Archive for April, 2011
A magnetic brand is a brand that attracts people. Think about the brands you are familiar with and attracted to. What makes them magnetic? Chances are they portray a certain image that you like. As a small business, you can take this theory and run with it to develop a magnetic brand for your business.
What is your personality?
Most small business owners would do well to brand their business to their own personality. For example, if you’re a straight shooter then brand your business that way. If you’re fun loving, then develop a brand around that. And if you’re a serious sort, then use that. Branding your business around your personality makes it much easier to send a consistent and solid brand message. And you’ll be working with people you can easily communicate with and relate to. It’s much easier than trying to build a brand that isn’t you.
Build your brand around your customer’s needs and wants as well.
For example, if your business is about coaching cancer survivors and you’re a sarcastic individual, the two many not go hand in hand. Consider the feeling and brand image your customers need to trust you and connect with you.
Embrace colors and images that support your personality and the brand voice your customer’s need. Use your logo, colors and graphics consistently throughout your web content, marketing materials and communications. Create a theme and an image you want to portray and stick to it so prospects and customers can begin to recognize you.
Get out online and participate in the world wide web. The more your audience sees you, the more powerful your brand becomes. Experts say that people need
at least three exposures to a brand before they even remember it, which means you need to be out interacting online with your prospects and customers to make sure they know you. Use social media to facilitate the process.
This is what makes social media such a powerful tool. Three positive interactions with a prospect create brand recognition and social media opens you and your company up quickly to thousands of potential prospects.
Focus on what your brand does best.
If you try to be all things to all people, you’ll end up being nothing to everyone. Be unique and focus on your USP, Unique Selling Proposition. Differentiate your brand around your strengths and your personality. Determine what your brand stands for, and deliver on your promises.
Building a brand takes time, focus and consistency. Decide what your message and your brand is going to be. Make sure it fits with your personality and your target audience and cultivate your brand in everything you do. Be active online, participate in social networking and media, communicate your brand in your messages and activities and focus on giving your audience what they need and want.
Did you know that you talk to yourself all day long? No, not the mental chatter about activities and chores that you need to remember throughout the day. That’s a form of self-talk too, but I’m referring more to the things you say to yourself on a regular basis and more importantly, the tone in which you say them.
When you make a mistake, do you berate yourself angrily? Do you put yourself down or call yourself names? When you have a hard time making positive changes in your life, do you lament what a worthless person you are and tell yourself that you never do anything right?
Negative self-talk can be incredibly damaging to your self-esteem, especially if it’s a big part of your daily life. When you keep saying things like that to yourself, eventually you begin to believe them.
Most often these messages begin as statements uttered by the adults in your life when you were a child. They may have said something negative about you when your actions displeased them, or perhaps they had a habit of saying unkind things even when you didn’t deserve it. As painful as these experiences can be, even worse is when you pick up where they left off and keep repeating the same negative messages to yourself over and over.
The good news is that you can change your self-talk any time you want. You just have to know how to become aware of the tone of your messages and consciously replace them with more encouraging ones.
Try these simple steps for starters:
Develop awareness of your self-talk. It may take practice, but if you keep listening to your inner voice, you’ll begin to notice when you talk negatively to yourself.
Challenge the negative messages. When you notice yourself saying something negative such as, “You can’t do anything right” – stop yourself and challenge that belief. Is that really true? Maybe you mess up sometimes, but does this ALWAYS happen? Probably not.
Replace the negative messages with positive messages. When you realize you’re saying unkind and untrue things to yourself, simply turn it around in your mind. Using the above example, you might say, “Wow, that’s not true at all! I do plenty of things right. It’s true I make mistakes, but so does everyone. I’m a good person and I try my best.”
Over time, your efforts will pay off in the form of stronger self-esteem and respect for yourself and your capabilities. It probably won’t happen overnight, but the more you work at turning your self-talk in a more positive direction, the better you’ll feel about yourself.