Category Archives: Branding

[VIDEO] Are you a commodity?

I recently went to the Camargue located south of Arles, France, between the Mediterranean Sea and the two arms of the Rhône River delta.

It is a beautiful place and it is well known for a couple of things:

  • The white horses
  • The flamingos
  • And fleur de sel

And I would like fous on fleur de sel.

Fleur de sel is one of those small but indispensable touches, like good quality olive oil or fresh herbs, that changes an ordinary meal into a culinary experience. You may not want to use it every single day, because it is expensive, but there are certain dishes that will be markedly improved when you do.

Why is it so expensive?

3 reasons:

1.      It is rare

There are only a couple of regions in France, Portugal and Spain where this special salt can be harvested. It’s not like typical table salt.

2.      It needs to be harvested by hand

First of all, you need to wait for the perfect moment: hot summer days and no wind. Second, it is a very delicate process which requires manual labour and special tools.

3.      The brand

Fleur de sel has a very solid reputation, not only because of the quality of the project. I’m sure that these well-known chefs raving about fleur de sel have also improved the reputation of this special salt.

 

Now what does this have to do with you and your business?

It is clear that fleur de sel is not a commodity like table salt.

And you shouldn’t be either.

Because being a commodity means you’ll have difficulties standing out from the competition, attracting, clients, asking higher prices and living a fulfilled (professional) life.

So, how can we avoid being a commodity?

1.      Be rare, be unique

Identify your unique selling proposition. What makes you unique? How can you stand out? Check out my vlog if you want to know more: http://www.youbrandbuilder.com/what-makes-you-unique/

2.      Ask higher prices

Asking higher prices (than the competition) will make you stand out. People perceive higher prices with a higher quality. Low prices equals commodity. Check out my vlog on how to double your fees here: http://www.youbrandbuilder.com/how-to-double-your-fees/

3.      The brand

Always be building your Personal Brand. How? Download your FREE ebook “5 steps to build your Personal Brand & move your business to the next level” here: http://www.youbrandbuilder.com/sign-up-to-get-the-free-e-book/

Btw, want to see the related video?  Here it is:

 

Your turn

What steps have you taken in order to avoid being a commodity?

 

 

[VIDEO] What makes you unique?

Hi there

What makes you unique?

Do you have a clue?

Personal Branding is all about standing out from the competition in an authentic way.

In other words, you need to stay true to yourself.

But what is that?

Your uniqueness?

In this video you’ll find the 2 most valuable answers to that question.

  1. It’s all about YOU
  2. And about your signature system.

Signature what? Discover it in our video.

 

Good luck with that!

And tell me, what makes you unique?

 

 

[INFOGRAPHIC] Social media strategy in 7 steps

Hi there

Last week I was invited to speak for an audience of entrepreneurs about…

Social media.

First question I asked: ‘who is professionally active on social media?’

2 important words: ACTIVE and PROFESSIONALLY.

The room went pretty quiet.

A recent study about Belgian online shoppers shows us that 63% of them buy abroad.

Why is that? Different reasons. Price, ease, availability of products…

But this stat shows us that

there are a lot of opportunities for Belgian entrepreneurs willing to go online.

Not only Belgians of course.

So why not you?

How do you take your business online?

There are different steps like:

·        Design and build an easy-to-use website.

·        Use search engines to drive traffic to your site.

·        Establish an expert position (Personal Branding).

·        Use social media…

 

In this article I wanted to focus on the social media aspect of an online business.

So, I have created an infographic Social Media Strategy in 7 steps.

>>> You can download it here for FREE. Share if you like. Tx <<<
thumbnail of social media strategy infographic

 

Your turn: what’s your social media secret? 

 

 

When to say NO to a business proposition

It took me my whole life…

Hi there

Have you ever been proposed to work for a client

And they started questioning your fee ?

I bet you have.

Unless your prices are way too low.

And even then, people should question your fees.

Be it for another reason.

 

Anyway, last week a friend of mine asked me whether I could deliver a training on Networking.

I’ve been a networker my whole professional life.

And I have delivered multiple workshops and trainings on Networking.

In a lot of different settings.

So my answer was : “Yes, I could”.

But I admit, I hesitated a little.

Why?

Because the conditions were not optimal.

Let me explain.

 

Reason #1:

The friend, who I value a lot (so thanks Pierre) is not the client.

My friend is just doing somebody else a favor.

And that somebody else has a training company working for multinationals.

So I’d be a subcontractor.

I do not like working as a subcontractor.

