Be your own Brand

Rasheed OgunlaruRasheed Ogunlaru Life Coach | Speaker | Business Coach
Leading life and business coach, Rasheed Ogunlaru, shares tips on standing out from the crowd and building your profile.

We live in a world dominated by big brands. They’re everywhere you look: on the internet, on posters in the street, in papers and magazines you read, on TV and the train. But you

too are a brand – whether you run a business, are an employee or if you are a student. Everyone you meet has views about you, what you do, what you contribute …and that brand is shaped by you.  You may not have the advertising power of a big brand but you have a huge amount of power, potential influence. This short article with give you a few pointers about how to utilize your brand

First, find yourself

  1. Be yourself no-one else
  2. Identify what your personal and professional skills and work from and on them
  3. Identify what your values are and stick by them it will serve you in your career, business and relationships
  4. Discover what’s important to you and hold true to it
  5. Build a network of those you know like and trust, learn from them
  6. Know that you will be measured by everything tthat you do and don’t say and do and contribute.
  7. Like an athlete master your craft, give 100% develop a strong fanbase and team.

Now build your brand

Before anybody will buy your product or service – or hire you for a job – they have to dig you. Ensure that you always are:

    1. Smart , look the part: Reflect the message / aspirations of your business
    2. Personable: Be warm, friendly, approachable and genuinely interested in everybody. Thousands businesses / entrepreneurs fall at this hurdle. Everyone is or knows your potential clients.
    3. Professional:  Be punctual, polite and deliver the goods on time.
    4. Informed: know your stuff, your staff, products and your industry
    5. Flexible and open to new ideas

Keep promises- or don’t make them

  • 7. Learn from your successes and shortcomings in equal measure
  • 8. Study and learn from leading entrepreneurs and businesses
  • Memorable – positive, helpful and interested and interesting
  • 10.  A great communicator: ensure your spoken and written communications are always accurate, lively.


Clear vision – empowering mission

Most business fail by failing to have a mission or objective. Identify your targets. Know your business environment. Identify your tools, allies and resources. Map out the steps and deadlines to achieve your goals and review them regularly.

  • Set a clear values for your business that motivates you, your team and the public
  • Stand out: Sum up your business in a short, simple, punchy sentence. So that everyone can instantly understand, remember and be interested in what you do.

Spread the word

If nobody knows who you are and where you are your business will die. It’s down to you to tell them.  Everybody you meet is a potential client or will know someone who could benefit from your product or service.

Networking – Build awareness of your  business – Top ten tips

  1. Research and join key business or trade and social groups in your field and beyond (cost may be a factor) but balance it against potential brand awareness, contacts and sales
  2. Make sure that you include networking at events, places where your ideal clients are – otherwise you’ll never meet them
  3. If you’re nervous picture yourself being relaxed, comfortable, chatty and interesting ahead of the event
  4. When networking relax, be yourself, be genuine and be at your best
  5. Take a genuine interest in others and their work – this opens people up to being genuinely interested in you
  6. Help others – business comes to those who signpost and direct business to other people.
  7. When explaining what you do keep it short, snappy, simple with lively examples of how you have helped people.
  8. Remember one good strong contact is better than ten superficial ones.
  9. Gently tell – don’t hard sell
  10. 10.  Be personable, passionate and professional – this is the best way to attract business

Essential Promo material

You don’t need big bucks create a strong brand image. But it’s key that your promotional material is strong, clear, consistent, eye-catching, professionally produced:

  • Have designer create a logo that reflects you /your product or service
  • Get some good quality pictures of yourself, your products / service
  • Produce professional business cards
  • Gather and then use testimonials of success stories / happy clients
  • Launch a website – keep it smart, simple, informative and attractive

A website is your virtual store so ensure it represents and sells you.

  • Produce leaflets and flyers – make them catchy and punchy

Powerful Partnership

Forming partnerships is one of the most effective ways of broadening your marketing base, gaining services, raise awareness of business and attract new customers. Partnerships take many forms from sharing contacts, skills and referring business – running to joint initiatives, linked services and offers web links.

  • Identify complimentary businesses and links that would help you
  • Identify target groups, contacts and markets you’d like
  • Identify ways that you can help potential partners and vice versa
  • Only form partnerships with those you trust and match your values.

Be your own publicist

Good media coverage can boost your business and profile. It’s not for everyone or every business but will suit you if you’re a lively, focused, confident communicator with an interesting product / service. To interest the press, radio, web or TV coverage, you need:

  • A sexy a ‘news’ or ‘feature story’: something wide interest.
  • A press release (a snappy one page summary for the media) with facts, figures, quotes, your contact details and a catchy headline. Make it  accurate and factual
  • Over 90% of press releases are binned. Make yours strong and memorable
  • If you’re an expert in your field  you may be attractive to the media for more specialised coverage, contributions or interviews
  • Start off with local media or trade press – you’re more likely to gain coverage
  • Media outlets are busy and work to tight deadlines – be polite and to the point

Rasheed Ogunlaru is a life coach, business coach and speaker – and author of The Gift of Inner Success and  A Zest for Business. Visit call 020 7207 1082 or email

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