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'Brand Me'

'Brand Me'

The last five years have heralded the era of ‘public me’! We can’t help it – we already exist in the e-cosphere (have you ever tried Googling your name?).

And there are those who long to publish on every available platform and those who despise such flagrant self-publicity as pure vanity.

Given that these days, your personal brand profile (or ‘reputation score’) has become an important way in which you determine the impact you make – have you considered how you are going to influence what is seen or said about you? 

Features of a brand
Here are some things we know about brands:

  • Brands have meaning
  • They are well recognised
  • Brands have a personality
  • Brands are attractive
  • They command a price premium
  • They represent a short-cut for quality
  • Brands have long-term value

Is this true of you? What is your personal brand and what does it communicate about you?

Selling your service
The way in which we ‘place’ our trust in professionals has altered in the 21st Century, and whilst credentials and word-of-mouth reputation are still key factors, the mechanisms for developing these are now more profoundly linked to our ‘online reputation / publicity’ than ever before.

Top 10 criteria for selecting a service provider
The following list provides a useful checklist to assess your own performance but it is NOT in any particular order because of the differences between services:

  1. Previous experience (industry and functional)
  2. Qualifications and membership of professional associations
  3. Understanding of nature of problem / sensitivity to needs
  4. Testimonials of previous satisfied clients
  5. Personality and integrity
  6. Fees incl. transparency
  7. Clarity about deliverables and results
  8. Communication and presentation skills
  9. Responsiveness 
  10. Quality, reach and accessibility of published material

We have long-standing experience with several of our clients who sell their expertise as a service (lawyers, insolvency practitioners, recruitment consultants, accountants, academic professors, hairdressers, HR consultants, trainers, teachers to name a few) and all have to consider how they express ‘brand me’. Typically, one of their biggest challenges is how to produce high quality published material that reaches the right target audience and is cost effective.

Quality, reach and accessibility of published material (content management)
Your brand reputation is now being determined in part by what you choose to publish – from Twitter posts, to LinkedIn discussions, blogs, newsletters, videos on You Tube or podcasts on your website, Q&A forums, case studies, white papers or even webinars. Whilst this list can feel overwhelming, we have successfully helped many of our clients develop and implement a media rich ‘content’ plan – and often it is just one small step at a time, helping them to reach new clients and influencers.

If you don’t have the time to plan, write or publish – but you are keen to develop your brand presence, give me a call on 01273 834434 to have a no-obligation chat as to how we can help.

Extract from presentation by Liz Barnes to Institute of Consulting – 21st June 2011

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