Though it is the mega-corporations who dominate the headlines, small business is one of the key drivers of the sustainable world economy. In 2012, self-employment climbed 3.6 per cent in Canada, with 95,600 individuals accounting for almost 40 per cent of new jobs created in that time. And whether you are hanging your shingle as a consultant or building a global business model starting with one employee, a solid brand is a key step to global (or neighborhood) domination.
Here are three examples of personal branding projects with different approaches to making their mark.
Appeal to Your Target Market’s Values.
As a Vancouver-based consultant with global experience in public health and environmental conservation, James Boothroyd has too many credentials to list in a tagline. But one thing he shares with his prospects is a strong belief and dedication to making things better. “I am a Boy Scout at heart, and an intellectual” says Jim. Both of these qualities are evident in his clean, bespectacled logo, and Boothroyd Consulting tagline – “Let’s change the world.”
If you have a strong set of values, and they help to tell your story and sell your services, don’t be afraid to put them right on your brand sleeve. A personal brand can be just that – highly personal. (Any prospects you turn off are likely to be a poor fit for your practice anyway) Just remember to prioritize your values and key messages with your customers’ needs in mind.
Use a Sense of Humor, But Keep Your Brand Solid.
Anybody who has worked with Chris Malthaner in his Sea-to-Sky trade area knows he can be a pretty funny guy. But there’s no joking when it comes to the quality of his craftsmanship. So on his trucks, and at the work site, Malthaner Custom Construction delivers its message with a smile. But the logo and brand clearly communicate strength, precision and good taste. “When I am taking down a 100-foot tree, or planning the construction of a Whistler home, there’s no joking around,” says Malthaner, “But in the Sea-to-Sky corridor, life and work are closely linked, and it’s important to have fun at both.”
If you prefer to sell with a smile, choose the right communication tools for that job. Where will people appreciate some humour? Where is a straight message more appropriate? Make sure your overall brand identity reflects the tone that is most relevant to your central market advantage.
Build a Brand That Goes Beyond Your Name.
When personal coach Mark Cannon decided to ramp up his practice, he ended up moving to a name that has individual appeal, but a lot of potential for brand expansion. “Unicycle Creative guided me through the Brand Centering process, allowing me to identify what I really wanted for the business,” says Mark, “The outcome was LifeBlend Coaching. A name that helps differentiate me from other coaching businesses, and has a brand persona with potential to go further.”
Do you want to build a business that will go beyond your personal brand? Consider finding a company name that sets you up for success and can be passed on to other operators, franchisees or even owners. Look for a name that will let you start a conversation. (With LifeBlend, it’s an easy opener to ask people how their life blend is these days) Just know that in a world of over a half-a-billion websites, a unique name can be hard to come by. Best to get professional help with that.
Whatever goals you have for your personal brand, take the time to engage in a branding process and develop a good design platform. You’re worth it.
The brand examples above are from the Unicycle Creative portfolio. If you want to know more about personal or corporate brand development, visit the Unicycle Creative website.
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