As an Independent Consultant, I’m in charge of my branding. I’m the one who controls how my business is viewed by my customers. Many things can affect that image.
My personal appearance is often the source of my customers’ first impression. Since I do home demonstrations of kitchen tools, business suits would be out of place. However, it’s imperative that I appear clean and neat.
My words and actions make up the next layer of image. Do I sound competent? Do I sound intelligent? Do I observe safe food practices? Are my parties fun? These things can make or break my business. Little things like putting my door prizes in bags tied with ribbons are the touches that can add to my image.
Finally, we have the absolute most important aspect of my brand—how I treat my customers. I do my best to be of value to my customers by knowing my products and what they’re capable of doing. That makes me more informative than a catalog. No matter how great I look or how much fun I am, if I’m not reliable and ethical my business, my brand takes a hit. If I don’t call when I say I will, I lose credibility. If I don’t follow up in a timely manner, I lose the connection of personal service. If I don’t keep my word, I lose their trust.
Some of what I do for branding is pretty simple. I have my name and a stylized representation of myself (a smiling woman with flippy red hair) on just about everything I hand out. People connect my business with me as a person. However, most of what I do is just plain work—making calls, filling orders, and learning more in an effort to be of value to them.
The bad news is that whatever I do affects my brand with my customers. On the other hand, I have almost complete control over my brand image. I’m doing my best to make sure that my brand image is positive, professional, and valuable.
Oh, and if you’re wondering how I add that stylized version of myself to all of my materials, it’s really simple. There is a wonderful website out there—www.designhergals.com. You can create your own gals (and a few guys). You can order items with your gals printed on them, or you can pay for the right to print your own materials at home. A portion of all sales goes to the Gal to Gal Foundation to help grant wishes and provide other benefits for stage IV breast cancer patients.