Nothing wrong with people who do.

But for me: been there, seen that, done that.

I moved away from that business model.

In my opinion: it is not the best business model for entrepreneurs.

But that’s another topic.

>>>Still … ask yourself: is your actual business model the best one you can think of?<<<

 

Reason #2:

It is not my core business.

It is my mission to help entrepreneurs build their personal brand and grow their business.

I really like working with entrepreneurs, 1 on 1 and in group settings.

And I have a full-booked agenda.

So if I have the choice, I prefer working on my core business.

That is called FOCUS.

And you should focus too.

 

Reason #3:

The fee. Ah, the fee.

Let’s talk about pricing.

Delivering training in-company has become a commodity.

There are a lot of trainers out there.

A lot of them are having difficulties making ends meet.

A lot of them are having difficulties standing out from the competition.

A lot of them deliver more or less the same training in more or less the same way.

Thus, training has become a commodity.

Result: the trainers tend to lower their fees/prices.

So unless, you have a strong Personal Brand as a trainer, and/or deliver a remarkable product/service, you are probably suffering.

 

Now back to me, I don’t feel like being a commodity.

And I surely don’t feel like lowering my prices because other trainers do.

I know I can deliver great value (sorry if I come across as a bragger).

So my fees are not the lowest in the market.  And never will be.

>>>How about you? Are you being paid for the value you deliver?

Or are you being a commodity?<<<

 

The reaction of my friend when he heard about my fee structure was:

“I respect your fee. However, delivering a training on Networking is easy for you, that’s what you’ve been doing your whole life…”

What he meant was: “it is easy, won’t take you a lot of time to prepare, so lower your fee…”

And that made me think of the following story:

Picasso is sketching at a park. A woman walks by, recognizes him, and begs for her portrait. Somehow, he agrees. A few minutes later, he hands her the sketch. She is elated, excited about how wonderfully it captures the very essence of her character, what beautiful work it is, and asks how much she owes him. “5000 francs, madam,” says Picasso. The woman is incredulous, outraged, and asks how that’s even possible given it only took him 5 minutes. Picasso looks up and, without missing a beat, says: “No, madam, it took me my whole life.”

I rest my case…

YOUR TURN:

Do you have experience in people questioning your price/fee? How did you tackle that?

 

4 concrete steps to build your online Personal Brand

Hey!

How are you?

Last weeks I gave a couple of online trainings (webinars).

And I am organizing more of them.

The great thing about Webinars is that you can reach a lot of people

All over the world.

That is pretty exciting.

It allows you to share your message

And valuable content

with far more people than you could in a “normal live” seminar

More people can benefit from your ideas and tips

And it increases your online visibility

Nothing but good news.

Well, as long as Mr. Murphy is not in the house to play with technology 🙂

Anyway, how visible are you online?

How’s your online Personal Brand doing?

Here are 4 concrete steps to increase your online visibility in a solid way

And if you are wondering why you should do that…

It will enable you to stand out from the competition

Attract more clients

So you’ll enjoy (financial) freedom

 

The 4 steps:

1. The list:

Building your Personal Brand means building a solid reputation,

Becoming the go-to-person in your field.

This means that people have to know about you

Like you, and trust you to do business with you

And/or become your ambassador.

People will not all of a sudden trust you.

You have to build a relationship with your community.

And that is what the list is about.

The list is a list of people who are interested in what you do,

Your target audience, your ideal client,

And with whom you start having a conversation (via Email)

About their problems and your solutions

In order to build that relationship we just talked about

And build that solid reputation …

You might think that having a large number of connections on LinkedIn is that list.

Well, it’s not the official/legal way of building a list. That’s one thing.

Two, if LinkedIn shuts down permanently, you have lost your connections.

Three, your LinkedIn community has not given you their formal OK to have that

conversation with them.

So you better do it the official/legal way.

My suggestion is that you start by selecting an email marketing service.

Today, I use Mailchimp – there is a free version to start with and is user friendly.

 

2. The irresistible Opt-in offer:

You might be thinking: “How do I get this people on my list officially?”

There are basic legal requirements for sending out email marketing messages you need to be aware of, hence my note about doing it the official/legal way.

The EU Opt-in Directive stipulates that direct marketing email messages may be sent only to recipients who have given their prior consent (opt-in).

Same thing in the US.

So you need an opt-in. They have to say “yes, start sending me mails”.

Well actually, that is not what they will be saying.

It will be more like “Give me that free stuff you’re offering and I’ll give you my email address.”

