When a potential or existing client thinks about your business, what images form in their mind?
Debra Dixon, president and CEO of Light of Gold PR and Marketing LLC says the color “gold” should come to mind when clients think of her. Gold is used on all of her business communications as well as in the slogan for the company which is “We work with you to shed light on the gold that exists in you and your organization.” This is part of Dixon’s branding strategy.
Branding is a technique all businesses and individuals can use to effectively market themselves and their products.
“I think it’s important to establish a personal brand because it makes it easier for your target market to remember you,” says Dixon.
It might be difficult to connect the concept of branding with what you’re doing professionally. Personally when I think of the word “brand” I immediately conjure up an image of a box of Tide or a pair of designer jeans. So what does it mean to have a “brand” or “personal brand,” a concept we’ve been hearing so much about lately in career and business development circles?
Allen P. Adamson in Brand Simple: How the Best Brands Keep it Simple and Succeed says “a brand is something that lives in your head. It’s a promise that links a product or service to a consumer. Whether words, or images, or emotion, or any combination of the three, brands are mental associations that get stirred up when you think about or hear about a particular car or camera, watch, pair of jeans, bank, beverage, TV network, organization, celebrity or even country.”
According to Dixon, in essence your personal brand consists of your ultimate vision or mission, the products and services you’re offering and how you communicate all of these elements to your target audience. “Your audience could be consumers. Or if you’re a business to business type of company then it might be to companies and organizations and corporations. It depends on who your target market is,” she said in an interview with TNJ.com.
While some of us are just now learning about this concept, Dixon says personal branding is not new, but was perhaps defined in a different way. “I think it’s something that’s always been around,” she said. “All of us have a personal brand. You don’t necessarily have to own a business or be a business person. I think that individuals have a personal brand. If you work for a company or organization, you also have a brand and the brand is you.”
Communicating Your Brand
Once you define what your mission is and product and services you’re offering then you want must communicate this to your audience in the form of brochures, business cards, website, blog, and all of your social media sites. “That brand needs to be communicated across the board,” advises Dixon. Branding includes the graphics and colors as well as the message. The look and feel should be consistent online and offline as well, says Dixon.
Also you must deliver on any promises you make. If part of your brand is “providing fast and dependable services” then make sure you live up to this standard. “The fact that you’ve established a meaningful different idea for your brand is irrelevant if you can’t fulfill the promise behind the brand idea,” says Adamson in BrandSimple. “You must be able to deliver what your brand idea says you are going to deliver.”
Light of Gold PR, Marketing, and Consulting LLC is a MWBE (Minority/Woman-owned Business Enterprise) located in New York City and Atlanta, GA. Services include Press/News Releases, Media Campaigning, Marketing Strategy, Event Planning, Web Development, Branding and a host of other Internet and On-Line Marketing services for small to medium-sized businesses and organizations.
For more information visit www.lightofgoldpr.com.
Brand your business cards
Personal branding extends to the look and feel of your business cards. Below are a few business card tips from Darcy Rezac’s book Work The Pond! Use the Power of Positive Networking to Leap Forward in Work and Life
Keep it simple
People should be able to read the information on your card in low light.
Display your title
“Not only is your name part of your personal brand,” writes Rezac. “so is your title. Make sure you put it on your card and in a large enough point size.”
Use both sides of the card
According to Rezac, the flip side of the card is a great place to put your company logo, display your website, slogan or business description.