Your Personal Image Is More Important Than You May Think!
In broad terms, your branding is one of the most important key factors in the success (or failure) of your business. When you are growing your business, particularly in the early stages, it’s all about perception.
Prospects (potential customers) that have yet to test your products or services, have nothing to go on except perception or, more accurately, perceived value. And at the pre-purchase stage, they will typically ask themselves (either consciously or sub-consciously) the following questions.
- Can they trust you?
- Will what you offer make a difference to them?
- Will what you deliver match the promise?
2 and 3 are more about the real value of your product or service and will determine your success at securing repeat business from your customers. It’s Question 1 that you need to get past, because until your prospects can answer either ‘yes’ or ‘probably’ to that one, then they will never become customers and questions 2 and 3 will become irrelevant.
So you need to create perceived value, to create some degree of trust, in order to convert a prospect into a customer.
And it is your branding that, fundamentally, will determine the degree of perceived value in your product or service. The critical truth that so many business owners and would-be marketers overlook or misunderstand is that in most cases, your brand is you!
In those early stages of becoming the next Richard Branson, building a relationship with your prospects is essential. And how successful you are at that relationship building will be influenced by your ‘brand’.
So, the brand is you! It’s your personal image. So what should your ‘brand’ look like?
Your personal image needs be professional. A professional image will say that this person runs a legitimate business. It will say that you are successful and, let’s be honest, would you really trust someone who wasn’t? You may choose to present an image that is formal professional or casual professional. That will depend on the type of business that you are in (your image should reflect what you do), but you must still appear professional.
Another key facet of your image is the ‘human’ element. To be successful at building relationships with your prospects (and strengthening those relationships with converted customers), there needs to be some human connection. Warmth, honesty, empathy, stability, all in the right quantities (too much can appear an affectation).
Get your image right and you have a great brand. And with a great brand to offer, your business will be going places. Prospects will notice you, trust you and perceive value in what you are offering. They will be more likely to make that commitment to try your product or service and you will have converted prospects into customers.
Dedicated to your success,
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