This means you have to have something really great to offer.

And that is where the opt-in offer comes in.

Irresistible = so valuable for your target audience that they cannot resist 🙂

Examples:

  • An ‘fat’ eBook (not a light 5 page eBook)
  • A video series
  • A physical book
  • A sample
  • A challenge
  • A quiz
  • A cheat sheet

Oh, and you give it away for free!

 

3. Your online distribution channels:

“Yeah – all very nice, but how will people see my opt-in offer?”

Good question.

Here are some ideas:

  • In the summary of your LinkedIn profile
  • In the banner of your Facebook page
  • And other social media channels you use
  • In the signature of your emails
  • On your website, évidemment!
  • Add it to your proposals
  • And invoices
  • How about your business card (that’s not online, I know)…

 

4. Your super-duper content:

“OK, I’m starting to attract people to my list, what’s next?”

As I’ve already mentioned it is important that you start a conversation

In order for people to know-like-trust you

“Conversation? About what?”

About “problems” and your “solution”.

In a way that is not salezy.

And that doesn’t transform you into a bragger.

Make it human, authentic, personal

And extremely valuable

For your target audience.

“How?”

Here are some ideas:

  • Blog
  • Video Blog
  • Podcast
  • Webinars
  • Tests and quizzes

You are probably asking yourself things like:

“Do I have to blog every week?” No, you don’t

“Does it have to be my content all the time?” No, it doesn’t

“Does it take time and effort?” Yes, it does. Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor will your Personal Brand be. But there is an efficient way of approaching this.

“Is it worth it?” Yes it is. At least, if you want to stand out from the competition, get noticed by your potential clients and enjoy (financial) freedom.

 

And I can help you with that.

Every decent sporter has a coach – are you a decent entrepreneur?

Let me help you.

 

 

I just launched my Brand New YouBrand Journey

a 6 month program where I’ll teach you how to build your (online) Personal Brand and…

Get noticed, attract clients, enjoy (financial) freedom!

In other words:

  • I’ll teach you how:To build a list
  • Via Mailchimp
  • To create an irresistible opt-in offer
  • To pimp your LinkedIn profile
  • And Facebook page
  • To start to blog
  • And use video
  • To share your content via webinars
  • And have an attractive website
  • To grow your network online and offline
  • And much, much more …

Interested?

>>> Join us before December 15, 2016 <<<

  • and enjoy: Super-duper discount
  • 3 Fantastic bonuses
  • A hug from me (well, maybe that’s not an irresistible offer :-))

>>> Sign up now <<<

Questions, doubts, remarks – contact me!

Greet.Bunnens@YouBrandBuilder.be

+32.478.39.02.69

Big hug

Greet

 

PS: if you think one of your friends/colleagues/business partners could benefit from this free program- SHARE! Merci!

5 things we can learn from Donald Trump’s Personal Brand

Hi there,

In case you haven’t noticed… Donald Trump has won the elections.

Who’d have thought that?!

I must say I was kind of shocked when I heard the news the following morning.

How is it possible that a person with his attitude, his values, his opinions gets so many votes from the American people?

There’s lots to say about that, about the reasons.

I’m sure that one of the things he did pretty well, is build his Personal Brand.

And we can learn something from that.

And that is why I wrote this blog post.

To see what you CAN learn from Donald Trump’s Personal Brand.

And what you WANT to learn from it.

When I put this post on my Facebook page a couple of days ago, I got lots of reactions.

Negative reactions.

People telling me things like:

  • “Trump will never be an example”,
  • “Trump has no values”,
  • “I will never learn something from Trump”,
  • “If that is what Personal Branding is all about, well thank you, not for me”

 

I’m not saying we should all love Trump and follow his example. I don’t and I won’t.

And still, I am convinced we can learn something from him, he is an example (whether you like him or not – good or bad), he has values (even though they might not be the same as yours)…

And Personal Branding is more than what Trump has showed us.

In my world and when I work with clients, I help them build an authentic Personal Brand. That is only possible if you stay true to yourself, if you practice what you preach, if you respect yourself and others.(and that is where Trump and I don’t seem to be on the same wavelength, I guess.)

This being said, here are the 5 things we can learn from Donald Trump’s Personal Brand.

Judge for yourself 🙂

Donald Trump: Yes he can! Build your Personal Brand the Trump way

 

 

  1. Decide

Donald Trump has proven to be a good business man. He must have thought: “done that, been there, what’s next? Well, how about becoming the president of the United states?…”

That’s the decision he made. Now that is a huge next step in his career all right!

