Everyone with an entrepreneurial business must be mindful of one critical truth: Your brand goes wherever you go because your “brand” is you. Thus, it is imperative to conduct yourself accordingly to successfully navigate today’s cut-throat competitive, ever-evolving marketplace. Long gone are the days where simply showing up and working hard would ensure you had a successful endeavor. Now there are many factors involved in achieving this ongoing feat. One key way is through personal marketing by carwash owners — and all other staffers for that matter.
Personal branding, which you may already be familiar with, and personal marketing are two separate but interrelated concepts. With personal branding, your name is your brand and you want to assure its visibility with a favorable image.
Personal marketing is the strategic development and marketing of that brand — a means of achieving your personal branding goals and objectives.
The following 10 personal marketing methodologies will guide you, step-by-step, through key personal marketing processes that will not only strengthen your personal brand, but will also help develop and improve your overall stature and image in the community and marketplace.
This is the concept of treating everyone the same, with equal respect, regardless of position, from the frontline crew to your most important business partner or vendor. Positive complicity goes beyond simply being nice to everyone and extends to connecting with someone as a person, not their position.
For instance, it is easy to get intimidated by a prospect and try to impress them because of where they are in the proverbial marketplace “food chain.” However, a seasoned business person — and everyone else, for that matter — will see right through this.
Conversely, being rude to the frontline crew because you think they are beneath you speaks volumes about you as a carwash owner or operator and as a person, and none of it good. In this way, positive complicity is an indicator of social and emotional intelligence, which are just as important as any other managerial skill.
Creating your halo of success
Have you ever noticed an aspiring entrepreneur who carries with him or her an air of desperation and failure? This person might be great at coming up with promising business ideas and may even be considered “nice,” but there’s something in his or her demeanor that keeps people away.
On the other hand, you have probably met business owners who seem to draw people to themselves, like honeybees to a flower, because they radiate positivity and success. What is the difference between these two people? Take a moment to listen to each. One person often makes negative statements such as, “I never catch a break,” or responds to compliments with, “I didn’t really do anything special,” while the other is generally upbeat and says, “Thank you” to compliments.
Which person would you want to do business with? People will believe what you say about yourself so it is important to avoid negative statements in that regard.
What does creating a halo of success mean?
Creating a halo of success is all about reciprocity. Success draws from success. By creating a halo of success, we are leaving a positive mark in other people’s lives and showing the enthusiasm and the passion we put into everything we do.
Remember, people like us for the way we make them feel. However, this has to come from a place of sincerity. People can see through manipulation, and manipulation is never a good idea. Instead, focus on providing honest and genuine acceptance and approval of those around you. A positive attitude generates positive things and inspires others.
Personal marketing is based on self image
Ask yourself this question: “Do I feel successful?” The answer is important because it is the basis for how others see you. It is necessary to develop a clear idea of the image we hold of ourselves because that image is the reflection of what we believe we are, and we are the image of what we hope to become.
There is an enormous difference between doing business with a person who is just “in it for a quick buck” and doing business with someone who loves what he or she does and wishes to grow, learn and contribute. This difference is a major component of charisma. Charisma is about being you — and being yourself is powerful.
You own your attitude
We own our attitudes — the attitude we decide to have towards our business, the attitude we decide to have towards life, the attitude that truly defines our personal image. You might not be able to change the way you look, but you can change the way you present yourself.
Be mindful of your body language and especially your facial expressions. These are powerful communication tools, conveying your overall attitude. Think about what you are communicating and what message you are sending to those around you.
Nothing sells better than enthusiasm
By positively managing our energy, we transmit energy to others. This is another major aspect of charisma, infecting others with our enthusiasm. By being pleasant, positive, charismatic and down-to-earth, we achieve the ideal attitude of success. And if we feel successful, we will be treated accordingly.
Showing your successful side does not involve bragging, arrogance or acting superior to others. On the contrary, it simply means understanding that our attitude has to be positive and directed at giving others the attention and recognition they expect and need. And what sells more than offering excellent professional carwashing services that transmit enthusiasm?
