Have you been thinking on how to sell yourself a brand?
Ever been approached by someone who informs you about the services he has to offer, why you should patronize him and finally giving you a complimentary card?
If Yes, that’s a clear case of Selling!
What does it mean to Sell?
The word “Sell” can be defined from different perspectives. However, for the purpose of this study, I have decided to make two definitions our working definitions. According to the English Mini dictionary, Sell means:
- To transfer goods or provide services in exchange for money.
- To promote a particular viewpoint.
For any business to thrive, there has to be detailed knowledge/understanding of advertising or marketing of products and services. It is one thing to offer services and another to monetize (make money from) those services rendered. The main thrust of this article therefore, is to narrow down the concept of selling to personal brands. Having established this, let us go into proper study of the topic of discourse.
What does it mean to sell yourself as a brand?
Selling yourself as a brand entails promoting/marketing services you have to “offer’’ to clients who may have need of those services. Emphasis on the word “offer”. Before launching your brand, you must have something to offer if you really want people to take you seriously. If you’re still indecisive on what to offer, I am here to guide you. *Smiles. Hence, below are my simple steps on how to go about it.
11 Simple steps on how to sell yourself as a brand.
The process of self discovery could really be tiring at times. However, Socrates, a classical Greek philosopher once said “Man know thyself”. This isn’t just a necessity but rather mandatory because, you cannot introduce your brand to people when you do not know what to promote amidst your numerous God given potentials and qualities. In business terms, know your Unique Selling Point (USP). This is the property or characteristics of a good that most attracts purchasers. In this case, you are the “good” therefore, you need to know what best attracts your clients to you or what makes you special amongst several others. Hence, our next point!
- Know what others think about you:
This is the easiest and most exciting part! It’s more like you’re going on an adventure on an Island to dig out its hidden treasures. You can start out with your friends, family and colleagues. Simply ask them to pick out 3 or more adjectives that best describe you. They could be positive traits such as; “You are adventurous, jovial, optimistic” or contrastive remarks like, You are a pessimist, arrogant but knowledgeable. Whatever they say, be sure to take cognizance of such. Consequently, if one adjective seems to be predominant from the survey results then chances are, it is who you are. This goes a long way in giving you an insight on what others think of you. Finally, it also gives you an insight on what to magnify among your traits and what to let go off.
- Magnify your Strength, damn the weaknesses:
Having had an insight on what your close pals think of you, it’s time to work! Did they outline your weaknesses among your strength? If Yes, then you need to consciously let go of those weaknesses and work super hard on magnifying your strengths. Give them your best shot like it’s all you’ve got and know how to do. Set a goal for yourself, if you have character issues, you might want to check out my article on “Character or Charisma”. You might have to work more on building a healthier character.
- Broaden your knowledge base:
Study as much as possible, materials relevant to your field as this subconsciously makes you an authority. Faster ways to broaden your knowledge base are:
i. Identify a role model/mentor in your niche:
If you want to be a leadership coach, you might want to follow the likes of Marshall Goldsmith, Jack Canfield, Judith Glaser, John Mattone, John Whitemore, Marcia Reynolds, amongst others or, if you want to be an R&B musician (depending on its subgenres) you might want to reach out to the likes of Jamie Fox, Trey Songz, Usher, Chris Brown or Tjan, Banky W (Afro R&B), and the list is endless. My point exactly is, identify someone or people that suit what you want to represent. This gives you a clearer vision of where you are going to.
ii. Connect! Reach out to your models:
This isn’t much of a task because you don’t have to meet them in person. Instead, follow them as much as possible on various social media platforms and have a handful of their materials you could learn from. For instance, if you want to become a vocal coach, you could subscribe to the Youtube channel of any renowned or trending vocal coach, download his/her videos and comment when necessary. That’s a practical example of reaching out!
5. Be Unique/authentic, establish an identity people know you for:
Like the saying goes, there is no You youer than You!
This might be more challenging than it sounds, especially for starters. Despite the number of models you follow up, the last thing you want is to make people question who you really are. Today you’re like Joyce Meyer, tomorrow like Steve Jobs, the day after tomorrow you are suddenly like Tuface Idibia. No No No! This is bad business. Try to establish an identity people know you for amidst your “so many mentors”. They are “themselves”, try to be “You”. Furthermore, your personal life should tally with your brand life. There should be originality in every detail. It should reflect on the way you talk, smile, laugh, make jokes, chat on social media, and the way you carry yourself. People should perceive authenticity in everything you do, this makes them take you more seriously. If you really want to become an authority in your field, you might want to work on authenticity. This does not in any way affect multitasking. You could still have a touch of originality even when assigned different roles. It might seem challenging but with dedicated practice, it would become part and parcel of you.
