As far as your clients are concerned, you are your company. So doesn’t it make sense to capitalize on whatever it is you bring to the table? Making use of personal branding to promote your business is a great way to take a more active role in its direction and growth.
What Branding Can Do for Your Business
Personal branding is about presenting yourself as an authentic individual, both online and off. By demonstrating transparency and accessibility alongside your expertise, you can:
- enhance your professional reputation,
- express your personal values to your customers, and
- inspire trust in your target audience
All of which is enormously important for your business. Because while statistics show that 91% of customers want the brands they follow to be authentic, the fact is that today’s consumers don’t trust most companies.
Those organizations that really “own” their values, experts say, are the ones that will gain more respect - and enjoy larger profits - going forward.
Benefits of Personal Branding
Long gone are the days when most small business interactions took place locally and in person. But despite the explosion of all-things-internet, digital marketing guru Neil Patel says it’s clear that people still want to do business with people. Not only is word-of-mouth responsible for driving $6 trillion worth of annual consumer spending, it accounts for some 13% of consumer sales.
Crafting a personal brand means promoting your personal strengths and showing people how those strengths will benefit them when they interact with your business. The idea isn’t to communicate your ideas to everyone however, but to gear them specifically toward your target market.
Here are a few ways personal branding can help you:
Building Trust and Credibility: When your words and actions consistently align with your brand, it tells potential customers you can be trusted. That credibility is enhanced every time your business follows through on the value-driven promises you make as an individual.
Staying Focused: Developing a personal brand can serve as an ongoing reminder of what you don’t want for your company. Achieving a clear understanding of your personal goals – and where your innate talents lie – makes it easier to define and stick to your business mission.
Keeping Your Business on Track: Exploring and sharing what’s important to you personally can also help you differentiate between business opportunities and business distractions. You’ll develop a stronger sense of what’s “on-brand” when it comes to new business pursuits, which will ultimately conserve energy, time, and money.
Tips for Building a Personal Brand
It’s important to recognize that personal branding is never about selling: it's about making yourself available to customers and peers. Branding simply can’t happen without cultivating relationships with your core audience. And those connections hinge on communication that’s consistent and clear.
In the same way that differentiation is key for successfully selling your product or service, you should find some way to set yourself apart as you build your personal brand. One way to do that is by showcasing your specialty or area of expertise.
Consider the following questions:
Do you have a skill set that’s not easy to find in the marketplace?
Do you understand and deal especially well with a certain type of audience?
Where do your personal strengths, your customers’ needs, and the way you run your business intersect?
Chances are, your answers to questions like these will align with the reasons you started your business. And if so, this is your opportunity to reveal yourself as the driver behind what your company stands for.
Online Branding Tips
To establish your personal brand, you’ll need to get active on a few social media platforms. You could also consider:
- maintaining a personal blog on your company’s website,
- giving vlogging a try, or
- offering to be interviewed as an industry expert for other companies’ articles and podcasts
In all of this, your goal should be to present yourself as a very human individual with a unique set of perspectives.
Offline Branding Tips
Make a point of projecting a public persona that’s in line with your personal brand. Carry and distribute business cards. Watch for opportunities to interact with or be referred to potential clients. You might also benefit from:
- speaking at local business gatherings,
- pursuing promotion through regional newspapers, and
- volunteering at community events
Regardless of the platform, consistency is key where your brand is concerned. One way to manage your presence in a uniform way is to always use the same logos, headshots, slogans, fonts, and color schemes across websites and printed materials.
Personal branding is largely responsible for what comes to mind when people hear a certain name or see a certain face. So you should start by thinking carefully about how you want yours to reflect on your business.
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