Packaging Your Brand in the new Digital Economy
Everyone needs a Brand, whether you want to/like it or not. It is a simple reality in the new digital economy…
Whether you have a business or not, using any of the 30-odd social media platforms (e.g. FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) or not, you still need to establish your BRAND. Business people understand the importance of branding, so no need to elaborate here; this site is definitely for you. However, branding is no longer the exclusive reserve of big-budget blue-chips; in the digital economy, you, as an individual entrepreneur, need to get to grips with this new reality and establish your personal Brand Point-of-Presence (B-PoP), or be left behind, in the shadows, as if you never existed, or contributed to society… Phew, what a mouthful! But true…
You may ask – But why on earth would I want to ‘advertise’ myself on the internet anyway? Here is one answer – If you are an individual and looking for that dream-job you always wanted, just add a link to your B-PoP in your CV and see what happens; your chances of landing that job has just increased exponentially and you have obliterated your competition even before the interview! Brand equity is becoming an indispensable asset of your wealth portfolio, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to create it, at a fraction of the cost you are thinking right now…
Branding – What is it?
The literal definition is;
mark with a branding iron
“the seller had branded the animal with his grandfather’s name”
|synonyms:||mark, stamp, burn, sear;|
“the letter M was branded on each animal”
Wikipedia defines it as follows;
A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature that distinguishes an organization or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer.
Branding is a set of marketing and communication methods that help to distinguish a company or products from competitors, aiming to create a lasting impression in the minds of customers.
Brand Equity is the measurable totality of a brand’s worth and is validated by assessing the effectiveness of these branding components.
Wikipedia goes on to define personal branding as follows;
Personal Branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. While previous self-help management techniques were about self-improvement, the personal-branding concept suggests instead that success comes from self-packaging.
And personal branding is all about self-packaging and how to present/market that ‘package’ – Self Presentation.
Erving Goffman’s “Self Presentation” is a key theory that explores the way people want to be seen and how people are perceived by their peers. There are many examples of celebrities building a brand for themselves over some sort of social media platform. In fact, it is rare to see an athlete or celebrity without a social media page whether it is Twitter or Instagram.”
However, you do not need to be a celebrity in order to establish your very own personal brand; everyone can, and should! The new digital economy has not only made this possible, it is becoming the place where everything is happening, and you must stake your claim in it right now.
Benefits of Personal Branding
So, you may ask; what are the benefits of personal branding?
We all have individual skills, character traits and personalities that contributes to our individualism. These unique qualities are desperately needed ‘out there’, and the digital economy enables us to ‘market’ ourselves, globally. Even traditional ‘brick-and-mortar’ Artisans, like Electricians, Builders or Carpenters are staking their claims in the digital economy; there are literally millions of people out there that are desperately looking for quality advice from you, and are willing to pay for it! You will want to tap into this reality… Yes?
People often describe a strong personal brand as a magnet that attracts clients, job offers and opportunities because personal branding shows people you are the only solution to their problem. You are not just better than your competitors, you are the only choice for a certain group of people with particular needs, irrespective of where you are located.
The key benefits of personal branding can be summarized as follows (courtesy Pete Kistler);
People trust you more
Your personal brand explains the “why” you do what you do – in other words, what drives and motivates you. This makes people more comfortable working with you. Your intentions are genuine and clear. This fosters trust. People feel more comfortable when they think they can predict what you will do. When people know the source of your career energy, they feel better about putting you in charge of their needs.
You have a much higher perceived value
As your personal brand develops, people will start thinking about you on an emotional level (as a brand), not simply an intellectual level (as a job title). People will connect more deeply with your brand, increasing your value to them and allowing you to charge more for your services. In addition, being actively involved in your niche and creating “credibility boosters” (like original, useful on-brand content) establishes you as an expert, driving demand for you and allowing you to work less and make more.