I am convinced that if you want to start a business or move to the next level in career, or want to become president :-), you need to be visible. How else will your audience notice you, trust you, want to buy from/vote for you? Personal Branding is the answer.

>> So are you ready? Ready to get out there? Be visible? Build your brand?

To quote Richard Branson here: “Screw it, let’s do it!”

 

  1. Stop making excuses

I meet a lot of people who have big dreams and are afraid to go for it. Main reason is the so called security. They are locked in a golden cage and so they do a job they dislike for 20-30 years.

How crazy is that? Is there really no alternative? Is there really no way you can leave that golden cage and do what you really love?

Trump could have had a lot of excuses:

  • No political experience
  • Establishment laughing at him
  • What does he know about being a president?
  • Afraid to make mistakes?
  • It’s not the right moment?
  • I need more skills, experience?
  • I’m not good enough
  • My dreams are not realistic?

 

>> Making excuses does not put you in the driver’s seat, you will not gain respect by making excuses, only pity.

And is that what you want?

 

  1. Craft your pitch

“Make America Great Again.” That was Trump’s pitch the whole time. Clinton’s? “I’m the female candidate”.

The problem with Clinton’s pitch is that it is not linked to the audience. “What’s in it for me? So what, you are a woman?” She did not link it to the audience’s fears and hopes.

Trump did.

Obama did too.

He could have said; “I’m the black candidate” but he didn’t – he inspired others with his “yes we can!” pitch connecting with his audience’s hopes. Focusing on change.

>> So, what do you tell people when they ask you what it is that you do? Can you give a short answer that inspires and enthuses the listener?

 

  1. Be authentic!

You like him. Or not.

1 thing is for sure: Trump doesn’t sugarcoat his ideas and opinions. He has insulted a lot of people: Muslims, women, Mexicans ….

He says what he feels, and often in a … let’s call it … impolite way. 🙂

He might change his ideas on certain policies, but when he represents himself he stays consistent. And his audience doesn’t seem to care. He is perceived as authentic.

In Personal Branding it is important that you stay true to yourself and take a stand. You cannot stand out from the crowd if you have wishy washy ideas and don’t (seem to) believe in your message.

The audience wants to know what you stand for.

And some will hate you, and others will love you.

>> Back to you – what do you stand for?

And remember Oscar Wilde’s quote: “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken!”

 

  1. Build a fan base

I know a lot of people who hate Donald Trump.

To be honest I’m not the biggest fan either. There, I said it. Told you what I stand for 🙂

However, there’s this huge community of people who love and support him – a group of fans who want  to help him build his brand. They help him carry his message, defend his statements and work very hard on his behalf. They happily spread his “Make America Great Again” message.

You too, you need others to help spread your message. Personal branding is not something you do by yourself. You need to build a core community before you can grow your visibility in the larger community.

People only “buy” from people they know, like & trust. So it is important you start building that fan base of people who know, like & trust you.

>> How? By sharing valuable content, by having a giving attitude, by showing you know what you talk about, by constantly thinking “what’s in it for them?”

 

So congratulations, Donald. Congratulations with your Personal Brand and your new job.

And good luck!

Good luck also to the readers who want to build their Personal Brand (the Trump way or not)

And good luck to the rest of the world – I’m curious to see what impact his victory will have on all of us.

 

Can Personal Branding help you win the Nobel Prize?

hi there!

Robert Zimmerman – aka Bob Dylan– you love him or you hate him.

I’m not the biggest fan of his music.

Maybe I’m just too young, or too stupid, or I don’t have a good taste in music.

I leave that up to you 🙂

Fact is that he has always had a lot of fans.

And haters.

 

You’ll always have that.

The more visible you are.

The more people have an opinion about you.

Positive or negative.

Have to live with that.

Standing out from the crowd is good for business.

But has its downsizes too.

Anyway, the fact that Mr. Zimmerman got the Nobel prize in literature also caused a lot of commotion.

I’m not surprised.

He’s always been a little controversial.

Being controversial is good for business.

But has its downsizes too.

 

Dylan, singer, poet, (visual) artist, has done many different things in his life.

Some might say: “he’s just an opportunist”.

Or you could say: “he is the ultimate example of flexibility”

Flexibility will become one of the most precious assets of individuals and organizations in this ever-changing world.

I already said it hundreds of times ;

you need to use Personal Branding in order to position yourself in the market, whether you are a freelancer/entrepreneur, or an employee.

