Category Archives: Branding

mDimitry: Branding Yourself by Doing

I recently spent some time on the phone with my friend Alex from That One Adventure Couple.  We spent about 40 minutes talking about branding and marketing. The focus of our conversation came down to this next idea. You need to develop your brand by doing the things for which you want to be known.

mDimitry’s Branding Strategy in 5 steps.

1. Know Thyself:

The first step in trying to get yourself to be known is to know yourself. You can’t expect others to recognize you if you don’t know what your goals and dreams are in life. So some soul searching is a must. What is it you are trying to do?

First of all, it’s ok if you aren’t sure exactly what you are about- as long as you are doing some deep searching and exploration. I recently talked about the direction I want to go with my blog (see mDimitry: Yourself as a Business.) A lot of that is me saying I’m planning on learning by shifting my view of myself from a person to business.

Therefore, I’ve pulled examples from the past where I was successful and trying to bring those lessons to my world today.  It’s fumbling- or also known as experimenting with an eye on the past.

My facebook page Dimitry Sells Cars is a bit better. The title says a lot. The main job I have is selling cars- therefore it’s a page for me being a car salesman. Trying to stick to a pretty narrow set of things I put out keeps me from getting distracted and on point. I talk about personal accomplishments as a car salesman. Recently I started doing car walk around videos. I show happy customer photos. It’s a pretty 2-dimensional page- and seem to be working.

In conclusion- You have to try and figure yourself out. On that note, to know yourself is to watch yourself grow. I recommend having a blog, or even a private journal, to keep track of who you are. As you write, learn, you’ll better understand what it is to be your brand.

2. Know your Audience:

Since you’ve figured yourself out (I’m kidding, you’ll never actually have yourself figured totally out, step one is an ongoing process)- you need to understand your target audience.

This is pretty tough if you haven’t figured out who you are- but it is still doable. I’ve managed to do two things that have helped me understand a bit better what is my audience. First- I have been attentive to my analytics programs. People who look at your stuff are your audience. This works only if you are generating traffic. Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and other things along those lines have been very helpful. Seeing the numbers roll in from one thing vs another is one way can tell you a lot.

Seeing the numbers roll in from one thing vs. another is one way can give you a lot of information. Interests, what they engage with, and where they spend their time. How they move through your site. It’s pretty impressive.

The second one is to pursue a particular group of people. For example, on my Dimitry Sells Cars page, my major target audience are former clients of mine. It doesn’t matter if they don’t follow me- I still want to cater to them. I try and post their pictures. I try to find their accomplishments and celebrate them. If they run a business- I try to promote them. The goal of the page is client retention- so I try to do stuff geared at them.

To wrap it up- you have people looking at your stuff, and then you have the people you want to look at it. Try and figure out a way to make both those groups happy.

3. Put the Two Together

To wrap it all up, you have to figure out a way to position yourself in a way that fulfills the needs of your people. To do the positioning- you have to know who you are and what you have on offer. You have to know how that relates to your audience. And then you have to figure out how to do it.

For example- I know that one of the reasons my clients at Dick Hannah came to our dealership is because we have a “Belive in Nice” policy.  We’re supposed to treat everyone like they are a much-loved family member.  Therefore I try and be nice. Being nice happens to also one of those things I believe in personally as well. In the past, I’ve been known to volunteer at various organizations. One of my favorite organizations is Share Vancouver. 

Consequently- when they were looking to promote the belief in nice policy-I had the opportunity to participate. Check it out:

I’ve taken this- and posted it on Dimitry Sells Cars page, and now I’ve talked about it here. I’ve used it for my Instagram, and LinkedIn as well. It’s all over the place.

So- what do you guys think? Probably, you have your thoughts? Any extra advice you’d give my readers? How has this helped you?

mDimitry: Branding Like a Boss

Have you ever given someone some advice- but really meant it to be pointed at yourself. I recently talked to one of my friends, Michael Lindberg, at the rock climbing gym about branding- and told him to “Just do it” in reference to putting himself out there more often. He did that next day. Check out his Instagram.

If you follow me Dimitry Sells Cars you’ll see that I have been growing. I’ve been posting a ton, but this month I pulled back a bit of my budget. I have been trying to do things a little bit more organically. More posts- adding money only if they appear to be getting traction. I did also have a long-term ad campaign with the walk around videos that Dick Hannah Volkswagen did for 4 VW models. If you haven’t- watch these videos below: 2017 VW Golf Alltrack with Dimitry Makhanov

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan with Dimitry Makhanov

2017 Volkswagen Passat with Dimitry Makhanov 

2017 Volkswagen Jetta with Dimitry Makhanov

I’ve had some mixed results. Overall my page is growing. I think it’s easy to really get super excited about how much. I mean- take a look at all the green numbers!

Stats for Dimitry Sells Cars from Mar 31, 2017 – Apr 27, 2017.

But I’m not satisfied. The numbers look great- but I’ve only had had 2 concrete appointments from this effort this month. 5 Prospects- but only two people showed up. Who knows how many other people see this effort and are thinking to themselves – maybe soon I’ll need a car and I’ll reach out to this guy. I know I need to build better sales funnels- In fact, I’ve worked a little bit with Steven Howsley of Begin a Brand.  He’s been helping me develop audience groups for my videos.

So- what’s the point of all this struggle. Why the Title- Branding like a Boss. How does this help me as a reader? I see you are working on… something? The idea behind branding is to associate yourself with some task or product. I happen to sell cars. I want people to know that I sell cars- so that I can sell more of them. The goal is to build Brand Awareness, which then leads to… Leads. I turn those Leads into sales- which then turn into loyal repeat customers.

Building Brand Awareness to build Leads, Sales, and Loyalty

In this effort- what seems to be working for me.

  1. Consistency. I am posting on my facebook page 1-3 times a day.2

  2. Persistence. I don’t stop. It sounds like consistency- but it’s not. If something doesn’t work- it doesn’t mean you should stop doing it all together. Just try and learn what you need to from it.

  3. Humility. Don’t worry about what it will look like if you don’t get it right the first time- or someone gives you a negative response. You are learning- and have a long way to go. In fact- if you get a negative response- ask for advice for next time. Ask for help.

  4. Having fun. I am trying to gamify this whole process for myself. Yes- it is how I’m trying to grow my business, but it’s fun to try and out do yourself. I got 50 new followers in my last 28 days. The time before that I only got 16. That’s huge. Now I have to get 100 this time around? Setting

  5. Set goals. I got 50 new followers in my last 28 days. The time before that I only got 16. That’s huge. Now I have to get 100 this time around? Why not 150?

  6. Don’t forget the point- branding is to help you build leads- not make sales. Actually forgetting to do the sales part is something you can fall into. I have actual leads and existing business I can lose track of if I spend too much time playing around with this ‘branding campaign.’ Never lose track of your existing business.

  7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. People love helping people. I’ve been working a bit with Steven– If you need help branding- try him. Or ask me. I have lots of cool connections.

  8. Build out new stuff- especially if you found it worked out in the past in other endeavors. I’m about to start a new Instagram and follow my old guide on How to Build an Instagram Following. On that note- Please Follow my new Instagram.