A multipart Series on defining and building your personal brand

Personal Branding Series - Surviving, Succeeding, and Standing Apart by Branding Yourself - Part 1

Who do you want to be?

No one wants to believe the need for their services will become obsolete - least of all independent professionals. Whether business is booming or tough times are looming, branding can position you in the hearts and minds of your clients so you stand out and are remembered longer. It’s the most important form of insurance an entrepreneur can have. By defining and promoting yourself in a way that makes you rationally and emotionally appealing to a targeted demographic by filling a specific need for them, the demand for your services will never expire.

Blending In vs. Thriving

In an era of corporate brand personalization and online advice the only way a service-providing entrepreneur can succeed lies in his or her ability to market a strong personal brand.

Individuals who market themselves as "product experts," or whose service orientation is not adequately unique or specialized, risk blending into the background or being replaced by larger competitors in their industry. The bottom line is that you need to give your consumers a reason to choose your services. You must present them with a focused message and benefit if you want to attract or maintain your clients.

You Are Your Product

In the face of grim prospects and competition, some thoughtful entrepreneurs are taking a different approach-packaging themselves as a commodity through creative, aggressive marketing.

Positioning + Emotion = Clients

A growing number of independents, seeking a new direction in a changing field, are embracing Personal Branding. As opposed to "product-" or "fact-based" marketing, Personal Branding uses social media, brochures, logos, direct mail, public relations and other channels to position entrepreneurs as the brand of choice, not merely salespeople. The power of branding stems from the fact that it focuses on the one aspect of a service-oriented professional that never becomes obsolete: his or her expertise, service, and personal connection with clients.

Throughout this series we will explore the concept of personal branding and how to successfully apply it within your industry and the tools needed for success.