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YOU Are The Brand!

How many times have we heard “Xerox this”, when the copier involved may not be a Xerox brand at all? What brand do you think of when you hear the words “Just do it“?

Branding is a powerful tool in our business lives. Even if you are just starting out it’s important to think about how people perceive you.

While Nike and Xerox are prime examples of this idea, all businesses can benefit from branding.

The key factor in branding is this: on the most basic level, the level where clients live and work, YOU are the brand people buy.

Here is a seven step formula that will give you a great start toward establishing yourself as the brand of choice.

Know where you stand now.

What name pops into your customer’s mind when they need what you do? If it’s not your name, why not? Do you have a name or slogan that is easy to remember and clearly describes what you offer?

Know where you want to go.

What do you want to be known for? Like it or not, customers will define us if we don’t define ourselves.

  • Do you want to be the low-price leader?
  • Do you want to be the value-added vendor?

We can’t (as much as we might like to) be everything to everyone. Choose a theme for your business and promote that theme at every opportunity. Soon, you will become associated with the ONE benefit that is your strong suit.

Narrow your niche.

Be such an expert in your field that you are the natural choice to turn to when what you do becomes what they need. Marketing, either offline or online, creates the greatest impact when it frames YOU as the smartest solution to a client’s problem.

Give away something of high value.

If giving away your expertise means increasing your exposure, strongly consider it. You are BUILDING a reputation.

There is nothing wrong or manipulative in trading work for exposure, rather than cash. Sometimes a good word from an influential customer pays bigger dividends than the best advertising.

Be everywhere at once.

Oh, if only wishing made it so. The Internet can get you close. If you market online, participate in several question and answer forums or newsgroups where decision makers and people of influence hang out.

Choose your answers very carefully, but answer every question you can, always bringing home the message that you are the best choice.

Leverage social media to your best advantage. If you market offline, consider adjusting your budget and public relations plan to have a presence in each medium (TV, radio, print, billboard) to reach the widest possible audience.

Listen and follow up.

If you give your product or service (or even advice) to someone, follow up to see how it worked out. Be brief and humble, but follow up to make sure you are on the mark. When you do this you not only evaluate the quality of what you have given, you have an excellent opportunity to see how it effects real people in the real world.

This should have been the first point, but make sure you KNOW your stuff. NOTHING can replace the good will you create when you do your very best work for every client or friend.

If you really know your stuff, and are willing to invest some time, you can become the natural choice for solving problems that arise in your field. When those calls come, you can begin to build an endless chain of referrals that will carry your business to new heights.

And that is a beautiful thing indeed!

Charlie Page Signature

Charlie Page
 

Happily married for 44 years, Charlie is the dad to two wonderful daughters. He is the author of 12 books on Internet marketing and creator of over 16 membership sites. You can see all Charlie offers using this link Click Here

  • […] need to build your business, not someone else’s business. Like it or not, you are the brand when you go online. So why not make the most out of […]

  • Sheila LyonHall says:

    Charlie …
    As always, this post is highly instructive … and remarkably “Simple.” I struggle with the “Narrow your Niche” directive. How “narrow” should I go? At what point do I (or should I) stop fine-tuning and level-off? Can I plunge so deeply into a Niche that I exclude a whole segment of folk who would benefit … if I hadn’t excluded them by my narrow focus? See how badly I need a Word, Charlie? 🙂 Thanks a bunch. Shalom!

    • Charlie Page says:

      These are good questions. If you are comfortable discussing your niche in public let me know what you are doing and I will help if I can.

  • […] you don’t have one now, start a blog using your personal name. Your name is your brand and you are the brand in the […]

  • Hi Charlie,
    I am having trouble logging into the directory.
    sorry. I know this isn’t the proper place for this, but no where an I find a phone number or support email address.

    Respectfully,
    Ken McDaniels.

  • Jolaine Delaney says:

    Hi Charlie; Really enjoyed your questions. Missed the survey. I’m interested in anything about our health. When my hubby Roger almost dead I took a course in Bio-Medicine.

    Doing some of the things I learned for my own body I stated to see my weight change. Then I realized that my weight was just a symptom that our fat & sugar burning systems weren’t working. So I wanted to work with people who had weight problems.

    Then another realization came about for me. There was something else still keeping me stuck. I had to change some of my core beliefs about myself so that my weight is not up and down now. My mind says lets treat the whole person not just the parts of us. I do think though that the weight niche would be the one I would want to do. Hope all this makes sense.

