How To Brand Your Company 2 of 4

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. That’s why branding is so important. In today’s post we’re going to take a close look at YOU… The image you project to the world – your suspects and prospects.

What Image Do You Project To Prospects And Clients?

  • What image are you projecting when you visit your clients?
  • How do you look when dealing with your clients?
  • What type of car do you drive?
  • How clean is your car?
  • Are you shoes polished or scuffed?
  • Are your nails bitten or neatly manicured?

Don’t think it’s important? Why does the military of all organisations make dress and deportment one of the most important aspects of the daily ritual?

Like the military, the business world also judges others by their dress and deportment, along with a number of other factors.

Business owners and entrepreneurs should be aware that there is wisdom in the saying that “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

First Impressions Are The Most Important

First impressions include the services you provide and the products that you sell, however before you even get to this phase the way you look and present yourself to your clients will determine if you even get a chance to pitch those services or product at all.

Whenever I hired staff, I would wait for them to arrive to the interview and if they drove, I would meet them at their car to see for myself if it was clean or a garbage bin on wheels. If they don’t treat their own property with respect, you can only imagine what they will do with yours!

It’s also important that business owners pass down the importance of appearance, dress and deportment to their entire team. Many companies today have adopted uniforms for their staff to ensure that all employees look the same when visiting their clients.

This is a way for your company to be well represented when in the public eye. Well designed uniforms also are a great way to advertise your company while your team members are out on the streets visiting with clients, having coffee at the local coffee shop and other tasks around your city or town. This is especially powerful in regional and rural areas. Of course the QUALITY and IMAGE of the ‘uniform’ is important – if the quality is poor and staff don’t maintain it, you corporate image will suffer with potentially devastating effect. If staff smoke in non-smoking areas, are rude or otherwise draw negative attention to themselves, your corporate identity gets stained by association.

Think you’re off the hook if you are a sole practitioner or working from home? Guess again.

If you’re an independent consultant or business owner that has no staff or minimal amounts of employees, your image is even more important.

If you project an image that you are a small company you may run the risk of not getting your foot in the door at bigger firms. Small companies today must present an image that they are bigger than what they actually are. This starts at your office address, do you have an office in a business section of town or do you work out of your house? If you work out of your home, invest in a Post Office box or virtual office. Whatever you do – DO NOT CALL CLIENTS WITH THE KIDS SCREAMING OR DOG BARKING IN THE BACK GROUND. That is an all-time deal-breaker. (You’d be surprised how many people make this mistake!) If you get caught, explain that you’re currently taking calls WHILE AT HOME to make sure you stay in touch – that is much better, but still far from ideal.

As well as your mailing address, it’s now critically important for your business to have a great web presence that your potential clients and your regular clients can get great information on your firm. This does not mean you have so spend thousands of dollars on graphic design, in fact in our Internet Mastery Programs we teach you FREE strategies that you can implement within minutes for a fraction of the cost, but that’s a discussion for another day.

Along with a web presence, you must consider your email address. For only a small investment, you can register a domain name and have mail hosting. This is quick and easy to do and is the minimum you MUST do. Free accounts on well-known services such as Hotmail or Gmail send a message of someone who is struggling and may not be reliable, solid or thinking long-term.

To Be Successful, You Must Look Successful

Your business cards must be professionally designed and printed– not done from your home computer on perforated cards from an office supply store. I can’t say this enough – you’re better off with NO business card than a cheap one.

I have seen many consultants and coaches who are wondering why they’re not making inroads growing their business.

Simply put, they don’t LOOK successful.

Years ago, I had a friend who charged $40/hour for his services. I told him to go out and buy a NEW BMW Convertible so he could charge $65 to $80 because no one would pay that much if he kept his Toyota even if it was a Supra… He did, tripled his income within a year and well, the rest is history.

If buying a BMW isn’t in the cards, then go out and improve your clothing selections – TEST it and see what happens. You don’t have to spend $10,000 in one go. Just buy ONE really nice outfit and see what happens, how people treat you differently…

Image of course isn’t everything. Your service and product have to rise to the occasion. However, you absolutely must have a great image in order to get a chance to open the door and have the opportunity to present…

First things first. First YOUR image, then YOUR brand.

Your image or ‘look’ has to be consistent with your brand – it’s called creating a ‘Persona’… A personal trainer for example shouldn’t have French cuffed shirts and ties, any more than a corporate finance executive should be in khakis and tight-fitting polo shirt to accentuate his/her physique.

Congruency and authenticity are key elements we teach our Business Mastery Platinum Members… All I wanted to do today was highlight a few points and make sure you ask yourself the all important questions…

“What first impression am I making with my prospects?” and “Is this the one I want to be making?”

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