How to Promote Brand You
Before jumping into “How to Promote Brand “You”, let’s debunk a few myths.
Myth #1 – You don’t have the financial resources to do “advertising” for yourself.
With the tools available today, many of the ways to promote you are based on the most cost effective medium in the history of advertising, word of mouth. How much does it cost to build relationships? Help others? Promote them? This may sound counter-intuitive but helping others and focusing on their needs is a great way to get yourself out there. Encourage them to spread your message only after you’ve built that relationship. Social media and technology provides tools to scale these relationships. Stay in contact, spread their messages, and make connections.
Myth #2 – You don’t have a unique proposition or selling point.
This doesn’t have to be true. Nobody has the exact same experiences as you. You have a unique perspective that others do not. Identify what your passions are in life and channel that into your message. Be the first to use your product in a different way. Find out how your industry is changing and start talking about it. Join the conversation and you’ll start having something to say.
Myth #3 – You don’t have the time to promote myself.
Looking at the gurus in any topic today, it’s easy to think “I don’t have time to do all of what they do.” The truth is that most of them, if not all of them, started small. They didn’t go straight to a television interview or become a famous speaker on a stage with thousands in the audience. They started with a simple message and began to promote it in their spare time. Don’t try and take over the world. Make connections online and start to develop them. Share your message with only a few and see how it resonates. Review how they responded and repeat the process.
How to Promote the Brand “You”
1) Differentiate Yourself – Break through the clutter by being different. Not really different, but enough to be seen. Also, be consistent with your differentiation. Think about you as a brand and you’re the Chief Marketing Officer. Do you have a logo? A look? A symbol? A sound? Make it different from anything else out there… in a good way.
2) Become an Expert – Part of becoming an “expert” is just joining the conversation. You don’t have to have all of the answers, you just contribute enough to make the thought leaders think. Sometimes having the “lack of knowledge” is an advantage. You’re not set in your ways and you have the opportunities to look at the situation in a clear way.
3) Cultivate and Reputation of Results – Tell others of your success. Not in a “bragging” way but in a way that gives you credibility. Success comes through action, so do something. Help a non-profit, join a club, or complete a project with your company. After you’ve done something, tell others about it. Demonstrate that you now have the experience and you’d be happy to help others.
4) Build a Team of Advocates – Look to the leaders and influential’s today for guidance. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and seek advice. Most people became successful through cultivating strong relationships of those senior and junior to them. You never know what your relationships will give you and in many cases successful people are looking to give back.
5) Ask for What You Want – Be completely candid and honest with what you want. If you’re promoting your message then don’t shy away from it. Manipulation only occurs if a relationship is one-sided. Keep the mindset of helping others 10-fold before even considering any reciprocation. And if none occurs, that’s okay too.