  • Tim Pond says:

    Hi Charlie,
    thank you for another great article.
    In the past, I’ve made the mistake of being involved in too many niches, and I’m trying to narrow it down now. Creating and submitting videos are a great way to brand yourself.
    Best,
    Tim

  • Mobile Money For You says:

    This is another of your very good articles, for which I thank you.

    Most people preach selling your product or service, but I find this approach to be a far better way of doing things. Selling yourself first can make all the difference between success and failure. Following up with people is genius.

    Well done again !

    Barry

  • Dr. Aljonaid says:

    Dear Charlie.

    Another A+ article. I love the laser focus approach. I’d add to that building a relation with your client beyond the selling point. What I do in my offline business is I send a simple “no-reason” gift to my client to surprise them, be it a branded coffee mug, fruit basket, a branded t-shirt, or a gift coupon that they can use anywhere.

    For online users, I send them a free valuable report, a discount coupon they can use in online stores, a CD and they only pay for shipping, and other things. This I believe leaves a long-term impression and build a strong image of your brand in addition to the powerful ideas you’ve mentioned in your article.

    Thank you Charlie again and keep up the good work.
    Regards,
    Dr.Aljonaid

  • Great points, Charlie! As a graphic artist and brand consultant and coach, I would just like to affirm how important your points are. Getting a presence online is so much more than putting a pretty or cool logo up. It’s about creating a unique image based on a company’s marketing objectives, Unique Selling Proposition, strengths, passions, etc. When this is combined with a targeted market, a brand image can be very powerful indeed.

  • Mark M says:

    Thanks Charlie, as usual the best ideas come from your posts.
    Thanks again.

    Mark M
    You know my email address.

  • Tony Marino says:

    Well written and quite relevant Charlie!

    We take each of our business marketing clients through a comprehensive SWOT (Internal: Strengths and Weaknesses – External: Opportunities and Threats) analysis. This helps our firm and our clients better understand where their organization stands in terms of market image/brand perceptions and how they might more realistically move forward with their advertising media plan processes and strategies.

    Stay courageous!

    Tony

    • Charlie Page says:

      Tony,

      SWOT analysis is very smart. I love doing mind maps using Tony Buzan’s software (amazingly, it’s free) and find the visual SWOT very helpful. Always a pleasure to hear from you.

      Charlie

  • Raymond says:

    Raymond says:
    March 27,2012 at 8:38 P.M

    Dear Mr.Charlie Page,
    Though I am a new comer to online marketing
    and haven’t thought of branding.
    But with this article of yours,I think that branding
    is worth doing.
    Thanks so much.
    Raymond,

    • Charlie Page says:

      Raymond,

      It’s never too soon to begin thinking about what you want customers to think of you. Good for you taking time to think it through now.

      Charlie

  • LeRoy Lennander says:

    Thanks for the reminder Charlie! I have heard it before but sometimes it good to hear with a different slant to it. A refresher course!

    LeRoy

  • Orestes says:

    Hi! Charlie,

    Thanks so much for the great article which got me thinking to start in
    the right direction.It´s always a great blessings to learn from the
    wisdom you have acquired over the years in marketing…and thanks for sharing it wiht us.

    Be blessed!
    Orestes

  • As always common sense and what should be obvious, after I read one of your posts it’ like ?why didn’t I already know that! I n my offline world I always knew, do one thing at a time, do it well, word of mouth is the best advertisement, and to be of service is our greatest reward.
    Thanks for the reminder Dick Flynn

    • Charlie Page says:

      Wow – I could not have summarized my business philosophy better than that! My next product is actually called Common Sense Internet Marketing!

  • Andre says:

    Thanks Charlie
    Another great article 🙂

  • steve says:

    Very true article, Charlie. Good point.

  • Elisha Slaton says:

    Hi Charlie, It is always good to embrace the quality from your articles & I Thank-You for that. As a fellow home internet agent (I hate the term “Marketer”) we tend to sometimes forget about having courtesy for our fellow clients and customers. I still find it very depressing to think that these “guru” superstars are only interested in the money one can dish out. I am a firm believer that “quality over quanity” makes for a much better relationship for all parties involved. I make it a point to always remember that no matter what type of product or service you choose to represent, the reflection is going to be on Y-O-U! With that said, who knows you better than yourself. Take pride, don’t hide and you can be a success if you’re willing to try.

