Personal Branding: Part 1

If the opportunities you desire are not coming to you, it could be because of your personal brand.

What? My personal brand? Yes, a personal brand can be equated to that of products you buy or services you purchase. For example, if you love a designer and trust their brand, you are likely to continue buying their products. From an experiential aspect, people distinguish you through their thoughts, feelings, perceptions, experiences, attitudes, and so on – those impressions become linked to Your Brand. When adding up all points of contact with the brand, that is known as the brand experience. What is your brand experience with others? How do your friends, co-workers, customers, and partners or spouse identify with you?

Four types of relationships that are important to your brand:

Greer-Branding-1 1. Friends. Most people like to be included in social engagements, and not be left out. If you desire close and trusted friends, or want to be accepted by the social circles of your choosing – then how your personal brand is perceived will provide you with either many options, or very few. “Good friends” can help you. The world is full of positive energy people who want to help others – and it’s important to get connected with them.

2. Co-workers. If you are in the business world, you know how important networking and relationships can be – they can either propel or sink your career. If your personal brand is projecting weakness, lack of commitment, or not being a team player, then negative-based co-workers will jump at the chance to make you look bad, thinking it will make them look better. Yet, if you are supportive of others, and create success, like-minded people will be drawn and attracted to you – and they will help you succeed.

3. Customers. Everyone has customer-supplier relationships, whether it’s from products you personally make or sell, to internal customers at your company, to vendors or teachers you associate with at your child’s school. Is there an extraordinary experience between you and your customers or vendors? Are you being the best you can be and encouraging others you deal with to be their best? Sometimes you don’t have a choice of who you have to interact with in certain circumstances, but if you walk into those situations with an air of confidence, positive energy, listen and are respectful of the other person’s position, you might find that those difficult to deal with may ease up, because they respect your brand.

4. Associates. Reliability and trust is paramount in any type of relationship, from business partners, to spouses, to soccer-mom car pools. The people you associate with many times put their lives and their families’ lives in your hands. Do you trust their personal brand, and they yours? You can rebuild trust if it has been broken; but be patient – as it takes time, commitment and good communication to change the perception of your brand.

Shopping for the best brands. Imagine you are shopping in a unique store that lets you select new friends, co-workers, ideal customers, vendors and those you would like to associate with. Yes, I mean choosing the types of brands (people) you would select in each of the four relationships mentioned above. Now turn the scenario around, others are in the store shopping for the best-of-the-best. Would you be their first choice, or for some – a choice at all? “Top-of-Mind” is the first choice of a brand that pops into a consumer’s mind. For example, when someone is asked to name a type of facial tissue, the common answer is “Kleenex,” which is a top-of-mind brand. Are you the top-of-mind brand of your friends, coworkers, customers or associates? Think about it.

The next blog will cover Four steps to help you become the top-of-mind choice.

Though this blog is about developing a personal brand, many of the same principles apply to a company brand. If your company needs help with that i can be reached at: or at

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Personal Branding: Part 2

Four steps to help you become the top-of-mind choice.

Greer-Branding-21. You only have one chance for a first impression. Take the time to “design” your look, because a brand’s packaging most times is the first impression, and many people will formulate a brand perception just on the “look.” It doesn’t matter if you are tall and thin or short and stocky – are you presenting yourself the best you can be for each situation? Others will notice, it’s human nature. If your look has a very favorable first impression, then going forward you have some leniency in your new relationship, but if your first impression doesn’t meet the other person’s expectations, then you have an obstacle from the start to overcome to be able evolve your personal brand perception to be a top-of-mind-choice.

2. Brand Trust. If you make promises and commitments, keep them. Integrity and trust create a bond like no other – if you are always fair and honest with others, most will treat you the same. Yes, there are people with “poor brands” that may take advantage of your trust, and cause you to have a setback, but there are givers and takers – the takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better. Be a giver and the best you can be and it will come back to you in more ways than one. Trust is paramount.

3. Create Awareness for Your Personal Brand. Marketing, public relations, advertising, and social media help make brands recognizable. Are you networking? From business networks to social networking, being in the right place at the right time provides many opportunities – but only if you participate. Be your own brand’s PR and social networking agency to communicate your positive attributes, your enthusiasm and success. Craft what you write, think before you talk. Be aware about what you write on Facebook, in emails and even what you communicate to others – as it all becomes the sum of your brand’s perception.

4. Focus Your Brand Identity. Pick your relationships wisely – who you are associated with effects the perception of your brand. Successful people usually associate with other successful people, those focused on a healthy life style learn from each other, and negative energy people hang with other negative people, etc. Decide what you want your personal brand to be, and associate and learn from others that you admire. Provide yourself the opportunity to evolve. Empower yourself to improve your brand by listening, learning, keeping commitments, and communicating your message clearly. If you need to “repackage your look” do so. You alone can choose to evolve or enhance your personal brand, so make the most of it, and start today. The first step is easy. Make a list of what you want your personal brand attributes to be for each of the brand types mentioned above, (guided by your passions and interests). Next, list what are the gaps to achieving each of those desired brand attributes. Lastly, search out friends, schools or groups for help to close those gaps. Evolve your personal brand to be what you want it to be, and the opportunities you hope for will be attracted to you!

