Top 3 Tips on Positioning and Branding Yourself

 My Summary of  Samantha Ettus’ Branding Presentation

The Texas Conference For Women 2011 was held in Houston a few weeks ago and was loaded with some of the most educated, influential,  inspiring, intelligent and spirited speakers that I’ve ever been fortunate to hear. The first day of the conference was the Small Business Social  Boot camp. This camp was filled with information about the best small business practices, branding yourself and your business, marketing on  a budget and using social media to extend your reach and to capitalize on all the social media outlets that you have at your disposal.

One of the speakers was Samantha Ettus a Forbes Contributor and brand expert. Here are some of the highlights of her branding  presentation.

  •  Pick Your Story– Spend time thinking about your story and what makes you special. Samantha gave a great example of who she is by describing only all of her best moments that led her to where she is now. In other words, saying you “moved out to California because you were driven and determined to succeed in the film industry” instead of “my boyfriend kicked me out and I had nowhere else to go” is a much more impressive, entertaining and inspiring story.  Incorporate your strengths in your story and if you don’t know what those strengths are, have a “bragging dinner”. Invite your friends and ask them what they think your best qualities and strengths are. They spend a lot of time with you and will know all of your wonderful attributes which you can include in your story.
  • Position Yourself to Become Lucky– Don’t be afraid to ask what you want and be persistent if you don’t get the result you want.  If you want to meet someone or work with someone and the traditional avenues aren’t working, be creative. This reminded me of when Madonna pressed and pressed a certain record executive to visit the president of that record company, Warner’s Sire Records in the hospital (he was recovering from heart surgery) to play her demo for him. That creative determination landed her a record deal.
  • Spreading Your Brand-Networking is a fantastic way to meet people. Helping everyone you can is powerful. People will remember that and will reciprocate.  Also, when you introduce yourself, what are people hearing? Is your 30 second spiel clear about what you do? When people walk away from you, they should be able to say a 1 sentence description of what you do.  You should connect with as many people as you can on Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook along with other networks or forums etc. You never know where it could lead.

Some of this may seem like common sense but, as small business owners, sometimes we are so busy doing and not stopping to think about the little things that matter. Every once in a while we need to evaluate how we are positioning ourselves and our brand.  Here are some questions to ask yourself: Do people really know what you do? Do they know why you are different from your competitors? Are you maximizing social media to connect with people from the past or in the present from all different facets of your life?  Do you have any creative ideas on how you’ve positioned yourself or your company? Please share your thoughts.


(Image created by Chaiwat)