As we all know, your brand is you. It’s what matters in a first impression, it’s what counts on a sale, and it’s what keeps customers coming back.
Maintaining your brand should be top priority as we learned from The Importance of Branding and one of the best ways is to improve your professional image.
Here are 5 ways to improve your professional image and increase your brand equity in the marketplace.
1. Create an Online Professional Profile
Creating an online professional profile is easy and can be a great way to increase business. One of the most common ways is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social network for professionals and a great way to market yourself and your business. After setting up your LinkedIn account, connect with friends and colleagues or join a group like the Arts & Crafts Vendor Group or the Handmade News Group to find likeminded folks and wonderful resources.
Another online solution is to create a Facebook Fan Page for your business. With a fan page, you can promote your products, share images and video and build your fan base to gather feedback and comments on your work…to see a sample, take a look at FineArtTips Fan Page.
The key to creating your professional profile is to share what you’re currently working on…customers and potential customers want to know what you’re creating and how you created it, so share the interesting stories and inspiration for your work. And, don’t forget to proofread!
2. Personalize with a Picture
Personalize your online image with your picture. This isn’t mandatory, but it sure does help to connect your customers to your work. Using a picture of yourself builds a personal connection in the online space just as a handshake does at an art and craft fair. One of the main reasons your customers purchase your work is because of you and your story so personalizing it with your image makes that emotional connection to the customer and the sale a little easier.
3. Share your Portfolio
One of the best ways to sell your work is to share your work. One of the best ways to share your work online is through Flickr as well as your website/store. Offline, a great solution is to create your portfolio with a book through Blurb. Blurb offers a fabulous online publishing service that within days can turn into the perfect portfolio book for you to carry to shows and events to showcase your work.
4. Respond to your Customers
The easiest way to improve your professional image is to respond to your customers. Last month, Ram shared the 5 Reasons to Respond to Your Customers and they are the 5 best examples of how improve your professional image and grow your business. Whether it’s a purchase, a referral, feedback, product return or complaint…respond to your customers with absolute professionalism and they will return.
5. Spread the Word
Spread the word! Make sure you let everyone know that you have your online presence and connect with them. Managing all of these online accounts can take some time so make sure you review Courtney’s post Be Proactive with Your Time Management to ensure that you are organized and efficient while also effective with your connections.
Branding your business starts with you and improving your professional image is a great way to build your brand. And, don’t forget to integrate your online professional profile to the rest of your social media accounts and your website/online store to maximize your brand equity!
Thank you Jason Dirks of Meylah.com for another informative article and for all the useful information you share with us! ~Lori
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