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Building your Brand

I would have to believe most of you would know the symbol above. It stands for automotive excellence, the pinnacle of development, a storied history of accomplishment and triumphs. More so if you were ever to look for one you would have an idea of where you would need to go to get one. You wouldn't need a business card or a website to direct to them. They have built their brand into first to mind recognition.

So, what is a BRAND?

"A brand is a name, term, design, or other feature that distinguishes one seller's product from those of others. Brands are used in business, marketing and advertising. In accounting, a brand is defined as an intangible asset is often the most valuable asset on a corporation's balance sheet. Brand owners manage their brands carefully to create value, and brand valuation is an important management technique that ascribes a money value to a brand, and allows marketing investment to be managed to maximize shareholder value. Although only acquired brands appear on a company's balance sheet, the notion of putting a value on a brand forces marketing leaders to be focused on long term stewardship of the brand and managing for value."

As true professionals that is our goal to become a BRAND. Our name should instantly be recognized as the go to for our industry. We should set our main goal to be the point of not needing a business cards. Sure, we should still carry them but we should want that first to mind mentality for our clients and prospects. Look around at the leaders in your industry. They have invested a combination of time, effort, creativity, marketing, success and networking into building their brands. Can you name the top five professionals in your area? I bet you can. How did they get there? I guarantee it was building their brands to make them first to mind. So how do we build our BRAND.

First, we must agree that a BRAND cannot be built overnight and time is not a measurement of failure. If we understand this we can move a lot quicker with greater success. Therefore, we are left with EFFORT, CREATIVITY, MARKETING, SUCCESS AND NETWORKING.

EFFORT... There is no substitute for effort. We all recognized this. How can you ever expect to reap the rewards without effort? Life is not a lottery. We don't get successful overnight, we don't become financially independent without work. SO… PUT THE TIME IN... Be the first to get in the office and the last to leave. Be efficient at what you do, be organized, believe in personal and professional development. Use the tools that are available to expand your horizons. What will happen if you follow these steps... A lot... Your personal and professional network will recognize your EFFORTS and you BRAND will begin to develop.

CREATIVITY AND MARKETING... I generally place these two together. To build that BRAND in a sea of other professionals and opportunities we must make ourselves dynamic, unique and thought provoking. Most of all we must be remembered. Set ourselves out from the pack and be different. Remember let's go back to the other professionals in our industry see what makes them different. What are they doing to make them first to mind? What sets them apart from everyone else? I'm not saying do what they do but understand that they are possibly doing something different from everyone else. Capture that creativity and make it your own. Put you best foot forward in all your marketing efforts, track the response and ROI, changing medias until you maximize the financial returns.

SUCCESS... The above will lead you to success. Success is the equation of time + effort + visibility (creativity and marketing). The more successful we are... the more people we want to engage in our services, it’s a natural effect. Success brings Referrals, Referrals bring Clients, Clients bring Success. It’s a continuous ever-expanding snowball. Who doesn't want that... An ever-growing hopper of leads, referrals, clients and financial rewards. A strong BRAND will develop that for you.

NETWORKING... This is probably the most overlooked and underdeveloped BRAND building exercises. This IS where you become first to mind. This IS where you shine as the go to person for your industry. It’s is my belief that building your list of connections in all industries is as important as building them within yours. Ask them how you could assist them in building their businesses with your network. Plan to give out twice as many referrals as you get and NEVER ask for one. Make yourself known for doing so and watch how it comes back to you. People are more inclined to pass along a reference to someone who does ask than one who does. Again, this is building your BRAND as the go to person.

Now, going back to the definition of BRAND... A BRAND is the most valuable asset on the company’s balance sheet. It’s what sets them apart from the others available in their segment. Recognizing this and moving forward in this direction will put you in a class by yourself bringing you the financial rewards we set our goals to obtain. Build your BRAND, build your success.

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