What do Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Apple have in common? They are all top brands we can clearly identify. But they didn’t become that way online. They were established long before the advent of the Internet and social media. And today they are still working very effectively building their offline brand.
Just as important as building an online brand, so is building your brand offline. Perhaps even more important. This is because this is how people really see and know you.
Embrace personal interaction; call it networking, call it face-to-face encounters, but however you wish to label it it’s your brand communications. And it’s extremely valuable. While others from all around the world might get to know your brand online, nothing matches the presence of interacting with your brand offline.
Let’s say for instance that I have read all about you online. I have a good idea of your brand. But if I meet you and personally interact with you I will have a much sharper impression of your brand. Putting a face to you and having human interaction will still have a much greater impact than reading works on a screen.
So how do you go about building your brand offline? Begin by getting to know people. Start with those around you. Take an active interest in them. Spend time getting to know them. Ask questions and develop a relationship. This is a form of networking.
Next, expand this network. Join professional associations. Attend meetings, get active, get involved by taking on leadership roles, and make an effort to get to know fellow members. Community organizations and other civic activities are also great sources for building your offline brand.
Include in your personal brand marketing materials your business card. Hand it out when you initially meet someone new. And ask for theirs. This is a great opportunity to send a follow up note or phone call recounting your meeting. This helps seal their memory and impression of your brand.
Also, be consistent. Your brand online and offline should reflect consistency. Your online brand must reflect your offline brand.