Start “Branding” You

“A 15-minute call could save you 15% or more…”
When you Google search “gecko”, GEICO appears first on the web list.

I’ve been preparing for my web program on kick-starting your business next week.  So, this week, I thought I’d revisit (and shed some more light on) a classic business strategy: branding.

Gecko

In any practice, branding is a primary way to attract your ideal client.  It is an expression of your unique identity to “sell” your services to the kind of people you most want to work with…and then some.  But branding isn’t just about showing how you’re different from your competitors.  It’s about getting your clients or prospects to see that what you offer is exactly the solution they’ve been searching for.

If I meet someone at a party or gathering, and I tell him during our conversation that I’m a coach for financial and service professionals who want to get to the next level in their careers and lives, and then ask him if he would like to work with me, I’m engaging in direct marketing.  If his friend comes across the room at that party and says to me, “I hear that you’re a great work-performance and client-attraction coach and I’d love to work with you,” I’ve successfully branded my business.

But to brand yourself and your work seamlessly, you need to take Three Preliminary Steps:

1. Know your “Target Market“.  Who do you most want to work with or for?  As a professional, a consultant, or a service-business owner, you will have more success if you become an expert in the needs of one particular narrow target market: teenagers, “Boomers”, families, entrepreneurs, landscaping contractors, retirees, ADD adults, etc.  It’s aiming a high-powered rifle at the bullseye, rather than shooting up hundreds of pounds of buckshot in the hope of hitting something wild turkeys.

2. Identify one to three “core needs”.  What are their biggest problems, or dreams?  Obviously, you want to talk about the needs that you have solutions for.  Your typical client may need dental work, but if you have a house cleaning service, this isn’t a core need you can use.

3. Design your unique solutions.  Why will people or businesses in your target market buy the services they need from you and not your competitors?  Clients like “packages”.  If the solutions you provide are not special, start thinking about ways to package them to make them special.  If you’re just another white crayon in a box of white crayons, there’s no good reason to use your services.  Be the red crayon in the box.

In The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, Al Ries and Jack Trout wrote: “If you can, be first.  If you can’t be first, create a new category in which you can be first.”

Fedex is the business to use “when it absolutely, positively has to be there over night”.  When are you the business to use?  Decide who you are, and then, keep REACHING…

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