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3 Branding Tips For Service Providers
By: Lauren Clemett, Director, Ultimate Business Propellor | Wednesday 8 March, 2017
What message is your branding relaying? In this article, LAUREN CLEMETT shares the three vital steps service providers can take to build their personal brand so they become well known, well paid and wanted.
If you run a service-based business, you will find yourself constantly challenged by having to sell the invisible. There is no product as such, because you are the product. So how do you ensure that you don’t disappear into a sea of providers who all look the same?
It is often said that “A business without a brand is just a commodity.” So if you’re sick of blending in and looking like every other consultant, coach, mentor or agent, ‘branding yourself’ as a professional service provider is vital.
When it comes to operating a business, it is all about the 3 P’s of people, process and product, however, when it comes to branding it’s the 3 R’s that count.
Becoming recognised as the go-to specialist in your niche, means that you will naturally attract the right clients without having to convince anyone. But, your personal brand is more than just being recognised in the street, it's about the brand personality and brand culture you infuse into everything you do.
Strong personal brands like Richard Branson, who once said “I’ll try anything once”, has a reputation as being Mr. Yes. His brand is positive, innovative and risk-taking. He attracts entrepreneurs who admire and uphold these brand values themselves. His personal brand flows over into the entire brand culture at Virgin.
The human brain finds comfort in what it already knows. Having a consistent personal brand is vital to generate a recognised and trusted brand, especially in an extremely cluttered space.
Think about this. In the 1970s, the human brain was being exposed to about 500 branded images each day, that’s now closer to 5,000 a day. The Amygdala, or fear centre of the brain, relaxes when it recognises a familiar face, but kicks into high alert if something is out of place.
The secret is to ensure that you have a consistent message and a brand story that is easily re-told. It might be boring to you, but for your potential prospects, it’s possibly the first time they’ve really even noticed you.
Decide today! What do you want to be instantly known and recognised for?
Jeff Bezos of Amazon suggests that “your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” When it comes to providing a professional service, reputation is everything. It sets you apart and defines the kind of referrals you get.
Given that word of mouth and third party endorsements are your most effective form of marketing, you need to be clear about what you want people to say about you. Don’t rely on assumption here, use words to describe yourself that can be easily repeated.
What do you want others to say about you? Have you given your raving fans the right words?
The human brain loves a story, it's the most natural way to share information, knowing the story will be retained and retold to others. What is your brand story? When you think about what you’d like to be wanted for, what comes to mind first?
A personal brand sets your ‘trust currency’ because the level of respect people have for your expertise correlates directly with how much they are prepared to pay for your services.
We are living in the age of the authentic brand and you must deliver what you promise, in fact over-delivering is even better. Even Queen Elizabeth, who has made her share of poor publicity decisions, still has global respect. In fact, she once said “I have to be seen to be believed” because of the respected and almost daunting aura of her personal brand.
What are you actively doing to create and generate respect for your brand?
The biggest mistake professional service providers make when it comes to personal branding, is to focus on promoting themselves, rather than promoting the transformation they deliver for their clients.
Let’s get 100 per cent clear, personal branding is not about how much you know, it’s about how much you know about your ideal prospect.
The most important aspect a service provider should understand about their business is why people buy from them.
The prospect’s brain interacts with your brand using memory and emotion. The decision making centre of the brain recalls how they felt last time they saw a brand, directing attention and influencing a buying desire.
By considering Neurobranding and the message your brand is conveying, you can naturally engage with your prospect using the influence of the three R’s - Recognition, Reputation and Respect.