Rachel Maunder is a Professional Branding expert, who very kindly agreed to help me to write an article for this blog, as I think that the work she does with her clients classes her as a Marketing Expert. Here’s what she told me.
How do you show up in your marketing materials?
When you look at your marketing strategy, the emphasis is usually all about your clients, their pain points and how you can help them.
What sometimes gets overlooked is the importance of you –how you show up in your business and the impression that you make. You can sum that up as your ‘professional brand’ – what people say about you after you’ve left the room.
What’s scary is that everything you do, say and wear is part of your professional brand. You can probably think of times when you’ve had a meeting with someone whose services you were interested in using and decided against that because of something about them that just didn’t seem quite right. You can never please all of the people all of the time. However, it’s definitely worth paying attention to pleasing the people you want to attract as your clients and customers, while also remaining true to yourself.
With a background in counselling, coaching and training, Rachel’s mission is to inspire professionals and business people to raise their awareness of their professional brand. We all have a professional brand, whether we choose to or not; Rachel helps people to focus on making the small changes they need to make, so that you can communicate the brand you want to represent.
She has come up with a really good process for you to follow to help you do just. She’s identified nine key elements of professional brand, which she puts into the following three groups:
From the Inside Out
These are the inner elements that are perhaps not so obviously connected with your professional brand, but that still say a lot about you.
From the Outside Looking In
The messages that these elements give out are usually more apparent to other people than they are to you.
Above and Beyond
These elements say more about you than you might like to think, even if only by their absence.
In taking clients through these elements in her training and coaching, Rachel constantly brings them back to the same simple questions:
Marketing is about far more than just the words on your website, what you say at networking meetings, or the price of your service. When you sell a service such as coaching, consulting or training, people are buying you. They are buying your professional brand – how you present yourself, what other people say about you and how you treat your clients and prospects. You can create some very expensive, flashy marketing materials, but if it doesn’t match your professional brand, you’ll struggle to win new clients. You can be great at sales, but if your professional brand doesn’t extend through how you look after your clients, you won’t be able to keep them.
Take the First Step
Rachel encourages you to make small changes within the nine key elements, some of which will lead on to bigger changes happening almost seamlessly. “There is always something we can do to improve every area of our life”, she told me. “Whether or not you’re open to change and improvement says a lot about you, on its own.”
If you’d like to find out how you’re doing with your professional brand, you can complete Rachel’s free Professional Brand Audit to see where you are now. This will put you on the path to define the professional brand that you want to represent and communicate, so that you can create your plan of action to achieve it.
Rachel can coach you through that process or you can sign up for the online programme she’s launching in September 2019 – How to Develop a Powerful Professional Brand for Business. Contact Rachel directly for details by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rachel’s audit as available free on her website. When you sign up, you’ll be asked if you would like to hear from Rachel again. I highly recommend that you do, as she sends out a weekly tip every Monday morning. These are really quick to read and each one touches on a different aspect of the nine key elements, encouraging you to think about what small changes you could make. Well worth the read with your Monday morning coffee! I’m off to complete my Professional Brand Audit now!