Branding can be a scary topic of discussion for Virtual Assistants. It can conjure up images of a power business suit and a corporate headshot, and getting your face out there in front of people.
I know many VAs who are introverts, who like to remain faceless and work behind the safety of their computer screen. Putting yourself out there can be scary – what if they don’t like me?
But branding your business is more than just talking about your corporate image. It’s about setting up your online stuff so that it’s presenting a consistent visual and message to the people who are connecting with you.
When clients come to us to get support in their business, they will – more times than not – choose a service provider because they know them, like them and trust them. If you want more clients, you should be aware of this – and working towards it every day in your business.
You can have the best prices or the best services, but if people can’t see who you are, they may not want to work with you. Fear of giving money to a complete stranger can take over their own buying process. So don’t be a stranger!
Just keep it simple, and authentic, and YOU.
Here are a few keys to branding your business so you can build those relationships more quickly:
1. Have a professional headshot taken to use in your marketing materials. This doesn’t have to be in a corporate power suit, but it should be a professional, ‘non-candid’ photo of you that represents the polished professional image that you want to put out to the world. Your photo can be indoors or outdoors, but be sure it’s in colour. Colour photos appear warmer to potential clients. And smile! Here are some tips if you aren’t sure how to prepare for a headshot.
2. Have an About page on your website. Put your picture on it and tell people who you are and why you do what you do. Be personal and share what you like to do when you are not working. Nothing builds a relationship faster than people being able to identify with you – and this is a great place to do it. Incorporate your brand onto your other pages too – make sure that the feel from page to page is consistent from fonts to bullet point images, and pictures.
3. On your social media profiles, use your personal photo as opposed to your business logo where possible. The exception would be your Facebook fan page, if you have one. There you could use your logo as a profile picture – that will actually differentiate you from your business if you post from both places, and you are connected to people with both. For others, it’s up to you whether you use the same image on all profiles, but keep in mind that people can ‘recognize’ you if they see the same photo in various places.
4. Use video in your marketing. Eeek, what did she say? Put yourself on camera and start talking about your area of expertise. People identify with you more quickly when they can hear your voice and see you talk. It’s getting more common to see video all over the internet – and one of the cool things about it is that you can not only put yourself in your videos, but if you use something like YouTube to broadcast, you can edit your videos so that you can incorporate your logo and your business brand colours and images into them.
Branding doesn’t have to be something that stops you in your tracks. The advice is simple. Put yourself out there. Be consistent in all of your marketing efforts to present yourself so that people can get to know you more quickly, and can start to build that relationship with you. Be honest and authentic.