Greetings from the great state of Alabama! ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!
I learned from an early age the power and need in branding one’s self and your business! It all started simple enough one day sitting in my cubical at one of the nation’s leading auto finance companies when the phone rang on my desk. On the other end of the line was my dear friend and first mentor Rusty Ansell who requested that I come down to Orlando Florida and speak at the Time Finance Adjusters Trade show. It was during this weekend where I met several men who would become lifelong friends and where it all began for me. During the show I was convinced to leave the corporate world behind and open my own skip-tracing company and was honored to become the first and only skip-tracer to become a member of the organization as well.
I have always said that my success is owed in large part to the advice I have received over the years and the never ending quest for new networking opportunities but had it not been for that one thing that separated me from all the rest in the industry then I may not be here today speaking to each of you.
Anyone who owns a business spends a great deal of time branding not only their company name, but themselves as well. Considerable thought and revenue can go into developing the right logo, company name, letter head and business cards. Many hours and thousands of dollars are typically spent creating a brochure and other forms of advertising, with the expectation that the result will effectively convey to anyone what and who you are at a glance.
We go to these lengths to let the world know that we are experts in our chosen field, so that a client can enjoy a sense of comfort and security in entrusting us with their business. We happily spend all of this time and resources to share our pride in the level of success and knowledge we have achieved in our profession.
Some advance to the next level and join various trade associations within the industry for the opportunity to network and learn from others. Some professionals eventually rise to the top to become board members and advisors to these associations to help the industry brand itself.
I would like you to consider for a moment that your brand is not just a logo or a company name; it is YOU! And the brand follows you wherever you go, and whatever you do. In today’s marketplace, social media is the most cost-effective and perhaps the quickest way to build a following as well as a client base.
Nothing bothers me more than the shock that can follow meeting someone new, holding an engaging conversation and being duly impressed with every aspect of the individual only to find later that the email address on their business card reads something juvenile and ludicrous like hotstuf1978@email…
After spending all of those resources and revenue to build a sterling reputation within the industry, all credibility can vanish with an unprofessional email address, an inappropriate user name, or an ill-advised posting on Facebook. Anyone trying to build a brand could easily buy a simple, yet professional domain name for the few pennies it costs. Now your email can be johnsmith@john smith.com. Remember you are the brand, so you want your domain to reflect who you are and cement your name in the minds of the marketplace.
I love Social Media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google plus, and LinkedIn. I believe they have become an essential element in the promotion of a business, as well as a healthy setting for socialization and enjoyment. A wise business owner will understand the need for saving the pranks and inside jokes for his personal accounts. I have a Facebook account for business and one for personal use for this very reason. Be in control of the image that you want to share with the world and what the world thinks of you remember their perception is your reality. To learn more on how to brand yourself and build your own platform to get noticed may I suggest you read “Platform” by Michal Hyatt you can also read his blog at http://michaelhyatt.com/platform this book changed how I look and do everything!
Follow me down the path to better skip-tracing!
To Rusty Ansell thank you igniting the fuse that started it all!
Alex Price is a nationally-recognized expert on the Art of Skip Tracing and author of Skip Tracers National Certification Program with over 25+ years of experience in skip-tracing, collections and public speaking. Alex began his career with Barnett Bank as a field representative collecting past-due accounts. He then moved to World Omni Finance, where over the next ten years he worked in all aspects of collections and handling the nationwide charge-off skip portfolio.
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