How To Brand Yourself
This is by far my favorite subject in the whole wide world! Can you tell? I love talking to new business owners about branding. Not so much package branding, but personal branding. Specifically, branding if you are a network marketer. Why? Because there are so many ways to creatively do this above and beyond whichever company you are with that many miss the opportunity to really shine and opt to ONLY brand their company instead. And companies already do their own branding!
Disclaimer: although obviously branding yourself offline would be beneficial, this post is more focused towards those who want to build their businesses online.
There are some companies though whose brand is super desirable. Vemma comes to mind (I am not a Vemma affiliate). I freaking love their brand theme and everything they've done to keep it fresh, young and alive. So for many entrepreneurs it just makes sense to brand themselves as a “Vemma Affiliate”. But here is what I would caution you about: You are not Vemma. The company can decide at ANYTIME you are not to use their brand any further and well, they own that right. Now what? Or, worse, you decide “You are not with Vemma anymore”… hmmm Now what? You have to re-brand yourself from scratch.
There is a happy middle in terms of branding if you are a network marketer.
I recommend this happy middle when it comes to how to brand yourself. Now, I know it will create some nay-sayers. Specially from those who are adamant about strictly focusing on your personal brand and “let people wonder” what company you are with because they should follow you because of YOU, not your company. Hmmmm, I guess I disagree with this a bit. Personally, I WILL NOT complete ANY “are you good enough for me to talk to you and tell you who I am with” applications to join anyone in network marketing. Yes, I have seen this done before.
And frankly, if you are new and you are just now starting to blog and you need visitors and traffic so they can hear your message, sometimes it is easier to attract visitors looking for your product and business first, then let them see your message later. I do believe it works BOTH WAYS. How do I know this? Because I have personally built a 6 figure in my network marketing business strictly by blogging about its product, then injecting my health coaching and recipes to create retention. So, it is ok to mention your company (unless you are in a company that will not allow that and well, I have no idea why you'd work for such a company in this day an age that will not “allow you” to market the very product they want you to promote).
Now before I go on a tangent, I want to reel this back to the branding piece: you SHOULD be incorporating a personal touch, skill, message, coaching, mentorship or otherwise alternative reason to of why people should join you in your business except “because I wear all the gear and I love this product”.
It is perfectly ok to be excited. In fact, it is that excitement that will attract others to hear your message and maybe even join you. But here is the big problem that a lot of new network marketers (and even those who've been around for a while) fail to see: Branding if you are a network marketer MUST revolve about something that will stick AFTER the excitement is gone or people will either STOP following you or drop the company eventually and go join someone that can lead them or teach them something.
Fresh example: I joined my last company in 2010. People were coming in left and right during its frantic momentum period. Volume was being assigned to newcomers and to many with no experience in the industry. All kinds of people were reaching ranks, earning car payments and live was great. Until it wasn't great anymore. Why? Because much like in a new relationship, once the “honeymoon” is over, there must be something else there to keep you committed and loyal. Many of these folks had no leadership training or any knowledge of how to help those in their teams reach their goals. In other words, they could not duplicate the success they had experienced. Not their fault entirely. No one told these folks that they needed to develop some leadership skills along the way to be able to retain their level. And so eventually their teams fizzled. Many even moved to other companies because they actually believed their success was because of something they did themselves and they expected instant following and duplication, but that didn't happen and they ended up with zero.
So, lesson? Add personal branding to your business above and beyond your company's message. You will need this when the excitement is over.
You have seen how people switch companies quite readily in this industry. Sometimes the move is legit. After all, much like in a job you don't fit in, you must find a place where you are happy. Same in network marketing. But, a significant number of moves are also based on the fact that the person joined out of excitement and that person they joined couldn't lead them. You must look at your own self as that leader and determine HOW are you going to coach your people so they trust and stay with you no matter which company you are with? In the spirit of authenticity, I have had to learn how to do this myself. Not that I didn't want to lead people or support them, I do! But my skill set and success revolves around blogging and building businesses online and I always assumed no one wanted to learn this. Now I have found a great middle: I have harnessed my instructional background and consulting knowledge to produce blogging courses and material that my team (and others) can apply in their business if they choose to. AND I have partnered with a group that offers the other side, the 1:1 business building techniques. You see, you don't have to be an expert at everything, just be able to contribute and lead by example.
Back to branding yourself as a network marketer “in the middle”: You can be a fearless speaker or mentor AND also a committed gear wearing XYZ affiliate at the same time. All you need to think about is, if you change your gear, will your fearless speaking and mentorship still be heard? The answer should be YES if you are branding yourself well.
It is not necessary to become a guru in any area in order to brand yourself . Nor a rockstar stage speaker. All you have to do is consider this: how can you inspire others in your team (and even those NOT in your team) with your personal brand?
Network Marketers are looking for leadership and INSPIRATION. It just so happens that the ONLY way to really become great in this industry is by helping others reach their goals. Coach and mentor others to duplicate what has worked for you and others, and teach them to teach others the same thing . It's a pay it forward type of mentality. Brand yourself as a resourceful and caring leader and people will follow you for what you've done for them. Form genuine relationships with folks whether they join your business or not. You never know when people have to move around again for whatever reason.
PS: Maybe you are not looking to become a “leader”. That's ok. But know this, you must be able to point others in the right direction if you are enrolling people in your company. It really is your responsibility. If you do not want to lead, or talk to people, or anything dealing with training, coaching and mentoring, then you are in the wrong industry. Find a better fit. It is OK that network marketing is not for you. But if you are going to become involved, you must be willing to contribute!
I have branded myself as a blog coach. I leave you with a few other branding ideas for yourself: motivational speaker, health coach, blog coach, social media guru, fitness coach, fit-preneur, healthy recipe maker, beauty consultant, leadership coach, team building coach, network marketing guru, travel advisor, marketing strategist, branding expert, inspirational mama… see if any of these might be a good fit for you and start building your brand today!
Thank you for reading “How To Brand Yourself: Branding If You Are A Network Marketer”. If you liked it, comment or share below. Thank you!