In any business, branding is a primary way to attract your ideal client. The expression of your unique identity helps you sell your services to the kind of people you most want to work with. But branding isn’t just about showing how you’re different from your competitors. It’s about getting your prospects to see that what you offer is exactly what they’ve been searching for.

If I meet someone at a party and tell him that I’m a coach for financial and service professionals and then ask him if he would like to work with me, I’m engaged in direct marketing. If his friend comes across the room and says to me, “I hear you’re a great coach and I’d love to work with you,” I’ve successfully branded my business.

To successfully brand yourself, you need to follow these 3 preliminary steps:

1.     Know your target market. Who do you most want to work with? As a professional, consultant or business owner, you will have more success if you become an expert in the needs of a particular, narrow market. It’s like aiming a high-powered rifle at a bulls-eye as opposed to shooting a hundred pounds of buckshot in the hope of hitting some wild turkeys.

2.     Identify a few core needs. What are your dream clients’ biggest dreams or problems? Obviously, you want to talk about the needs for which you have solutions. Your typical client may need dental work, but if you have a house-cleaning service, this information won’t help you.

3.     Design unique solutions. Why would prospects in your target market buy from you instead of your competitors? Remember that clients like “packages.” If the solutions you provide are not special, start thinking about ways to package them to make them special. If you’re just another white crayon in a box of white crayons, there’s no good reason for prospects to pick you. Be the red crayon.

Decide on your business’s identity so that you can begin building your brand today.

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Sandy Schussel is a speaker, business trainer and coach who helps sales teams develop systems to win clients. He is the author of The High Diving Board and Become a Client Magnet. For more information, go to www.sandyschussel.com.