I don’t mean to suggest that your customers don’t care about your fundamental decency, professionalism, and your devotion to your local community. However, each of those qualities is necessary, but not sufficient for someone to do business with you. Ultimately, your personal brand reflects your unique ability to help your ideal customers succeed.
A few weeks ago I had a phone conversation with a former colleague who had invested a significant amount of money with a company whose assignment was to shape his personal brand. To show off the results of the exercise, he pointed me to his brand-new website which highlighted his passion for financial planning and his devotion to his local Midwest community. Since I’ve known him for years, I know that this accurately reflects the kind of guy he is. But if I had been a customer going to his website in search of solutions, my initial reaction would’ve almost certainly have been, “So what?”
Remember visitors to your blog or to your website are looking for answers to problems. They are not looking to evaluate you as a person until they are darned sure that you and your organization can provide solutions to the problems that drove them to your website in the first place.
Therefore, your personal brand should focus on your unique capability of solving the problems of those future customers that you have defined as your perfect target market. A meaningful personal brand would seem almost impossible unless it reflects your ability to deliver uniquely powerful solutions for your customers.
If you visit the website of ThatWhitePaperGuy, you won’t read any verbiage about what a great guy he is or how passionate he is about white papers. Instead, he gets right to the point by asking rhetorical questions that qualify the visitor and then demonstrates that he understands their needs and can solve their problems by creating effective white papers. Here’s the core of his homepage message:
Put the power of white papers to work for your firm!
Special reports… executive briefings… product backgrounders…
Whatever you call them, these fact-based documents generate leads and build mindshare… if they’re done right.
If you’re a B2B marketing manager looking for a white paper writer, you’ve come to the right place.
I’ve worked on 120+ white papers for companies like Google, Rackspace and Oracle… plus many smaller firms with big ideas.
So when you’re ready to talk about your next white paper, call me at +1 (705) 842-2428 Eastern, or e-mailGordon@ThatWhitePaperGuy.com
Only after we have convinced ourselves that he can solve our problems relating to white papers will we care whether he’s the kind of person we want to work with. His personal brand is all about being a white paper expert and has nothing to do with being a passionate, community-oriented professional.
Prospective customers don’t care about us. They care about how we can help them.
Perhaps, the word ‘personal’ gets us into trouble when we attach it to the word ‘ brand.’ ‘Personal’ simply means that the brand relates to you as an individual. But the all important ‘brand’ component means it’s all about what you can do to solve your customers’ problems.