NAPW Feature Story: Building Your Brand by Building Relationships
What is a brand? This term has been so overused that we decided to ask the experts. According to The American Marketing Association (AMA), a brand is a “name, term, sign, symbol, design or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from other sellers.” Now that we fully understand the term…
What’s the best way to build your brand? Relationships, of course! Word-of-Mouth is the absolute best advertising there is! So, build your brand and stand out from the crowd by focusing on and nurturing the professional and personal relationships you have while seeking the ones you want or need. Making face-to-face connections is an invaluable element to establishing trust, credibility and leadership. Combining in-person connections with online networking and a strong social media presence helps build your brand even more. In addition to relationships, here are some of the building blocks of branding.
Stand Out & Build Up
Before you start building your brand, make sure you have a clear understanding of what you want that brand to be. Focus on what makes you different from the competition and establish your target consumers. Having a message that is clear and relevant, knowing your audience and conveying your message with confidence helps establish a presence and lets you stand apart from the crowd.
Take Star’s Advice & Say Hello
Expanding your network, from your NAPW connections to industry contacts and social acquaintances, is key to business success. NAPW National Spokesperson and Chief Development Officer Star Jones had this advice for the more than 1200 members attending this year’s NAPW National Networking Conference in New York City: “Make sure to use all of the new connections you created for yourself at this year’s conference. Go ahead make the call; just dial the number and say, ‘Hello’ – because all it takes is one hello to change your life forever.”
Network, Network & Network
Attend NAPW Local Chapter meetings and network online at napw.com with members outside of your local area. And remember, potential customers, clients and investors are all around you, so networking beyond your business and industry contacts is just as important. Keep nurturing the relationships you have outside of your work environment and in social situations because they could be the ones that change your life and your business forever. And don’t be shy about asking for introductions to new acquaintances.
Yes, you need to establish a strong online presence but that doesn’t mean you have to be on every social media platform in cyberspace. Seek the ones making the most sense for your brand that will ultimately help you reach your goals. Better to pick three or four platforms to really focus on than to spread yourself – and your brand – too thin. If you’re very busy, think about hiring an intern to write blogs and tweets or a Social Community Manager to effectively monitor your social media presence.
Be the Expert
Portraying yourself as an expert is important to building your brand. Be sure to get your content out there through blog posts, commenting on industry articles and public speaking. Stay on the cutting edge of your industry by attending conferences and seminars where you can learn and advance your knowledge. Having a presence at these events allows you to showcase your expertise and expand your network while continuing to make new connections.
We want to hear from you! Tell us how you build your brand through your relationships. Do you make more connections in person or online?