Market, Market, Market – The most visible brand wins

Market, Market, Market
The most visible brand wins – so market all-out

Chocolat was a fine film: a highly lauded comedy-drama with a great cast, the story of a nonconformist in 1960s France who opens a chocolate shop before Lent. After watching Chocolat, I remember being astounded that I hadn’t heard more about it. It has great cinematography, brilliant characters, and a well-crafted, substantive story. It should have been the #1 movie in America – but for lack of marketing clout.

visible brand

And the Winner Isn’t an (un)Visible Brand

Chocolat grossed very, very well – especially in light of its perception as a “foreign” or “art house” film. It was nominated for five Oscars®, including Best Picture, and lauded by critics. Yet, when all was said and done, the film took in $34 million at the box office – and it opened behind the 8-ball, making an anemic $157,000 on a holiday weekend. That 8-ball was Dude, Where’s My Car? That film made $13.8 million on the same weekend, even though it would eventually spend considerably fewer weeks in theaters than Chocolat.

A Disturbing Scene
Now, I don’t remember seeing a trailer for Chocolat. I can’t recall a billboard or any real Hollywood buzz. However, I can’t purge from my memory the trailer showing those potheads from Dude arguing over their “dude” and “sweet” tattoos. Dude, Where’s My Car? was not targeted at people over 30. And while I didn’t see the film, I have to laud the way it was effectively marketed to a specific audience.

A Lesson Learned
Professionals can learn a lesson here. While you might be obsessed with refining your sales skills and continuing your education, all the sales training and certifications in the world won’t matter if you’re not attracting new business to your office. Without a steady flow of prospects, it’s impossible to build a steady flow of new clients.

Market Your Brand
Independent professionals need an edge to stand out. It’s not enough to understand and be good at your business – you have to have a killer Personal Brand. By defining your domain (target audience) and marketing your Personal Brand around its needs and wants, you can become a box office smash. So brand yourself and market that brand through a variety of different channels – on a consistent basis. There are eight basic channels you can use to attract prospects: advertising, direct mail, public relations, referrals, seminars, networking, Internet, and warm calling. These conduits, in combination, should promote your Personal Brand.

visible brand

Good marketing can attract people like… ummm… whatever this is…

Case Study
An insurance agent mails a weekly Personal Postcard to 600 regional small business owners (a defined domain). She also uses direct mail and e-mail blasting to speak to her prospects’ needs, and this brings in around 140 new prospects for free consultations. She uses the Personal Postcard to advertise a seminar, special report, and free initial group benefits consultation for the small business owner. Once the prospects met her, she was able to convert more than half of them into clients. With more than 75 new clients, her income grew significantly, and she discovered that “next level” she wanted so badly to achieve – a level she hadn’t reached despite years of sales training and continuing education credits.

Market, Market, Market
In the long run, concentrating on sales is an avenue to stagnation. Use the power of multiple marketing channels to put your Personal Brand in people’s minds, and use your substance as a professional to keep the audience of your dreams!

Other related articles:
The Bear Necessities: Thrive in a Tough Market with Strong Marketing
Trends in Business Credit Cards for 2010
Make Referral Marketing Your Priority
What Will Be New About Your New Year?
The Shaft: How Some Companies Prey on the Poor

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Mark Montoya has been working in personal branding for more than a decade for hundreds of online and offline companies, small businesses and individual service professionals. His focus has been toward improving the way jobseekers find employment on the Internet. He has synthesized his expertise by helping job seekers obtain their ideal choice of employment over the Internet on his sites MyOnlineCareerSpace.com and MyOnlineCareerCoach.com, and through his books 101 Tips Every Job Seeker Should Know and The Ultimate Online Job Search eBook.

Learn more at MarkMontoya.com, on Twitter, on LinkedIn or StumbleUpon, or Google+.

“It is the responsibility of the individual to reject the prospect of mediocrity and to strive for the betterment of society as a whole” ~ Mark Montoya

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