- Define your goals, establish a mission statement and visualize your preferred future:
Your goals remind you of the journey ahead, learn to set short term and long term goals. The short term goals should gear you towards achieving your long term goals. They should be a means to achieving an end. A simple illustration could be on your expenditure and savings for a year. Let’s say for instance, in a month you earn $40,000. Your long term goal could be that by the end of the year, you should have a minimum of $240,000 in your bank account. A short term goal could be that as your income at the end of the month comes in, you must keep a minimum of $20,000 aside as savings for the month and the remaining balance for paying the bills and other miscellaneous activities. Your mission statement could be something like this: To spend prudently this year amidst life’s challenges. As a result, if followed strictly, by the end of the year, you’ll arrive at exactly $240,000 in your bank account and any other fund added to it becomes a plus. Therefore, you used the short term goal (20,000 monthly) to achieve the long term goal (240,000) at the end of the year. This basic principle is applicable to all walks of life. In selling yourself, if your long term goal for the first year is that you must render personal services to 120 clients by the end of the year, your short term goal automatically becomes rendering personal services to 10 clients monthly, it is simple logic.
- Set a target audience:
This is a very critical step to take as it determines to a large extent how successful your brand would become. Before taking actions, you have to realize that there are people out there in need of your services and you are obligated to render those services to them. As a result, you need to have a mental picture of these unique potential clients/customers and strategize how you can reach out to them. If your target audience is located in an underdeveloped setting, you really do not need to bother much about establishing an online presence but if your target audience is mostly internet savvy, then an online presence might just do most of the trick! Your audience could be mothers, brides, students, working class, non-working class, etc. Knowing your audience hints you on how best you could get to them.
- Market/advertise yourself
For starters, it’s advisable to attempt offering free services to people until your brand starts getting known. Furthermore, you must never miss out on any opportunity to announce yourself. If you really want to know how to sell yourself as a brand, you must first learn to utilize all available platforms. Sniff around for platforms if necessary.lol. There are two basic ways to do this amongst others:
i. Word of mouth/ other non-online based publicity strategies:
This form of publicity is often given less attention or ignored nowadays especially by those who seem to render services online. For you to experience true success in your niche, you must be able to dominate on all grounds. Participate in talk shows, conferences, seminars, radio interviews/presentations, be featured on Television programs or start one yourself on popular local channels.
ii. Establish an Online presence:
I’m sure you’ve heard of the likes of Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), Daniel EK (Spotify), Steve Chen (YouTube, MixBit), Linda Ikeji (Linda Ikeji’s Blog), Seun Osewa (Nairaland), Akin Alabi (Founder of Nairabet), Sim Shangaya (CEO, Konga.com), Jason Njoku (CEO, Iroko TV), amongst others quite numerous to mention. These phenomenal individuals have left a mark on the cyberspace for quite some years now. They are not only known for the various services they render, but for the exorbitant passive income they generate from their services. Their fame spread like wildfire and their names are sung in every nook and cranny. My point exactly is, if you really want to become a global brand, you might want to take the cyberspace seriously as this gives you limitless opportunities to make impact and maximize income, plus there are certain investors you might never meet if you do not have an existing online presence. You can establish an online presence by creating a blog or website where you can lavish your repertoire of your niche and make an impact. With the help of hosting sites such as hostgator, bluehost, it’s even easier and cheaper to create a website. You can however, create a free blog on sites like blogger.com or wordpress.com but I would personally advise creating a self hosted wordpress site, I’ve tested and indeed seen that this works perfectly and you have full control over your blog. If you really care about monetizing your site, I’ll advice you pay the little sum and get your self hosted site created and live to enjoy the benefits later. If you want more detailed explanation on this, I’m willing to teach you for free. All you need to do is subscribe to my newsletters with your email at the tail end of this post.
- Upgrade your Resume:
As you begin to gain more experience, explore new realities and get more qualifications, it is quite pertinent that you keep updating/upgrading your resume to match up to your new standards. It should contain all your potentials, goals, achievements and testimonials where necessary. It adds to your repertoire of being an authority figure.
This is a major strategy on selling your personal brand. You can start with writing contents for, or being a freelance writer on several authority blogs and sites, this gradually promotes and popularizes your brand. It makes people want to investigate the brain behind the good articles they have been reading. Consequently, this automatically gives you a fan base.
- Monetize your brand/services
If you’ve read this up to this point, Congratulations! You’ve passed the first test, it shows you have the zeal for learning and you really want to sell your personal brand. If you’ve faithfully followed the above steps, it’s time to consciously monetize your services. I know you’re tempted to ask yourself, “would people really pay for my services?” Of course, Yes! If you’ve followed the above steps sequentially, it’s expected that you already have a fan base so it’s even easier to monetize your services. I believe monetizing your services is one of the major reasons you are reading “how to sell yourself as a brand”. Your fans wouldn’t mind paying the bills in order to continue consuming the services you offer if they find it very relevant to their needs. So go ahead, you can start with a small, realistic amount and gradually step up your game as the need arises and as more people begin to patronize you!
So there you have it! I really hope this was helpful Dear Mindsmith! Feel free to comment your opinions below, I’ll love to hear from you. If you haven’t signed up for my newsletters yet, I’ll be obliged if you do so.