You are differentiated from the competition
Your personal brand is a competitive edge that separates you from your competition in the minds of potential employers and customers. The more you build your brand, the more you elevate yourself above your peers, and the less you have to work to convince people you are the solution to their problems.
You are always 100% authentic
Your personal brand is built upon your values, goals, skills and passions. It comes directly from your quest for meaning and fulfilment. It grows from what you stand for. It is one hundred percent you, and nobody else. You never have to put on a fake persona or a contrived voice that isn’t genuinely you. Being totally authentic in all that you do makes life much easier and more fulfilling. Your work life will revolve around your deepest priorities and take advantage of your talents in a way that brings you joy.
You are the “go-to” person in your area of expertise for your specific audience
A highly successful personal brand makes you the best – no, only – solution to a certain group’s problems. Word of mouth will propel your brand forward and create enthusiasm for what you do, bringing in references, referrals, job offers and testimonials.
You are known as an expert in your field
As your network grows, you’ll find more and more people recognize your name (brand) before you meet them. Your prominence will grow and continue to keep you in a position of power in the workplace.
You attract ideal opportunities
Since Your brand is totally authentic and deeply rooted in your search for meaning, it will attract similar-minded people with the same values and goals (the law of attraction…). Employers and/or customers will connect on a higher level because they will understand why you do what you do, not just what you do. In the same vein, your personal brand will repel opportunities that don’t fit well with your life’s purpose. You won’t get offers that distract you from your mission in life, and you’ll get more fulfilling offers that connect with the “why” you do what you do. Without working any harder, you’ll attract more career options.
Your very own Brand Point-of-Presence
If you are thinking about building a personal brand, you may already have created a personal profile on one or more social media platforms (and if you have not, it is inevitable, so no time like now to get started; but let’s do it right…). Social media is one of the most effective ways to market your brand, whether personal or corporate. Everyone in this world has something to sell, whether it is a skill, talent, product, service or simply your personality; if you do not sell or grow it, you will lose it (you know the Parable of the 3 Servants…). However, there are so many platforms in existence, and they continue to grow and shrink, almost daily; maintaining your profile and activity on these platforms can become a nightmare.
So, how will you keep track of everything? Simple, by creating and maintaining your very own personal or business B-PoP. Traditionally, it was (and still is) collectively called a website, but with the tools, systems and processes that have become commonplace in today’s digital economy, this term simply doesn’t justify the concept anymore. Besides, ‘websites’ are the domain of highly skilled Developers and costs an arm and a leg to develop and maintain, yes? NO! Not anymore… Read on!
To really establish your B-PoP in the digital economy, you will need so much more than just a few static web-pages; you will need, amongst many others;
- A Web Hosting Service (WHS) to host your B-PoP
- A Content Management System (CMS) to establish you B-PoP
- A Weblog (Blog) to communicate relevant content to your market
- A Toolkit of essential solutions to automate your marketing prowess
But, immediately the following two questions pops into your head;
- This all sounds like it will cost that ‘arm and a leg’ you talked about, and even if I could afford it;
- I don’t understand all this techno-babble, leave alone doing all this technical stuff myself?!?
That’s where you are wrong – Not only will it cost you significantly less than hiring a specialist to do the work, but you will be able to create it all by your very own self and, in doing so, become the ‘master of your own destiny’ that you need to be in order to maintain it; people grow and evolve, and so will your B-PoP.
Even with a basic level of computer literacy – if you can learn, you can do it. It really is that simple – Learn the basics, learn how to install the tools and learn how to create and maintain your B-PoP content – Done!
The B-PoP Curriculum
This is a 7-day full-time classroom-based Course (see B-PoP Terms & Conditions for Venues).
