Have you called yourself recently? On all of your phones? If not, it’s a fast find and fix to improving your brand impression.

How do I know this? Because I was grossly guilty of phone message neglect.

Fortunately, I have good friends who tell me the truth.  Here’s a recent call I received.

“Hey Karen, Ms. Branding Diva your phone message stinks. It’s too long, you sound like you are in a tunnel under ground and teetering on having a bad day.”

She was right. This was a big disconnect from who I am and what my brand stands for. Here’s the really sad part, it’s been like that for a year, YIKES!

Five simple tips to a better telephone branded signal.
1) Be clear – Always state your full name.
2) Be brief – In our fast paced and busy world, short and to the point are best.
2) Have tone – Include some branded attitude, for me it’s energy and confidence.
3) Be current and relevant – Keep things fresh, consider changing your message with the seasons, the months or for no reason at all.
4) Provide a clear call to action – What do you want the caller to do? Leave their name and what they need? Or even better their American Express number? 😉
5) Manage expectations – If you can’t check messages for along period of time, provide a timely route to you, request a text message or email from the caller.

Don’t ever, ever use the default, computer message. That clearly communicates nothing except you are unprofessional or so unorganized you can’t find the time to set up.

Bottom line, your phone message is often the first impression a new contact has with you. Make it a great one. And it does not hurt to make sure your visible phone and accessories are on board with your brand too. It’s all part of the personal branding package.

Still don’t have a smart phone? It’s 2012. Plus, being a tech dinosaur is no marketing edge.

And if bold styling is part of your image, consider a retro hand set (like pictured above) to plug into your iPad, iPhone or other smart phones and a cool, matching phone protector. I’ve usually sport the Branding Diva® red set —phone case, handset and fire engine hot lipstick.  It’s an excellent conversation starter at coffee shops and airport lounges, after all that’s where new business often starts.

Got to go catch a call! Talk soon! Brand on!