Trust and success networks
Our reputation may begin with us, but it is anchored in our contacts and the connections we have with others. Knowing how to manage your contacts and connections is a must. Our networks of contacts, which we can call our networks of trust, must be developed and constantly updated. We cannot just develop a network of contacts when we need it. This is something that we need to manage proactively throughout our lifetime and at every turn.
Obviously, if we constantly look after our network of trust, our contacts will speak well of us, not only because we become successful, but also because we have developed a good relationship with all concerned. Sometimes, when people are successful, they stop working on their networks of contacts. They tend to feel that this is no longer necessary — this is a mistake. If we wait until we are not doing well, we are less likely to tap into our network because we are feeling uncomfortable with our status. So it is essential to build and maintain your networks at all times.
Contacts, relationships and connections
Contacts and relationships are the first step in building a network of trust. Building that network is important because when an opportunity appears, companies first look to friends and current contacts to fulfill their needs. In fact, many potential clients and B2B opportunities for entrepreneurs and small business owners are in what we call the market of hidden opportunities.
Building a network of trust requires establishing long-term relationships with people who appreciate us and whom we appreciate in return. These are people we know or with whom we have done business and maintain a relationship of trust, appreciation and mutual respect. The larger the network of trust that you have, the likelier it is that you will hear about business opportunities and potential clients because your contacts are your best salespeople and the best people to spread your good reputation.
Developing networks of trust requires having a clear idea of who our acquaintances are and what they know about us.
Building networks of trust
To build your own network of trust, begin by making an organized list of all the people you know and who know you. This includes everyone who has formed an impression of you and manages your reputation. Next, keep the relationships you have current by continually updating them. Building networks of trust means reestablishing and rewriting those relationships in new terms and keeping them alive. This also entails enthusiastically reestablishing our identity, image and reputation with our contacts. In this way, we are renewing our ties, even if we have not seen some of these people for a long time.
Think long-term and build ties before you need them
Don’t wait to build your network of trust until you are ready to start a new business or until your current business is in dire need of help; by then it is too late. Your network of contacts should not be used only “in case of emergency.”
It is a network of trust, and as such, it needs to be built over time. If you are not sure where to start, that is easy — start everywhere. Social gatherings, industry events, committees, seminars, courses, meetings, trips, the gym, weddings, parents’ associations, professional association events, sports events and so on are all great places to start.
Human beings are highly social. You do not need to be present at every event, but keep in mind social or professional events and day-to-day activities provide the perfect opportunity to tell others about what you are doing and find out what is going on in their lives. It is important to mingle and connect because it is a way of showing genuine interest in others.
Because there are no guarantees in any business endeavor, our attitude is absolutely vital to our success. Our enthusiasm, drive to put in the work and meet our objectives, and attitude towards our commitments determine just how successful we can be.
We no longer have the choice to forego personal marketing. In today’s world, it must be done — and done well. Those who understand the reality of the new business world will be successful.
Those who know what they want, have goals and are prepared to achieve them; those who are ethical; those who have contacts; those who preserve and develop their personal brand and reputation; those who generate results; and those who develop charisma.
Although we cannot live solely to please others, we should try to put ourselves in other peoples’ shoes to discover how they see us, what we transmit and how we present ourselves. This helps us keep up-to-date and makes us a more desirable business partner. It is our responsibility to maintain our personal brand, market our personal brand and make sure that others are perceiving our personal brand the way we intended.
The above strategies will help ensure those personal brand and marketing efforts are both positive and effective.
Internationally-regarded, award-winning career success pundit, consultant and speaker Ines Temple is president of LHH – DBM Peru and LHH Chile, companies that are leading career transition and executive coaching organizations in their respective countries. She is also Chairman of the Board of CARE Peru, a leading non-profit humanitarian organization fighting the injustice of poverty with a special focus on disadvantaged girls. Temple is also a speaker at conferences and universities around the world due to her keen perspectives and insights, also making her a valued media expert source. She may be reached online at www.InesTemple.com.