As a virtual assistant and business advisor it’s my job to know the ins and outs of social media and the new online platforms that can help businesses succeed. It’s always about working smarter and not harder. I also stay on the up and up in regards to personal branding as well which sparked this blog article today.
Years ago, we all networked through business meetings, luncheons, face to face appointments, Rotary and Chamber of Commerce meetings and the like. We walked around handing out business cards to everyone in sight and giving our quick over practiced elevator speech, hoping to dazzle them into wanting to know more about who we are and what we do. Then we would follow up with nice hand written card or quick phone call just to say hey. The goal was to ensure that EVERYONE knew who you were and what you did! In a way, we were branding ourselves. I know when I did these things at every job regardless of where I worked, people began to know that if they worked with me, they got treated a certain way. Generally like a ROCKSTAR! I took pride in the fact that people always remembered who I was, how hard I worked, and always asked “Hey! Where did Tina go?” So many of my customers have followed me throughout the years, from business to business and industry to industry. I guess what I am getting at here, is that I succeeded in branding ME.
Many times we all get so wrapped up in branding the company we work for, (which is what we’re hired to do), we forget to brand ourselves. I’ve seen so many people say it’s not in my job description, or no one cares what I do, no one appreciates the handwritten note, etc. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Everyone is watching you. Your co-workers, your vendors, your boss, your family, your friends. If you put in 110% all the time and go the extra mile, they all say “Man, do you see how hard Tom works? He never cares how bad of a day he is having, he just goes and goes.” You’re building a reputation, you’re building YOUR BRAND! I would much rather put the time and effort into branding myself like that versus everyone thinking you might be a dead beat, who never goes the extra mile, always goes home at the strike of 5 on the dot, complains about how dirty the bathroom is and then never cleaning it. Nah, trust me, you don’t want to be that guy.
Today with social media and technology, branding ourselves is a bit easier in the sense that we can reach so many people in just a few clicks. I still like to network the old fashion way because that’s who I am, but I alo implement other ways to brand myself too. One is through blogging, which I love! The other is through monthly email newsletters, being seen as the GO TO person for super awesome information, having a nice clean informational website, clean and precisely driven marketing materials about my business, and holding the most professional image of myself as possible on social media and business networking and self branding sites.
Recently I was invited by a colleague to join MyOpportunity and BrandedMe, which are two fairly new networking sites similar to LinkedIn, yet they all differ a bit in what they offer and I LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! them. I will say that before I join anything, I complete some due diligence to ensure that it’s worthy of my time and that the offer is legit. I’ve been on LinkedIn for years, since 2007 or 2008 I believe. It’s proven to have been largely successful to me over the years and I value every connection I make. I don’t just go through and connect with just anyone, I review their profiles and I look at certain people to see if we can be beneficial to each other now or in the future. I found that by joining these other two sites, there are different people on each one of them. I’m getting new contacts and connections on every platform and the experience is fascinating to say the least. It doesn’t require a lot of time, of course you could sit on there all day no doubt. But a few hours a week can go a long way in branding yourself and your business.
The point is NEVER QUIT branding, do it in everything you do and it will follow you forever.
You will find me here:
Best of Luck!