio and your picture.
- Leverage your social networks – Connect. Social networking is one of the best ways to become known. By forming online relationships with those within your target audience, you will develop the capacity to form long-term bonds. Because networking is such a big aspect of communicating your brand, here are some rules of networking that you should keep in mind as you promote your brand:
- Create win-win relationships, ensuring you never have the intention of developing a one-sided relationship.
- Never give with the intention of wanting something in return. Offer your assistance to someone you would like to communicate your brand to, helping people perceive that you are loyal and helpful. As a result, they will want to support you.
- Be very specific with the types of people you network with, in order to save time and to attract the right people to your brand. Never forget that you become like those you associate with.
- Never lose touch, that way networking contacts remember you when new opportunities surface.
No matter what, listen carefully to what people are saying in order to understand what they really think about Brand YOU. If your audience sees you from a different perspective than what you intend, you need to reassess your brand and analyze why the message you are trying to bring across is having a different effect than what you desire. If you can honestly evaluate yourself and understand where the miscommunication of your brand may have occurred, you can begin to close the gaps and revitalize Brand YOU.
The world wants to hear what you have to say. If you aren’t communicating your brand, all of your other branding efforts are in vain. If you want to succeed, develop your brand, package your brand… and communicate your brand!
How can you better communicate Brand YOU?
Please engage the discussion and let us know how you communicate your brand. Always feel free to contact me at Sheri.Mackey@LuminosityGlobal.com or by visiting our website at www.LuminosityGlobal.com. Check back next week for the next installment of Leadership Across Boundaries and Borders, when we will discuss how to communicate Brand YOU.