(Photo by Phillie Casablanca)
Whether you’re just starting out or growing your business, you recognize that it’s important to brand yourself. Your goal is create an underlying core value experience that people have working with you – in a word, “trust”. So, how can you create your own brand?
Branding begins by proving that you are worth knowing. The common way people create proof is to list their claims to fame in a professional bio (showcasing their educational training and special internships). It’s like a posting your diploma on the wall behind your office desk – everyone that comes to see you can be reassured that some trusted organization has “approved you”.
But your clients ultimately don’t care about your (lack of) diploma. What they care about is, “Will working with you produce a significantly better outcome for me?” Unless you already have the guaranteed solution for your prospective client, your best branding opportunity is to focus on the emotion underneath their question.
Instead of using a biography (or “About Me/Us” website page) to talk about yourself, use the bio to focus on the emotional experience people have working with you. This isn’t a testimonial per se, it’s showing how your past experiences combined with your raw talent has helped others (who were equally unsure of working with you in the past).
Your branding should explain why your marketing promise will be kept. Be clear about what problems you generally encounter (and how you’ve worked through them). Be clear about lessons learned. Be clear that it’s not really about you – it’s about them.
Since branding is a long-term business strategy, regularly ask your current (and past) clients why they love working with you. Together, these stories will help you to not only craft a strong branding message but also it will help you to fine-tune your marketing to attract more people who will love the chance to hire you.