In the last 25 days we’ve talked about LinkedIn, Twitter, websites, blogging, in-person networking and much more. I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on the use of different technologies and while I’ve mentioned your brand throughout, I have purposely spent a lot of time focusing on the relationships you can build using social media and other web technologies that will help launch your business or job search to the next level. I’ve waited until day 25 to bring up your pitch because I didn’t want you to focus on how to sell your brand until you’ve made some relationships. By now, though, I think you have a solid idea of how to use different applications (whether the ones we’ve covered already or other social networks) to get your brand into the public eye. What you need now is a solid idea of how to promote your brand through each of those means.
We talked briefly about this topic in my first post. Your brand is the combination of who you are and what you do that makes a brand that only you can have. There are so many event planners in the United States alone, but what differentiates us? Each person behind the event company is unique and has a very special perspective. Each one of us has different skills and abilities. Each one of us has different challenges and it’s those skills and challenges that separates us one from another. This is what you need to hone in on. On day one of this challenge, we talked about asking friends and colleagues and strangers what their impression is of what you do. Now that you’ve spent time getting to know people online, what else have you learned about yourself? What do people say when they suggest their friends follow you? What characteristics stick out?
This is what you need to focus your attention on – your brand.
Once you have discovered what that is – you need to determine how you will share it with others. Some call this promotion of your brand a "30 second pitch". To come up with the perfect 30 second pitch for your brand, you need to focus not only on what unique qualities you have, but how those qualities benefit the consumer, client or other person you are speaking to.
Branding is two parts – WHO YOU ARE and HOW THAT HELPS OTHERS.
For me, this is still a work in progress, but I think I’m getting it. I used to say "I’m Liz, owner of Liz King Events and I plan social events". That has now transitioned into "I am Liz King, owner of Liz King Events. We’re a boutique company that uses online technologies to help clients plan more organized, efficient and cost-effective conferences and special events".
You need to find what this statement can be for you and your organization (they can be different). Once you have this, you need to find the right time to work it into your conversations. Of course, you don’t have to say this word-for-word, but you do want to relay the main idea to anyone you come in contact with. This statement helps differentiate yourself from the industry to your clients who may not realize that different planners meet different needs. This will also help people remember your unique qualities at all the right times – when they need to use YOU!