Alternatively, I’ll be willing to travel if there are 3 or more people based in a common area, if you are willing to cover my travel, boarding and lodging, and provide a venue with sufficient WiFi internet coverage, a digital image projector and flip chart. So, it pays to get together with a couple of friends to do this together, because you can then club together and form your own support group afterwards. I’ve never been to the US of A yet, so how about it? 😉
The course covers the following;
- Monday – Establish a Future-Proof Foundation
- The concept of vertical- and horizontal growth and how that applies to branding
- The importance of a Brand PoP and defining a name that works for you (and will be internationally acceptable)
- Creating your Brand PoP Blueprint; short, medium and long term Goals
- Creating your Web Hosting Service account and registering your Brand PoP domain name
- Tuesday – Preparing the Content Management Framework
- Password Management and why it is one of the most critical tools to protect your credentials
- Create the CMS environment and database
- Email set-up and configuration
- Install the basic infrastructure, including;
- Themes & Child Themes
- Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery
- URL Cloaking
- Essential Maintenance Automation
- Creating the basic page templates
- About Me/Us
- Contact Me/Us
- Legal and Statutory Compliance
- Wednesday – Content & Social Media Integration
- Create your personal content
- About Me/Us
- Contact Me/Us
- Create your first Blog Post
- Create a Navigation Structure
- Customize the Theme
- Set-up/Review Social Media
- Configure Social Media Integration
- eCommerce Engine
- Create your personal content
- Thursday – Theme Training
- Theme design conepts
- Learn how to use the content creation tools and widgets
- Practice sessions
- Friday – Create your content
- Customize and contextualize the template pages created in Day 3
- Saturday – It’s Sabbath, go rest…
- Sunday – Homework. Complete your content creation
- Monday – Collaboration, Catch-up & Review
- Collaboration & Membership
- Catch-up on any spill-over from Tuesday and Wednesday
- Review & Reflect
- Tuesday – Doing Business in the Digital Economy
- Online Marketing Strategies
- Setting up an Online Business
- Setting up an Autoresponder
- Creating an Automated Marketing Funnel
- How to Generate Traffic
- Next Steps
Further modules can be made available, on request, to cover specialized areas like eCommerce and the thousands other areas of business specialization that you can think of. With a WordPress self-hosted B-PoP, the sky really is the limit.
Upon completion of the course, you will have a fully functional B-PoP that you can leverage through all Social Media platforms and market, should you wish. The bottom line is that after this course, you will never again need to transfer any of your responsibilities to someone else. You know exactly what goes on in your B-PoP, and when you do decide to outsource some of the maintenance work, people will no longer be able to take you for a ride.
Welcome to the Digital Age!
So, What’s the Damage?
The cost of the B-PoP Course is;
ZAR15,200 (approx. US$885)
Per person and includes the following;
- Two Microsoft Word documents (Credentials Vault and Infrastructure). These documents (Templates) will be provided to you in soft-copy on the first day and you will be shown how to start populating them with the essential stuff throughout the course.
- A light lunch will be provided and coffee & tea will be available all day (unless this is an away event, in which case the Host will be responsible for this).
- A signed Certificate of Attendance.
Please budget for an additional ZAR1,500 to ZAR7,000 (approx. US$87 to US$408), depending on the options you may choose to select during the course and make sure that you bring along a VISA or MasterCard with for this purpose. Please note that, except for the web hosting account and the domain registration, all other options are completely optional.
It pays to club together with a couple of friends, as most of these additional costs can be shared, for example, one person can open the web hosting account, another can carry the domain registration costs, and yet another can foot the bill for any of the other goodies that you may want, and this can be shared trough the hosting account. You can then decide at a later stage to get your own hosting accounts, if you want to.
Upon completion of the course, additional personalized support can be arranged, by appointment, at ZAR350.00 (approx. US$20.38) per hour.
IMPORTANT – Please refer to the B-PoP Terms & Conditions.
100% Money Back Guarantee!
I put your money where my mouth is! Full Stop!! If you are not satisfied that the value you received during this course at least matches the course fee, notify me of your concerns via email within 30 days after starting the course, and if you have a compelling case, I will refund the course fee back to you!