4.23.2010

Brand and Market Yourself...The World Is Waiting For You!

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 6 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 to share 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, Nings 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.

Brand Yourself.

(Follow Brother Jesse Muhammad on Twitter and Facebook)

4 comments:

  1. great article---as always. It is so important to reach out to others and make yourself known. thanks for writing this, brother jesse. continued success.

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  2. ASA Bro. Jesse,
    I agree and disagree with this post. I think most people are qualified to speak on at least one particular topic. However, I believe that the days of the "self" brand are going away. That is a very late 90's early 2000's concept. The new wave is less about self and more about what you can do or motivate others to do in the name of community or collaboration.

    So I agree that becoming an "expert" on a topic is wise and having a blog and a social network are absolute essentials.

    I just know that the days of the purely "motivational speaker" are gone. Les Brown, Iyanla Vanzant, etc. are speaking less and less for large fees. However, Kevin Powell is just getting the big bucks now that he has written a bestseller and is running for office. People are paying honorariums to those who have demostrated that they can walk the walk NOT just talk the talk.

    Also, I suggest everyone interested in mobility read up on the new buzz word "creative class". To me it another case of "steal my clothes try to say their yours". CC is something Blacks have always done but somebody came and put a name on it. But its worth reading up on to know what companies, governments and universities are looking for regarding motivational talks.

    Great post. Got me thinking and writing today. Thanks for the motivation.

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  3. @Sister P

    Thank you for your comment. I disagree with you in part beloved. Yes, I agree it is not about just self but the whole--however everything starts with self-improvement which makes up the whole. Hence these tips are just tools to empower individuals who are sitting on their personal brands/gifts and to step out....by doing that it builds up community. So it's not about selfishness but rather self-improvement. that concept never goes out of style :-)

    As for the "motivational speaker" type being long gone--all you have to do it google how much is being spent every year on speakers being invited to conferences and you will see that someone out there is making some money somewhere as a motivational speaker. George H. Bush is still making $25,000 per talk in some venues so I believe it just depends on the market the person is targeting. Not all groups/colleges etc are looking for those who "walk the walk" when they are willing to hash out major dollars for 45 minute talks from people who do absolutely nothing for the community. So it depends.

    Lastly, in terms of Black speakers I see a shift taking place. Those who affectively use modern tools + activism + talks that cater to the time will rise to the top...but yet we may have thousands sitting on their hands or restricted by fear to move out on their gifts/brand. The test is to not get so comfortable delivering one particular talk time and time again....gotta be creative. I am striving to better myself.

    Hence this article....we need more to step up but we have to brand ourselves. And I have heard from many who have applied these tips and their making moves.

    Thank you for the dialogue.

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  4. What is more important in the marketplace, the Brand or the Product? http://bit.ly/bZqWbJ

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