Lately I've been hearing a lot about the idea of branding yourself. I found an article from Investor's Business Daily that talks about the Art of Branding Yourself in Business.
The author, Gary Stern uses David Bach, the author of books like Smart Women Finish Rich and Automatic Millionaire, to illustrate the idea of branding yourself.
Bach did not set out to be the Wells Fargo Investment guru. As a CPA he wanted to teach financial seminaries to women, mainly widows and divorceses. Thus he wrote Smart Women Finish Rich, because his passion was teaching people about money.
Bach says "I wanted to bring my message to millions of people, change their lives by making complicated issues simple and get people to take action. make an impact. "
David Bach had the ability to teach people about money. This is where he felt he could add value to his clients. This was his brand.
Stern quotes Rick Haskins (Author of "Brand Yourself") that "Since Corporate America has exploited many people, attaching a name and a face to a brand is becomg more important."
This is so true is not it? People have no idea who to trust anymore. By branding yourself as an expert and as someone who has truly had their clients best interests at heart, you will become trustworthy in their eyes.
So how does this relate to you and your MLM business?
Here's a fact. For the most part people have a preconceived awareness of what an MLM or direct sales business is. Their mom was in Avon or had a cousin in Amway or something. So if your prospect has seen these people do it, and fail, then what do you have to offer them?
This is where most people begin to start selling their business opportunity. "We're debt free," or "We're ground floor" etc.
In your prospect's mind, he's saying "Who gives? How are you going to help me succeed?"
See, where most people start selling their business opportunity, this is where you should start selling yourself, selling your brand.
"I can help you because …"
"I have your solution …"
This is what Bach did for his clients. He welcomed on his knowledge and showed that he was out to help his client. Bach had their best interest at heart.
The best way to start your brand is by becoming an expert about your business opportunity and your products. Why? Because knowing this will allow your prospect to trust you and, most important, follow you.
Here's the list of strategies that Stern says has worked for Bach:
1. Tap your passion: Identify your own passions and purpose in life.
2. Become skilled at generating publicity: This is getting your name out there. You can easily do this with Google AdWords or using Internet Marketing strategies, like Magnetic Sponsoring.
3. Keep it Simple: Stick to the basics by only focusing on what your client / prospect wants and what they need to do in order to get what they want.
4. Evolve the Brand: Start with a niche then begin to expand into other niches. When you become in expert in say home care, then become an expert in nutrition and service those type of clients.
5. Create Multiple Revenue Streams: What is meant here is create multiple revenue streams to your business. You can do this with affiliate programs. Or you can market your own information product like an ebook or brochure about your business opportunity.
6. Secure Sponsors: Again this refers to affiliate programs such as Magnetic Sponsoring. You can use Dillard's information product as tool to help grow your business and get clients.
7. Know your target audience: This is critical. Your target prospect is not your uncle who's plopped in front of the TV right now. Look for people who are looking for your products or your business opportunity.
These strategies are just a thumbnail sketch of what you can do to enhance your business. Obviously when you go into depth in each of these strategies there is a lot to learn. There are plenty of resources out there to help you grow your business.
A true entrepreneur will do whatever it takes, right?
Remember to add value to your prospects by explaining what you have to offer them.