Branding myself! What on earth is that?

by Ralpapajan

This is one of the words that had me foxed. Here I will try to show you what it means to me and how I am setting out to do it.

Baby steps at Writing Articles and Marketing Online.

What I did when I set out to brand myself.

I am writing this series mainly for myself and, if I help others by lighting a spark or realisationwithin them that would be great. I have found over the years that one learns far more by teaching than by being taught. However, to even start teaching one has to know something, whereas as I am a complete "newbie" at Marketing Online. SoI have substituted the word "telling" for the word "teaching". I hope it works. I certainly have managed to learn something by sharing my experiences on Wizzley.  I am probably doing everything wrong.  Even by sharing these thoughts I am probably breaking some rules of success somewhere.  But this whole thing is a learning curve ~ a journey ~ for me. So whatever I do here under the spotlight or microscope of criticism from my peers will teach me something. And let's face it, I have never seen anyone do what I am trying to do in the way I am trying to do it, if you see what I mean, so this approach could be unique.

So Back to Branding

I asked myself, as directed, the questions ~

 “How do I want to be seen?”, “What image of my online business do I want to create in the minds of potential customers?”

And then I answered myself ~

"I have no idea."

Not an auspicious start.  So I reviewed mentally the different courses I had attempted to follow ~ in many cases written by self-confessed millionaires ~ and tried to see something in common in the advice I had been given.

One point that is summarised by an insightful comment on First Page in this Series and here I quote Dustytoes of Wizzley with my emphasis is this ~

"I think the ones who succeed are the ones who do not ever give up on doing what they enjoy, no matter how long it takes."

Well that made sense. It is what I was always told by all my mentors over the years.  And I did what I enjoyed most of the time.  I enjoyed my early jobs in Insurance with gaps.  In fact, even when doing my last job - one I hated - I did what I could to enjoy it as much as possible.  But I never made any money that stuck.  Not permanently.  

Another point that came to me from the past was this ~ "No matter what you do in life, whether you are a street cleaner or an executive always do what you do do well and always behave with absolute honesty."   

The first point sounds like something from a song by Sonny James.  It may well be for it was told me by my father way back in the 'Fifties.  The second point was also from him at the same time.  It was, in effect his recipe for a successful and enjoyable life.

So now I had three precepts ~

1.  Do what I enjoy doing. So I must NOT try to make money just for the sake of making money ~ as Abraham-Hicks would phrase it - "You are here for the journey enjoy that journey."

2.  Do what I do do well.  Acquire the expertise and then follow my dream using it.

3. I must always behave with complete honesty. This makes absolute sense.  I have always applied this precept and in my successful businesses overseas was known for that trait.  Let's face it, how can I sell a system that professes to set you up fr life on five grand a month if I am not earning that amount, and how and I earn that much if I tell everyone that I am not actually earning that amount but I do know someone who has told me he is?  And that is what many offers one gets online actually do. I once bought a product from an old friend in Australia who told me that I would be able to make as much as he was making and showed me a bank statement.  I was able to make the same as him after five months of trying.  The company went bust and it transpired that no-one had been successful. No-one!  Including my friend.

Where to now then?

I made a list of what I have done in my life that I enjoyed at the time.  I have had an exciting and varied life.  
1.  Soldier ~ Airman ~ Police Reaction Unit. How can anyone really enjoy being a soldier you might ask. However, at the time, after the training was over and I was doing my job in the Army as a Motor Mechanic recovering broken down vehicles - I thoroughly enjoyed it.  In the Air Force as a Camp Commandant looking after logistics, the men's welfare and the security of Forward Air Fields in the Bush - I thoroughly enjoyed it.  In the Police as a Reaction Unit Member looking after my home area and preventing not only Terrorist Incursions but also preventing crime - I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I also became a Pacifist in those days.

2.  Insurance Inspector ~  I was the guy who assessed risks for what is known in South Africa as Fire and Accident and in America as Casualty. It was doing this that I got to see and understand almost every type of industry from the small platers through the textile dyers to the motor assembly plants.  

3. Infrastructure Development Insurance Underwriter ~  I was the guy who takes the risk of damage to roads and bridges, buildings and dams etc. What is not to enjoy.

4. Lecturer at University and a professional Insurance institute. Here I shared my knowledge and gave back some of what I had gained.

5. Researcher and Lecturer for an Association that investigated Religious phenomena and political intrigue.  This gave me an insight into the workings of the ways of the world and influenced my writing.

6. Photographer. Only a keen amateur but this has been a hobby for some years.  

7. Writer. I started writing too many years ago and this is something I have never stopped loving when I am doing it.  

8.  Travel. I have travelled extensively but when I look at a country I see it through different eyes to the normal holiday maker or tourist.  

That seemed quite a long list but then what could I use today to set myself up as an expert in?  

The Military, Insurance, Lecturing are all out of the question.  I no longer enjoy doing any of those.

That leaves Writing, Travel and Photography.  Plus one other that probably occupied more of my time than any other pursuit.  Reading.

So there we have it.  

 “How do I want to be seen?”

As a person who has had an interesting life and wishes to share his experiences nad tell everyone about the books he has written and read.

“What image of my online business do I want to create in the minds of potential customers?”

One that reflects integrity that is open and honest and that customers can rely on when making a choice.  

 To a bug a mountain appears to be a mountain.


 Just as learning any subject can appear impossible to surmount always remember that like the mountain it appears to get smaller as you near the summit.

Updated: 09/15/2011, Ralpapajan
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?

Am I being too open and transparent? Is my approach to this making money online business completely wrong? Will what I have written inspire anyone else? You be the judge ~ but please tell me what you think.

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Ralpapajan on 10/04/2011

This is so true. I cannot recommend anything unless I research it first. I love the way you think.

BarbRad on 10/04/2011

I am too much of an individual to follow any of the "duplicate what I have done" approaches. I have to believe in what I recommend, and even then I tend to think more of the person's true needs more than my desire to sell my product or program. This made me a colossal flop in network marketing, and I suspect several online schemes are just that. Buy my ebook on how to be successful, and then see that it tells you to sell the ebook to others to make that money.

Michey on 09/16/2011

Very good post explaining the means of "branding" which is part of "secret of attraction", we simply cannot do business without it!
Thanks for writing this post.

Penny on 09/15/2011

The trouble with marketing courses by "self-confessed millionaires" is that they seem to assume students already have some knowledge. Also the courses are often a case of, do what I say and did and you will succeed, rather than allowing the students to understand the processes and then follow their own paths. I love that you are putting across the knowledge from a complete beginners point of view and that what you write can apply to anybody wanting to make money from any source.

Ralpapajan on 09/15/2011

Thanks guys. It is super to learn from the Masters. "The chela sits at the Guru's feet," was one of the precepts taught to me by one Barbara Jones when I started Yoga.

barbarab on 09/15/2011

Well I am so glad Chef used your name Rob :) now I know it as well :)
this is such a succinct "telling" of what you are accomplishing and at the same time a mirror image of what all of us 'aspiring to be writers' want to do as well !!! This could be a writing exercise for everyone, in fact I think I will do it as well and save it to my documents...always helps to keep ones goals out there to keep an eye on eh?
thank you Rob!

chefkeem on 09/15/2011

Authenticity is a main ingredient of branding, and you've got lots of it. I think you're on the right path, Rob. :)

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