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Creating a Brand for a One-Man Show

Whether you're selling your expertise or the face behind a product, your image directly affects your customers. Here's how to create a brand when the brand is you.
September 19, 2005

Unless you're Oprah, Donald Trump or Michael Jordan, you probably don't think of yourself as a brand. In my experience, the most successful entrepreneurs and business owners do create and, in fact, become brands. Their brands are based on the experience they promise and the values they live by and share.

The chances are good that you, too--more than your product or service--are the brand that your customers are buying. If you're doing it right, your brand becomes the heart and soul of your business and what ultimately allows you to stay visible in an increasingly invisible world. As the entrepreneur behind your brand, here are some suggestions to consider:

I hope I've convinced you that great brands do in fact start with great personal brands. Your brand is a compass that should provide a foundation to help you connect with your target audience. Whether your name is on the door or not, it starts with you at the top. I personally made a conscious decision not to name my company after me, yet the firm is strongly identified with me as the founder--and I'm guessing yours is as well.

Even the best brands need a strong product or service behind them, and execution is the key to success. Never forget that you are your brand, so you must live it 24/7.