Your Big Picture, the overall plan you create for you and your business is made up of many parts.
They need to make sense for you and most importantly need to be working together. All of this plays into your brand and branding effectiveness and impact.
Here are 6 key areas that should be reviewed in determining if in fact your big picture is working.
1. The current business environment.
Make sure you are up to date on everything that is going on in your industry, market, and community. Now is not the time to be laying low or hanging back. Subscribe to some key newsletters, bookmark key websites, and stay in touch with other people in your business in other parts of the country.
2. Relevance is a key branding essential in how you use your skills and deliver your business.
Do you need to brush up on Word, PowerPoint or integrate a new software or program to make your business and communications more effective and streamlined? There are online and local resources to do just that and some of them are FREE or very low cost. Never put a price tag on investing in your professional or business success, just make sure it is what you need and you use trusted vendors.
3. The marketability and bank-ability of your product/service.
Is what you do and what you offer still as relevant now as it was a year ago? Make sure you ask your customers how you can best serve and deliver your products and services. There are numerous examples of very successful companies that hit a trend that played it’s course and didn’t proactively evolve or change to meet customers needs. Are all your products and services still profitable and making money?
4. Your sales strategy and approach.
We’re all in sales today from the first entry point to the last. Investing in some simple sales training is a very good skill to have in your toolbox, especially today. ‘Serving is the new selling’ has become a popular mantra for today’s business. How do you like to be sold? Are you still product pushing or selling relationally? Check out the ZapposInsights.com site to learn more about how their core values create their company culture and how they ‘wow’ with their customer service and sales.
5. Your overall marketing plan.
How are you branding or attracting people to you, finding your best targeted customers and developing deeper, stronger relationships with them? This is a very tall order today but essential for maintaining business success and sustainability. It starts with your brand, branding, mission, message, website, and blog. Make sure that all your marketing materials are current and saying exactly what you want them to be saying. Freshen up your logo, slogan, business card, website, rack card.
6. Blending your online and offline networking.
If you are not out there, sharing your smart, fun, authentic self both online and in person you can become ‘bottom of mind’ really fast. The new world of communication and work requires that you engage, connect, give, share consistently in these two worlds. Get on or take your involvement on the social platforms to the next level and start using them more. Ramp up on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, chambers, meet-ups, professional organizations, networking groups: all important and viable options to grow your brand reach and impact.
I write a lot about the ‘entrepreneurial-success mindset’ because developing and refining this coveted brand quality and skill today can really make the difference in how all the parts of your branding BIG Picture work!
Deborah Shane is an author, entrepreneur, radio host and expert. She is the heart and soul of her business education and professional development company, Train with Shane and is in her third year of hosting a weekly business radio show on blogtalkradio.com. She writes for several national business, career and marketing blogs, and websites including smallbiztrends.com, careerealism.com, Internationalbusinesstimes.com, Smartbrief.com and blogher.com Her new book Career Transition-make the shift-the 5 steps to successful career reinvention is available now on amazon.com. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Blogtalkradio @Deborah Shane, or visit www.deborahshane.com.
Deborah, I appreciate your thoughts. I would add to #5 that a consistent message across all channels is critical to maintaining & promoting a strong brand image. From the look of your facebook to the voice of your blog posts, everything should reflect your company character.
Great article Deborah… branding absolutely needs to incorporate our unique skills and identity, our products and services, our target market and our greater business objectives.
So many online marketers get right into action without adequate planning. Having a flow chart that carries the entire process from branding (attracting customers, raising awareness, building trust, networking) to marketing (converting visitors into customers) is key!
We all have ulterior motives in building a personal brand (growing a business and making profits), and mapping out the strategy and applying it consistently will ensure that our greater business objectives are fulfilled, as well as the branding objectives.
Thanks for sharing your insight!