career management, Careers, Elevator Pitch, entrepreneurs, Job Search, Personal Branding, self employed

Checklist for Developing A Strong Brand

Mary Rosenbaum | January 12th, 2010

Today more than ever we live in a world where differentiation from your competitors is key to getting the business or job you want. Malcolm Forbes once said,

“Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.”

What does that mean to you? To me as an entrepreneur and a coach it’s very simple, develop a strong personal brand and get the word out. Understand your value added and communicate it clearly, consistently and with some constancy. Don’t try to be all things to all people because if you do that you will end up being perceived as a jack of all trades and a master of none. So keep this to-do list for a strong brand.

1. Pick an area to work in that you enjoy and are good at and focus all your energy on growing that particular specialty. When you enjoy your work and believe that you excel at it then you tend be more excited about what you do and that excitement communicates well; it becomes contagious and often has a magnetic affect on others.

2. Create the back story of why you are good at it and why people should use you – the pitch. Identify the attributes that enable you to do the best job possible and use them as the starting point for your pitch. Be specific in selecting these attributes and don’t use generalizations like good listener or problem solver. Think of your past successes and how your experience, education, temperament, and skills played a role in these achievements.

3. Develop the success stories that highlight how you work, what you achieved, and why you were able to get those results – your Problem, Action, Resolution stories. Stories provide the picture and pictures sell far better than slogans, tag lines or promises.

4. Be the expert and earn that status – blog, write articles and newsletters, write a book, comment, speak on topic. Pick a few ways that you are comfortable with to communicate and reinforce your expert status and make sure you do something all the time. Make your communications relevant to what your audience wants and needs so that your message resonates with them and eventually moves them to action – contacting you.

5. Stay current – take classes, stay connected to professional groups, read, get certifications/degrees. To stay competitive always stay on top of the curve because if you don’t someone else will.