Most entrepreneurs are aware of the significance of building a brand for their businesses. After all, your brand is what sets you apart from the competition. More than just a company name, logo, or slogan, a brand is essentially an impression of what people can expect when they choose to do business with your company. While investing in the company brand is highly recommended, most entrepreneurs overlook the importance of developing a personal brand.
What is a Personal Brand?
Similar to a company brand, your personal brand is how you set yourself apart from other business professionals in your industry. Your personal brand tells who you are, what personal and professional experience you have, and what you bring to the table as an individual. It is essentially your story and the impression it leaves on others. With the right marketing strategy, you can tie your personal brand to your company brand for greater success.
Why Personal Branding is Important?
Some might assume that a company brand is enough (and for some, it may be), however, the most successful brands to date are associated with business leaders who developed a name for themselves as well. Think about it. When you think about Apple products you can’t help but tie it to Steve Job just as Facebook is an automatic reference to Mark Zuckerberg.
Your personal brand connects you to your target audience. Studies have shown that most consumers and investors prefer to do business with brands they feel they can connect and identify with. By sharing your stories, skills, and expertise, you essentially humanize your business opening the doors for you to cultivate stronger relationships, improve your network, and even increase sales.
Ways to Build Your Personal Brand
Now you know what a personal brand is and why it’s important to consider developing yourself as a credible expert in your industry. The question now becomes, how do you get started? Here are some suggestions below:
- Values and Passion – The first step is to sit and think about your values and passions. Your values are your core beliefs and priorities in life. Values help to best explain who you are at your core and what matters to you most. Your passions, on the other hand, are things that you enjoy and desire. They are what drives you, what you’re most enthusiastic about, and what brings you the most joy.
- Develop an Online Presence – Having a strong online presence is the next step to building your personal brand. There are several online mediums you can use to develop your personal brand. Some business execs have a website that shares their personal and professional journey in detail. Social media is another platform individuals use to connect personally with their target audience. Another platform might be web-based search tools like Jim Plante used to provide contact information like a phone number, email address, and social media accounts.
- Generate Content – After defining who you are personally and professionally and developing an online presence, the final step is creating content. From blogs and press releases to podcasts and televised interviews, begin developing a variety of content types to educate your target audience and increase your visibility.
There is no doubt that developing a brand for your small business is imperative to your success. However, in a world where consumers prefer a personalized experience and a deepened connection to the brands they choose to do business with, having a personal brand is essential. Use the above-mentioned ideas to begin developing a personal brand that gives audiences a true glimpse at the person behind the machine.