12.04.2008

Brand and Market Yourself...The World Is Waiting For You! (Part 1)

Written by Jesse Muhammad

Just drive down the street and you will see signs, logos and slogans from companies that have been embedded into your mind, even when you didn't know it. To the point that even if you pass by the television and hear a snippet of a certain theme song you know what companies' commercial is showing. How does this happen?

According to research, corporations hire people whose specific job is to analyze the best methods by which to seduce consumers even when they are not aware they are being seduced. They study quarterly trends, thought patterns, and buying powers to eventually maneuver their way into your pocket books or draw your support.

Well what about you? You can have the best product, company, or intellectual property in the world, but what good is it if nobody knows about it?

Branding is defined as a trademark or distinctive name identifying a product or a manufacturer; a product line so identified; providing with or publicizing using a brand name; and a mark indicating identity or ownership, burned on the hide of an animal with a hot iron.

Some fear marketing themselves because they think it's borderline arrogance to toot their own horn sometimes but who better to market you than you? Yes, there are execs who hire outside firms to market them but they oversee the plans to make sure it is in line with their vision. They are not shy at all about "pumping up" themselves or their brands. You can't either. This doesn't mean one should get a crazy ego that drives away clientele but should show ultimate confidence in what they have to offer.

If your business or game plan is going to stay afloat in this shaky economy you better act fast and start letting the world know that you exist and you'll find ways to make more money along the way.

Here are 7 Tips to get you started:

1. Become a go-to expert: Pick an area you’re passionate about (such as technology, marketing, youth, relationship building, art, etc.) and learn all there is to know about the subject. Be a sponge! Spend time becoming an expert so you can become the go-to person for this topic for consulting, speaking engagements, and news interviews.

2. Pick up the pen and pad: To further brand your expertise, take the time to write and publish articles that demonstrates your knowledge. Seek out publications and pitch your articles. Search out those who need writers and contact them now. Some publications will pay you too!The Internet is filled with tips on how to write articles on anything.

3. Book Speaking Opportunities: Demonstrate your expertise by talking about your subject in various forums. You will have to approach people in the beginning but soon they will be knocking down your door if you can deliver. The honorariums will come but first focus on elevating your audiences no matter how small the turnout is. One talk can produce multiple leads so take the time to properly prepare.

4. Launch A Blog: A blog can even further brand yourself as an expert because you can freely share your thoughts. Also, this is an opportunity for readers to comment and to have a dialogue with you. Yes, you! With blogging, you can instantly become a subject matter expert. It's not hard to set up a blog but remember consistency is key to have repeat visitors. Use Blogger, Wordpress, etc.

5. Get a Web site: Set up a personal Web site that you can use to further brand yourself. You can use your own name for your domain. The site provides an opportunity for people to find out everything you or your company can offer. Make sure it's a clean design, not too cluttered and is interactive with online visitors. A person once said "A business without a sign is a sign of no business." Where's your online sign?

6. Become E-Sociable: There are millions of people who are apart of social networks but not everyone is using them to further their goals. You have to. Join as many of them as possible whether its MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, DirectMatchesOnline or start your own. If you feel technologically challenged, get some help because you have to take advantage of these online phenomenons to thrive. They are good for leisure too but remember your objective is to market.

7. Obama, Obama, Ooo-bama: Whether you plan to launch a barbershop, run for office or become a motivational speaker, President-Elect Obama's team created a model for what can happen when you formulate a powerhouse branding strategy. Go to Obama.com, see what elements you can learn from and then apply them in your unique action plan.

A Houston marketing guru, who goes by the brand name Mr. D-Mars, always says "a closed mouth never gets fed".

Brand Yourself.

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