It is not only accounting firms that need to build a brand in order to be successful, but the individuals within the firm also need to commit to personal marketing. That means that you must market yourself - and you should realize how significant this is for you and your firm.
Your brand is your promise, your image, your good name, and a way to distinguish yourself from others in your market. It is useful for you to have a personal brand that can work on your behalf, building your own career and reputation as a leader - at the same time as you are building loyalty for your firm. Enhancing your self-brand will ultimately enhance your firm's image.
As a professional you will find that when you market yourself it is easier to develop meaningful relationships. As you promote your own brand, others can more easily understand the benefits of working with you. As a result, you will have more opportunities for new business. Your brand helps you solidify your reputation as a person of influence in your community and as an expert in the key niches where you have developed a core competency.
You might ask how you can go about creating your self-brand. It is most effective to approach this in basically the same way you would if you were about to brand your firm:
- Identify what is most unique about you. This may be your attitude, your skills, your expertise, your education and training, your niche focus, or your network of relationships.
- Develop a process for marketing yourself. This includes writing your own mission statement, performing a situational analysis on yourself to determine your strengths and weaknesses while identifying opportunities and threats you face.
- Put your branding plan on paper. This gives it legitimacy and forces you to think about your message, your audience, and the initiatives that will keep your brand alive.
- Demonstrate value. You will be sought after when your brand accurately presents you as an expert. People want to work with those who provide solutions, so prepare to offer resources, introductions, industry information, and business or economic news that are relevant for your audience.
It is important for you to consider that your firm benefits as much as you do when you embrace personal marketing. Because you are recognized and respected in the community, your reputation reflects well on your firm. Your personal marketing techniques attract new clients to the firm and help raise retention at the same time. Your individual efforts enhance your firm's visibility and your efforts help it to gain top of mind awareness in the business community. Think about who you are and all that you have to offer - and then start marketing!
By Sally Glick, Chief Marketing Officer, Sobel & Co. LLC
Ms. Glick can be reached at Sobel & Co., LLC, 973-994-9494
or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.