Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Are You Experienced? Building a Brand for Your Consulting Business

I've been listening in on the Business Basecamp Tele-seminar I blogged about last week and have been learning some great stuff that I can apply back to my own consulting business.

I just finished listening to Dave Lakhani's seminar on Developing a Persuasive Personal Brand. Branding was something that I thought should take a backseat to the rest of my marketing endeavors, but I was wrong.

Branding is about the experience your customers have with you. It's not about your logo, your colors or your advertising - those are just brand accessories. If you are a service professional, like a consultant, you should strive to create an emotional tie with your customers and leave a positive impression on them so much so that if they ever left you they may feel as though they made a bad mistake. Pretty powerful stuff, huh?

How do you begin developing your brand? The first step is to ask yourself, "What do I want to be known for?" If you can answer that, then you can begin to build the experience you want your customers to have for you. Make sure that when you build the experience, you are consistent in your message to your customers. You will be judged by what you say and do. For instance, if you brand yourself as delivering the best customer service known to all of mankind then you must make it so you are easily accessible. Don't have auto responder e-mails that say you'll get back to your customer in 48 hours.

It's not too late to join in on this tele-seminar series. Topics coming up will cover building strategic alliances, social networking (using sites like LinkedIn for your business) and building an effective web presence.

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