3 Signs You’re Leaving Money On the Table by Not Investing in Your Personal Brand

Are you leaving money on the table because you don’t know how to brand and market yourself?  This is the #1 problem I see with my clients.  They are incredibly talented and smart people, but they just don’t know how to position and market themselves.  I believe any individual or small company can compete against the “Big Boys” with clear messaging, branding, and the know how to build and leverage connections.

What is the Return on Investment on Personal Branding?

1. In some cases, this can allow you to command 20-30% higher fees for your services and speaking engagements.

2. Creates a system and process to build momentum by generating organic leads,  gives you free advertising, and reduces the cost of acquiring new customers.

3. It allows you to “Go Deeper”.  These are services, such as consulting, training, or licensing your intellectual property for company wide training programs, which allows you to charge 6 or 7-figures for your services.

4. Through content, such as speaking, blogs, EBooks, articles, you establish your authority, build reputation, and position you as a “Go-To” company.  This creates word-of-mouth marketing and makes people ask “What else can you do for me?”

3 Signs You Are Leaving Money on the Table:

1. No Substance or Unprofessional Looking Website – I recently met with a prospective client and their business development person said they were too embarrassed to refer people to the website.  Ok…that’s a problem!  I asked why. “…it looks unprofessional, too confusing, and has too much information”.   A lot of my clients have this problem.   If your target market is a senior corporate executive, I’m a strong advocate for less is more, and keep it clean and to the point. Your message platform and design must convey, “What’s Your Story” (visually and written),“Who You Are”, and “What You Do”.  Also, most people will view your site on mobile devices (iPad, tablet, or smartphone), so your site should be a Word Press responsive design.  You don’t have to break the bank in website design, buy a Word Press template and have it customized.  This alone can save as much as $3,000 is design costs.

2. It Takes More Than 7 Seconds to Explain What You Do – We live in an ADHD, instant gratification, and 140-charter world.  Which means…you have 7 seconds either in person or on your website to tell them “What You Do” and pique their interest.   People don’t have time to “figure you out” and will never buy nor recommend your services to other people.

3. Stuck On 90s Marketing Methods – If you are still relying on 1990s traditional marketing methods, such as trade shows, cold calling, paid/rented email lists, print ads, or banner ads, this only is responsible for less than 10% of clicks on the web.  Today, it is essential to use content (i.e. blogs, videos, EBooks, white papers, Webinars, press interviews, and articles) to gain attention, establishing your reputation and authority in the marketplace.  Today, marketing content is responsible for 90% of clicks on the web and has a lower average cost for acquiring new customers.

Don’t leave money on the table in 2014!

Are you struggling to be seen as an authority or as a market influencer? Or spending a lot of money on marketing and not seeing any return on investment? Do you feel overwhelmed when it comes to branding and marketing? If you are serious about taking your personal brand to the next level and need help,  send me your questions.  I would be happy to answer them.  Sign Up for my Free Webinar Silent Branding Tactics of Successful Speakers on January 14th, 2014

5 Things Executives Need to Do Right Now to Protect Their Personal Brands

Everyday as an executive, whether in person or online, you are exposed to people who want to see others fail or desire their 15 minutes of fame at the expense of others.  You know these people, they include the nay-sayer, the disgruntled employee, the unhappy customer, the media obsessed, a jealous co-worker, or even a former employer. With the rise of social media, your reputation can be ruined in a matter of seconds with one posting or tweet. You have to work years to build your personal brand and reputation, and they both need to be protected like precious objects.  Here are some tips to protect your personal brand from people who might want to try and damage your reputation:

1)    Own Your Name –  It is important to own “Your Name” domain.  This prevents people from trying to hijack it, or from Internet “trolls” who buy up names to force you to pay a premium for the domain name.  For very common names, such as Smith, or when someone else owns your name already, it can be a challenge, but try to find something as close to your name as possible.  You should, at least, own your name for .com, .org, .biz, and .me domains.  Also, if you have written a book, you should own this domain as well.

2)    Have a Great Profile Picture –  A picture says a thousand words.  What does your profile picture say about you?  You should have a professional headshot taken for your profile picture at least every 2-3 years and use the same profile picture for all your social accounts. No matter how people connect to you, whether it be Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook, they should be able to recognize you instantly online or in person.  People connect to other people on an emotional and personal level, so smile, let them see your eyes, and exude that confidence and positive attitude.  You always want to put your best foot forward for that first impression, and your profile is often the first way people are introduced in today’s digital age.

3)    Monitor Your Reputation Online – It’s important to see what people are saying about you online.  A simple way to do this is by setting up a Google Alert on your name.  If you are C-Level or the CEO, you may want to hire a company that specializes in reputation management.  This way, you can see what’s being said about you, and take the appropriate action if someone or a group starts attacking your reputation.  If someone is putting damaging information out on the Internet about you, seek legal advice immediately, DO NOT WAIT.  I’ve worked with senior executives who have suffered traumatic career setbacks because of false allegations being put out in the press and online.  It’s personally, professionally, emotionally, and financially devastating.  One client of mine received an offer letter to be a CEO division head, only to have it rescinded the same day when a board member Googled his name and found some of the crazy false allegations.

4)    Keep Your Personal and Professional Social Networks Separate – OK…admit it…. we all have family and friends that are constantly posting crazy stuff on their Facebook about relationships, political views, or pictures and updates about their kids every two minutes.   Your professional network does not need to see this.  If you are interviewing, you should be aware employers now look for new ways to gather intelligence to verify what you are telling them is the truth.  They Google and search online to verify your professional and education background, who is in your social network, as well as looking for ways to uncover other references.  Unless it’s a condition of employment, you do not have to grant access to an employer if they ask to be added to your network.

 5)    Watch What You Say  – Just remember every post, tweet, reply, and comment you put out there will live forever on the universe of the Internet.  If you wouldn’t say it to a person’s face or defend your position publicly on TV or in the press, don’t say it at all. Its fine to share your expertise, knowledge, offer your opinion, or be provocative.  But it’s not cool airing your dirty laundry about a customer, colleague, boss, or your employer on the Internet. I’ve known people who have been fired for completely avoidable situations such as these, and it can damage your future employment opportunities.

Based on what you read above if you have any concerns or are serious about taking your personal brand to the next level, contact Cre8iv Branding at +1 646.535.9450 or email to schedule a complimentary half-hour consultation.