Expert Panel, Forbes Coaches Council
Your brand is as unique as you are. Whether it's a personal or corporate brand, audiences want to know the real story behind the image you present to the public – and they won't stick around if your branding is flat or unengaging.
Crafting a brand takes time and effort, though, and you need a thoughtful strategy if you want to resonate with your customers and followers. We asked 13 members of Forbes Coaches Council to share unique, creative ideas to make your brand stand out. Their best answers are below.
1. Tap Into Your Company's 'Native Genius'
Ignite the spark of creativity that triggers and uncovers the collective native genius of the brand or company. This will empower a diverse mindset towards forward-thinking concepts or ideas that shape the fabric of the organization. Allow this bottom-up approach from all members of the team, making these individual elements outline how the whole is defined and thus represented in the brand's DNA. - Rachel Lourdes Mestre, Rachel Mestre LLC
2. Show Your Audience What You Can Do For Them
Many branding and marketing tactics are usually focused on self-promotion – their products, their clients, their credentials, etc. What people really want to know is, "What can you do for me?" Answer that question without professional jargon, in everyday language. Keep it simple. Cut out unnecessary words and pictures. Make your potential clients the hero with you being the guide to success. - Frances McIntosh, Intentional Coaching LLC
3. Pursue Public Speaking Opportunities
Professional public speaking opportunities are an excellent way for an individual to be a corporate brand advocate, be seen as a subject matter expert, and elevate their personal brand. To complement this notion, a company can leverage an employee's personal brand to strengthen the organization's corporate brand. - Michelle Riklan, Riklan Resources LLC
4. Establish Your Expertise And Focus On That
When establishing or expanding your brand, make sure you first establish your level of expertise, which often requires that you become more focused on your activities. Once the market knows about your unique business value, it becomes easier to then use your creativity for determining which activities are best for expanding your brand. - Donald Hatter, Donald Hatter Inc.
5. Think In Terms Of Experiences
Ask: What is it like to work with you? What is it like to use your product? What words do people use to describe you? Your personal and professional brand stems from the experience people have – and what's said about you when you leave the room. Authenticity, simplicity, a positive experience and strong relationships will help you stand out. - Joanne Markow, GreenMason
6. Collaborate To Create Video Content
One of the biggest fears people have is getting in front of a camera. Letting your company know you want to help extend its brand, participate in video, and be interviewed for internal or external media does not scream narcissism. It is often a relief to the company that you would volunteer, and it powerfully ups your brand status and value in the company's collective mind. - John M. O'Connor, Career Pro Inc.
7. Start Blogging To Get Your Business Message Out
Write a blog that's tailored specifically to your target population's interests, needs and toughest challenges. Offer fresh insights and advice that showcase your expertise. Make sure your content is easy to digest and useful to your audience so you become known as a problem solver. - Beth Kuhel, Get Hired, LLC
8. Create And Spread A Consistent Message
To define your values and your brand, your message needs to be consistent across all platforms. All team members working on branding need to speak the same language and follow the same standards. Even simple things like following the same graphic pattern for all advertising, blogging or vlogging, if done consistently, gives your audience a sense of familiarity, making them trust your brand. - Parul Agrawal, Alpha Female House
9. Collect And Leverage Testimonials
Personal branding has given us permission to talk about ourselves far too much. As a result, we shut out the self-anointed experts, gurus and ninjas; we’ve become immune to their self-promotion and “humble brags.” So to really stand out, leverage the "Testimonial Economy." Stop talking about yourself – and let your customers, colleagues, and mentors do the talking for you, through testimonials. - Mark S. Babbitt, YouTern
10. Contribute To A Cause
I love working with brands that support a local cause or have a social entrepreneurship focus. By helping others, a brand can automatically feel more in touch with the needs of the community and make their customers feel like they are part of something great. It's also a fantastic way to add more value as a brand, rather than the common alternative to slash prices. - Ilean Harris, Ilean Harris
11. Embrace And Share Your Story
The core story of you or your company is not a duplicatable thing. I always tell anyone who is trying to brand or rebrand to think of their creation story and get to the soul of themselves or their company. Then, try to express this in your branding. This is the DNA of you and your company. - Rosalee Laws, The Rosalee Laws Company
12. Learn From Your Past Successes
Look at all the outcomes that have brought you success. List them out on a piece of paper. Reflect on what you did to make those outcomes successful. Write down what you did, how you did it, who benefited from it, and how it benefited them. Note all examples that come from both professional and personal experiences. - Alan Trivedi, Trivedi Coaching & Consulting Group
13. Be Human
Allowing authenticity to seep through your brand is a powerful way to connect with others. Our clients are human and will relate to the humans behind the brand. Identifying a brand archetype and allowing your messaging, visuals and processes to fall into line can help establish character, and in turn, build stronger brand alignment from the marketplace. - Heather Pinay, Authentically: Business & Life Solutions
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