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    Stand up and be counted

    The next phase to attract new clients for your business doesn’t rely on snazzy marketing techniques – it’s bigger than that.
    So what is it? And what do business consultants and professionals need to know to stay ahead of the massive changes about to occur in marketing their services? It’s personal branding!
    What is personal branding?
    It is your own personal signature that is unique to you and to you only. It leaves an impression on those that you come into contact with. It can be positive, negative or indifferent. It must be memorable in such a cluttered market space. You, as the individual, must stand out for all of the right reasons.
    It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. If you want to stand out and attract new clients you’re going to need to lift your game and develop your own individual brand. You are literally your own billboard, after all!
    We’re running out of ways to differentiate ourselves from one another. I guarantee that what is unique about you is also the same selling point hundreds of other consultants are currently peddling. Simply conduct a Google search on your competitors and you’ll see what I mean.
    Ultimately, this leaves us to focus on our own personal brands to instil positive impressions that assist in converting more prospects. We need to see ourselves as a complete package and ask ourselves if that package is marketable and attractive to prospective clients.
    To develop this package and your own brand, the following needs to be carefully considered:
    You are the package
    The first person you need to sell yourself to is yourself. If you don’t like what you see, then why would others? Clearly define who you are as a person in your field, what’s unique about you, personality traits, your image, the way that you manage clients. Identify these clearly. Are they marketable or do you need grooming to make the required changes.
    Let’s face it, if you’re not being seen you’re not going to be attracting new clients. Networking is one of the most cost-effective ways to brand yourself effectively and generate referrals. Attend the same networking events regularly so everybody recognises you. Be the first to introduce yourself, start conversations and be the person that everyone loves. This skill can be learned. Other areas to make yourself visible are YouTube, Facebook, blogging and local media.
    When we think of personal brands we think of names like Donald Trump and Richard Branson. They always remain relevant and in front of their competitors. Think leader of the pack in your industry and you have a brand that is highly marketable.
    Culture. Know the culture of your industry and be willing to push new boundaries. Ask questions everyone else is too afraid to ask. It’s important to stand for something as a person and as a personal brand. You may polarise those around you into two groups: raving fans and those that hate you. As long as you’re getting talked about in a positive light 90 percent of the time, you’re well on your way. Just realise that criticism is a healthy part of ongoing development. If no one is criticising your work, then no one really cares enough about what you do!
    Re-invent yourself on a regular basis to ensure you stay current and relevant to your ever-changing, ever-growing consumer base. Skill up regularly on new trends in your industry and watch videos on YouTube to observe progress in the rest of the world. There is a wealth of information online that can help you gain an edge. Artists such as Kylie Minogue and Madonna have continually re-invented themselves over the years to engage new audiences (consumers). Why should business consultants be any different? Clients want to know that you’re innovative, leading the pack and the best in your field. A failure to reinvent is a failure to create new buzz for your business that will attract new clients.
    You are the product. Would you buy you, or would you trade yourself in for a better dressed, more professional model? Just remember that they are not only buying the product or service, they are buying the interaction with you as a person.
    Ben Angel is a personal branding specialist and image consultant. If you are looking at developing a personal brand to attract a new calibre of client, Ben is available for one on one consultation’s. Contact Ben today on 03 9645 4114 or email him at ben [at] nationwidenetworking.com
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