As you may have read in previous articles on my blog, the primary goal I have when branding my clients and myself is to help them (us) reach top of mind status in their (our) niche. As you can imagine, very few business owners have truly taken the time to carve out a very specific niche, so that most often, is the first step we take. You cannot hold the top position in a niche if you have not first identified a niche. Once we have established your niche, we can get a clearer picture who your target market will be. There are specific sets of strategies that I use in building my client’s “top of mind ladder” and typically at the beginning of the ladder, they are fairly new in business. When they are new in business, I recommend building a strong community presence however, once that is accomplished and they have made it up the ladder, the opposite must take place. This level of business owners are my target market, people who have made it the to middle of the ladder and need help getting to the top. Let’s look at this a little further:
1. Supply and Demand – You know the rules of supply and demand, the less available something is, the more in demand it becomes. Yes, you remember the Cabbage Patch Kids, we all do. If you (the entrepreneur) are always available for lunch, coffee, pick your brain sessions and at every community networking event or function, your brand will not have as high a perceived value. Most people that frequent networking events often are searching for new business and are on the road to reaching top of mind status. There is nothing wrong with that however again, one must have enough foresight to know when to put the breaks on. When a brand reaches top of mind status, “searching” for new business is not required much if at all as you have now become the first and best known choice in your particular niche. In other words, business finds you, you don’t need to find it.
2. Price and Value – If you are reading this blog, I trust that you are a wise follower who already understands the difference between price and value but here is the skinny – my skinny! Price is a transactional fee that you get paid for the work you do. Value is just that, the amount of value you provide your clients. When clients place a very high value on your work, price becomes less and less important. Those of you that are Apple users know what I mean. We place such a high value on Apple products that we will pay whatever price they ask us to AND they never discount. This is a very important strategy as you make it up the rungs on the ladder. Also remember, the higher the price of something, the higher its perceived value becomes. The more experience you gain and the more clients you help, the more testimonials and buzz you will accumulate – ultimately enabling you to double and triple your prices. Please note though, you can’t all of the sudden just raise your prices on a whim – it must be carefully thought out in your overall marketing and branding strategy and you must be ready to elevate to a new leadership level with your existing posse while still rewarding them as loyal followers as you add new members into the mix. Everyone wants to follow a great leader and trust me; your true members will celebrate your elevation and growth!
3. Unsocial is the New Social – There comes a point and time in your business/brand where you must spread your wings and reach far beyond your local radius. This was a place I came to about three years ago when I completely stepped out of the local social scene. I was committed to take my brand and business global and I knew I couldn’t accomplish that by spending lots of time attending local functions. Nor could I accomplish this by spending time in areas where my target market didn’t frequent. This was about the same time I set up my Facebook account. Although I wasn’t partaking in the social scene locally, I was virtually and my presence was becoming known throughout the world. Opportunities also began presenting themselves like never before. As a result, my influence has grown tenfold, my income has increased exponentially and my brand now ranks among the top in the industry. There is a new term called “social clout” and now there are websites that measure the amount of social clout you have. I highly recommend the site www.Klout.com to get your ranking based on a scale of 1-100. Currently I am ranking at around 67-70, which I am told is highly influential. My years of hard work have paid off.
There is so much to share on this topic but I will save it for a future audio download. I am committed to teaching these principles as often as I can so stay tuned for more. For now, I highly recommend that you snag yourself a copy of my free ebook “Building a Bankable Brand” on my website. In addition, take a strong look at your business, where it is and where you want it to be in the next three years. Decide in advance what your strategies will be to work your way up the ladder and pick the time NOW when you will begin to transition into the steps I have outlined here. I wish you the best in your journey and keep OWING YOUR WORLD!