Gary Greer is a marketing and branding consultant in-tune with helping companies and people better understand their value, communicate and evolve their brand. For additional information, check out his website at:

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3 Things I Ask to Create an Intelligent Marketing Conversation

Intelligence & MarketingThe frustrating thing about being intelligent is finding people you can have an intelligent conversation with. When in a social situation how can you still learn a little more about your customer’s needs from a different perspective? This tip is about being a good listener, which is key to understanding the needs of your customer. Most marketing people “hear just the first part of a sentence” and then stop their listening mode – they think about, and rehearse in their mind what they want to say and while waiting for the customer to stop talking so they can start talking. They are not learning or expanding their knowledge, they are just spewing out memories.

Here are 3 questions to ask “when in a social setting” to create an intelligence gathering opportunity with a customer who likes to talk:
1. What specific or personal challenges do they have in their job, in their business? (learn their emotional needs) 
2. What are 3 things that have made them successful. (discover what their hot buttons are)
3. What could be improved in their company, whether it is related to their job, company processes, or management practices. (provides you with insight on other projects they potentially need help with)

Asking these questions gets your customers thinking and talking about themselves – which most people like to do, and you can then learn something new from a different perspective.

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Frequency Builds Trust

Marketing: The process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers.

Marketing to friends
Yikes! Do I know this person?

Marketing is the process of building a business relationship with potential customers. Have you ever established a lifelong friendship with someone you had contact with only once? Probably not. Generally friendships (and all relationships for that matter) grow as a result of frequent contact over time. Even when the potential to form a great friendship is there at the first encounter, it is unlikely it will grow without nurturing.

Seth Godin in his book Permission Marketing uses an analogy of seeds and water to demonstrate the importance of assuring adequate frequency in your promotional campaigns. If you were given 100 seeds with enough water to water each seed once, would you plant all 100 seeds and water each one once? Or would you be more successful if you planted 25 seeds and used all of the water on those 25 seeds?

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What, a Social Media Marketing Plan?

There is lots to know about marketing these days, as more and more people shop online and are connected through social media.

Social Media Marketing DiagramNot only do millions of people buy online, but they check and compare products and services using, websites, Tweets, blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, various online customer reviews and other social media avenues. This has to be one of the most challenging eras for businesses and marketers to know what to do, how much to spend, and where to put the effort – especially with a limited budget! So what’s a company to do?

Guru or smart marketer?  Hire a person, consultant or agency that at a minimum can create strategy document that includes a spreadsheet of every month and Social mediathe action (topics) taking place with every social media communication medium that is relevant to your target audience and your business. It should coordinate with your trade shows, products announcements, email campaigns and other sales and marketing programs. All of those things should mesh together in one coordinated marketing effort that drives leads to the sales team and increases visibility to your website. Monthly they should prepare a analytics report on all of your social media results – including what isn’t working and how it could be improved.

Obviously there is much more that goes on in front and behind the scenes of social media marketing but you have to start somewhere, and start with a true marketing person who is also organized – not just knowledgable about blogs, tweeting and making Facebook pages.  For all of the time, money and effort going into it, you need to see results.

Big Shopping Center Makeover!

Apollo-Publix-beforeAbove is the before. Color choices don’t relate to the Publix brand, plus the dark brick color makes the Publix slogan very hard to read. Below is the proposed (created in Photoshop), and approved new color scheme with more pop.

Apollo-Publix-afterBelow is another view of the “before” and “after” of this very large shopping center. It needed to be painted anyways, so they brought me in to give the center a more dynamic color scheme.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Busy or Lazy People

As most of you know there is lots of information and variables when it comes to  SEO for your website or blogs. You could hire someone to constantly be on top of the changing SEO algorithms and marketing your site – but if you don’t have the time, interest or money to get into the SEO to help get your site ranked higher in search engines and get found, then here are 3 basic SEO things you can do:

1. Make sure the title of each of your pages uses the keywords that people would use when searching for your products or services. The title tag tells both users and search engines what the topic of a particular page is.

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 11.10.01 PM2. Take the time to write the “Excerpt” of each page (sometimes called a Description or Summary), that includes the keywords of your products or services and the words people would use to find you – this is your “ad” that appears in the search engine descriptions to convince people to click on your site.

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 11.16.50 PM3. Encourage people to “Share” your page link to their Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. pages that is much more SEO powerful than them just “Liking” the page. Why? Because “Sharing” will send a notice and your URL link to everyone who is a friend or in the group of the person who is sharing it – sort of like network marketing. So make sure you show the “sharing” buttons at the bottom of your page like I did here.

FYI – Search engines on average scan a website every 18 days. If Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 7.47.16 AMnothing on your website has changed since the last scan, your site has less value in searches because there isn’t any new information. Cool SEO Tool: Find out when the last time a search engine scanned your site, click the SEO button. When at that site just enter your URL in the box.

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If you want more information about me, click here to go to my website.

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