WISDOM IN A TRAFFIC JAM: Reinventing Yourself in Business

By on July 30, 2012
Wisdom in a Traffic Jam
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Dear Angella,
For the past 17 years I have worked for a great company. Recently, I have been downsized and decided to take this opportunity to start my own business. The only problem is that everyone knows me for my old position. What can I do to reinvent myself in the business world?

Dear Samantha,
This is an exciting and scary time in your life. You have joined the world of entrepreneurs. There are many things that need your attention. For now, the most important one is re-branding yourself.

According to the American Marketing Association (AMA), a brand is the “name, term, sign or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.” That’s a mouthful! Basically a “brand” is what you or your company stands for; it’s what you have to offer consumers. Branding is not about getting consumers to choose you over the next guy. You want your brand to deliver your message clearly, confirm that you are credible, connect with your potential clients on an emotional level, motivate them to buy, and finally, to create loyalty.

Start by having professional head shots taken. You will need high quality photos to use for business cards, social media, newsletters and more. With one click, your picture can be uploaded and used for hundreds of items.

Take that wonderful head shot and put it on your business card. You want to keep your face and your company name in front of people all the time. In my opinion, your business card is your passport into the world of new business. This is what people will remember you by.
On the front, you should have your picture, company name, and logo, your name and contact information. By adding your picture, you are making the card more personal; it also makes it easier for people to recognize you. Adding your website or e-mail address is a good idea. You want to make it easy for people to contact you. The biggest mistake people make in designing their cards is they forget to use the back. This is a blank canvas you can do anything with. Would you waste a prime real-estate location? No, probably not-you would want to maximize your space! Use the back to list the services you offer. When you meet people, you only have thirty to sixty seconds to get your message across; you can’t possibly tell them everything you offer and the potential client won’t remember all that you said. By listing your services, you don’t have to worry about this. Other options are to offer a discount or coupon on the back. Putting a tip calculator on the back would give people a reason to keep your card handy.

Let’s not forget the wonderful new world of social media. LinkedIn is a great way to start. Contact all your colleagues whom you have a good relationship with and reconnect with them. You can update your profile with your new CEO position. Again, that head shot will come in handy. When updating your profile, update your photo. Make sure you reach out to your contacts to write a testimonial about you. Nothing will go further than honest feedback from others. If people are hesitant to talk about your new services, you can offer them a trade or discount. You will provide your services at a reduced rate or for free in exchange for a testimonial. Use this on all your social media and in print.

You have taken that leap of faith and joined the world of entrepreneurs. Go out there and start making a new and amazing life for yourself.

Have a question for Angella? Send it to Angella@wisdominatrafficjam.com or check out her business www.onestoprochester.com

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