With 25+ years of experience, Cindy Tonkin has helped many consultants get their businesses off the ground. She has written an 11 book series called the Consultant’s Guide (the first book in sold 5,000 copies in the first year), has provided advice to consultants working at top corporate companies like Telstra and CBA and has tons of great resources and templates for getting started on her website. But, her tips and tools today can help anyone looking to build their personal and business brand both on and offline.
YOU ARE YOUR BRAND!
As a consultant, you are your brand! Here are a few tools and tricks for making sure you present yourself in the right way to clients.
You don’t need a website straight away. Instead I recommend utilising LinkedIn as your “website” because it’s free and doesn’t require any development. Just make sure your domain name (both personal and business) direct there.
If you insist that you want a website, Wordpress is a free option. Again just make sure you’ve purchased your own domain names (your name and business).
Now that people can find you on the Internet, make sure when they Google you, you like what they find. BrandYourself.com is a great tool making you standout in search (and suppressing any negative results).
So, you look great online - time to make sure the face matches the profile. I highly recommend a session with Vivienne from Image by Design. The sooner the better as you could miss out on opportunities if you have the wrong look. For example, if you are courting small business but dressing corporate you might lose the deal. Or if you don’t look like you’re worth $1000/hour you won’t get hired at that rate. She’ll help you sort out clothes and accessories and even fix you up with a photographer and location if you need professional photos done.
Finally you can tie it all together, with your business cards and letterhead. I love Fiverr for this because you can commission three separate designs from three different designers for $15, pick one and move on. Don’t get hung up on your logo. It’s not what sells you so if you are worried just do your name, email and phone and call it a day. Very important! Make sure you get your business card printed on good quality cardstock - at 110 GSM or higher - the thicker the better. You want it to feel high end.
A big thanks to Cindy for sharing her tools for building your personal and business brand. You can see all of Cindy’s recos here.
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