    Warm Regards,
    Elisha Slaton

    • Charlie Page says:

      Well said. I disagree about the term marketer – I am proud to be a marketer. I firmly believes that nothing happens until something is sold, and that’s my job – to sell things by helping through free education. Thank you for your comments.

  • Binod Maliel says:

    Hi Charlie,

    I took your message to heart, and in a few hours put up a website with MY NAME, i.e., http://www.BinodMaliel.com – because “I” am the brand. Do check it out and let me know your suggestions on how I could brand myself better.

    Thanks.

  • Brian says:

    Great Charlie. Very inspiring.

  • Sheila Hall says:

    Charlie …

    As usual this post is content rich and highly instructive. I will now start to give SERIOUS consideration to the question: “What do you want to be known for?” I’ve thought in general terms only, but today you’ve nudged me toward specificity. Thanks, Charlie. Shalom!

    • Charlie Page says:

      Good thinking. There are SO many things people wish they had done differently from the beginning. For most people paying attention to branding is one of them.

  • Nicki says:

    Timely article, Charlie. My husband Dennis and I are in the process of developing our new affiliate home site, and your tips will be very useful as we build out our personal story and our brand. I think the one thing we’ve struggled with most is narrowing our niche and defining our avatar. This might be an idea for an article from you to all of us who haven’t quite got this online marketing running as smoothly as we’d like. Thanks once again for the continued education and inspiration you provide.

    • Charlie Page says:

      I’ll be sure to include an article about creating the avatar to the blog soon. Thank you for the suggestion.

  • Sybil says:

    Just ask Charlie!

    He knows, he explains very clearly and above all: he is very honest with you – what is the biggest gift! He has so many years of experience and his knowledge is just phenomenal!

    So – when ever you are not sure, when ever do don’t know or doubt:
    Just Ask Charlie!

    Thank you so much, Charlie, your informations are awesome and so helpful and useful – as always!!

    Sybil, France

  • Chery Schmidt says:

    I love this article Charlie, When I first got started online I was trying to promote my Primary business Well this didn’t work so well for me then I started incorporating my story into things Yep People are starting to call It is a Great feeling to be able to Help Others My Slogan OR AS I call it My Motto Love What You Do & Do What You Love Thanks for sharing Chery 🙂

    • Charlie Page says:

      Great slogan. Even when doing affiliate marketing branding is very important as the goal is to not only make the sale but make a customer (and friend) that you can help over and over again. Thank you for your comment.

  • Ajay Tiwari says:

    Great Article Charlie.. i am trying to follow all steps .. but one step was missing in my case.. i mean i helped many guys in solving their issues and queries by giving them advice and even helping them at some places but i was not following them as you said in the sixth step.. but now i will do that for sure…

    • Charlie Page says:

      Good idea to start doing that now. We all need trusted voices – the more of them you can find and the more you can become one the better your business will become.

  • Rhonda Woodworth-Tardif says:

    Great advice, Charlie.

    I’m just getting going online but I had a
    couple of offline businesses and I was known
    for the superior service I provided.

    The other thing I will do is treat my customers
    with respect. I notice some people don’t even
    sign their name to their emails. Wonder why?

    Always enjoy your stuff!

    • Charlie Page says:

      I think the Internet can be very personal or impersonal depending on how people approach it. Using a respectful and personal honest approach will help you go far online, as it obviously has offline. I find doing business online very similar to offline – just different tools. I will be interested to see if you have the same experience.

      Charlie

  • Dragoljub Milic says:

    Whatever Charlie is up to beyond doubts, we all will have an advantage from!
    There are very few in this business like Mr. Charlie Page if any??!!

  • Leigh Grant says:

    Hey Charlie, I really like your article and I couldn’t agree with you more. I think it is also about how focused you are, and sticking to one good niche is the way to go, because if you are focused on what you are doing, and you offer great information, you will become the master of that niche, and people will turn to you for advice. So well said Charlie
    All The Best My Friend
    Leigh Grant

    • Charlie Page says:

      Thanks Leigh. I agree that focus is so important. I actually have a couple of articles about it here on my blog. Having worked from home for so long (about 30 years now) I’ve had to learn how to focus and avoid distractions. Hard to do when your family is only steps away and you would really rather be with them, but necessary to run a business.

      Thanks again.

      Charlie

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