Lots of marketing gurus claim you have to choose a very small niche in order to survive and build your personal brand.

 

I do not fully agree.

 

Indeed, you’ll never become the go-to-person in your field if you don’t have a field.

However, beware of rigidity.

Flexibility is king.

 

And Dylan is the living proof of that.

He’s shown that you can be very successful if you are able to use your talents and skills in a flexible way.

Look at all the songs he’s written. So different. Folk. Rock. Energy. Sadness. Blues. Country….

All this whilst staying true to himself. Authentic.

 

And that is what Personal Branding is about.

 

So thank you Bob!

(and thank you Geert Degrande for the inspiration)

>>> Your turn: what’s your secret to winning the nobel prize? 🙂 <<<

How to wow your audience with your story – 4 steps

Hi there

Yesterday I was at a networking event and the lady who gave the keynote (Nathalie Arteel) was talking about the book that she’s written. (a must-read by the way – very inspiring for entrepreneurs like you and me).

And she was talking about her son.

He told her at breakfast: “I know what I want to do when I grow up”.

“Really, tell me..” she said to her son, Tim.

“Well, I’d like to be an inventor.” (I believe he wanted to make flying shoes so older people can ‘go’ faster)

Anyway, she was proud to see a future entrepreneur in this kid.

And I was thinking… imagine I meet this kid in 15 years at a networking event…

What will he say when I ask him about his business?…

First, I hope he hasn’t given up on his dream

Second, I hope he does not say something like “I’m selling shoes” (especially not if he was able to produce these flying shoes :-))

It would be such a shame if he would not be able to talk enthusiastically about how he helps these older people move faster thanks to his invention.

Brings me to the article I wrote last week. On what a terrible impression people can make when they have to talk about their job.

And that is a shame.

It’s even more a shame if you are an entrepreneur / freelancer and you can’t come up with a decent answer when people ask ‘what business are you in?’

I have discovered a couple of mistakes that a lot of entrepreneurs make when it comes to their message:

  • It’s boring
  • It’s too long
  • It’s not relevant
  • It’s too short
  • There is a lack of passion and enthusiasm
  • Nothing spontaneous about it
  • It’s too formal
  • etc etc…

Image you would share your message and people would really listen…

and they would want to know more about you…

and about your business…

how great woud that be?!

I have discovered that it doesn’t have to be that difficult to share a compelling story.

All you need is 7 steps.

In this short video I’ll give you a sneak preview of 4 steps +concrete examples.


Want to know the full 7 steps?

Register to our FREE online training here!

See you soon!

Greet Bunnens

YOUR TURN: what business are you in? Tell us 🙂

How to double your fees

Hi
Have you ever thought to yourself:

“I should ask higher prices for my services”

“But I’m afraid”

“Because what will people say?”

or “I will lose all my clients”

or “The competition will kill me”

Well, you are not alone.

In this video I’ll tell you the story of Emilie (who refuses to listen to me ;-))

and Sofie and Kristien (who have listened to me)

You’ll discover how you too, you can increase your prices.

But hey, it’s up to you.

The choice is yours: stuggling or financial freedom 🙂

OK, I’m stating this a little black and white here.

But this being said, just watch the video

… and tell me what you think.

Leave us your comment!

Many thanks!

To your success!

Greet

PS: if you like – please do share! THANKS!

 

 

To blog or not to blog…

Hi there!

 

I had a call from a former colleague of mine, Karen.

She is a HR Interim Manager and she heard me saying how blogging enabled me to rebrand myself, get more clients, build a solid reputation, and….. évidemment…. build my Personal Brand

Blogging is GREAT!

I also turned people off along the way. Oops

Too bad.

Some say yes

Some say no

So what?!

Next!

🙂

That’s life.

And I have to deal with it.

Back to Karen – she was wondering whether she should start to blog.

Well, that is a good question.

Because even though I’m a big fan of blogging…

… you might just not be the right person to start to blog.

Find out in this video whether blogging could be good for you and your business?

And what to do to connect with your target audience without blogging.

And if you do decide to start to blog, discover here what your first big step is! 

Well, I’ll reveal that right now.

Together with my good friend Ilse Van Eetvelde, we created a brand new website full of tips and articles on blogging.

Here it is: www.StartToBlogNow.com 

Keep on returning to that website, because we’ll be adding great stuff regularly.

The site is not at all a static finished one.

Much more to come!

And in the meanwhile, enjoy the video “To Blog or Not To Blog”