Many small business owners underestimate the power of brand building. Personal branding allows you to stand apart from the crowd, and it’s a powerful tool for growing your business.
And here’s the best part about it: You can use your personal brand to grow multiple businesses at the same time, or even transfer it from one business to the next, in case your current venture doesn’t work out.
With the widespread adoption of social media and mobile internet, it has become easier and cheaper than ever to develop your own brand and leverage it to increase the visibility of your business, gain customer trust, and forge new partnerships.
A strong personal brand is an efficient way to grow your business. Below we’ve gathered 4 tips that help small business owners accomplish this without getting overwhelmed.
Create your personal brand statement
You’ve already done this with your business, now it’s time to do it for yourself. It may be tempting to jump right in and build your website and profiles, but that’s a mistake. Don’t put the cart before the horse, instead take some time to reflect on the core of your personal brand now to help yourself later. Your personal brand statement is a one-sentence catchphrase that describes who you are and what you do. This succinct description of you should explain your mission and encourage people to ask more questions.
How do you get to that one sentence? Well, think about these things and take notes:
How do you want people to perceive you? What do you want them to think about when they think about you? Do you want to be known for having a specific skill or expertise? Are you a marketing guru or a small business expert?
Write down the words and phrases that best describe you, especially the ones that are related to your business, industry, and skills. Include how your colleagues would describe you. How do people benefit from your presence in their team or workplace?
Also, include your credentials, goals, values and special skills. Think about what kind of roles you’re comfortable with. Are you an entrepreneur? A manager, team leader, or a business owner? It’s just like developing a character for a movie or a novel.
Be as detailed as possible. This will help you get a clear idea of how to present yourself to your target audience.
Now you can begin distilling all of that down into a sentence, (or two).
Establish channels to connect with customers and clients online
Now that you’ve created your own personal brand statement, it’s time to really get your hands dirty with personal branding. Start by creating (or optimizing) your profiles on major networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And if you don’t have one already, build your personal website.
You want people to connect with you, get to know you better. So display your name, a professional photo, and short bio, (about who you are, what you do and how you can be helpful), prominently on your website. Ensure that you mention your skills and accomplishments in your bio, and portray yourself as an expert at what you do.
Make sure that:
-Your name is consistent throughout
-You include a version of your personal brand statement
-The profiles are optimized for search engines
By building these profiles and a website, you create hubs of information about yourself while showing customers that a real person runs your business. This also shows that you’re accessible. Establishing platforms to connect with customers and clients online shows that you want to engage with them and helps establish a sense of trust. This is one of the most fundamental things you can do when it comes to growing a small business with your personal brand. Your clients not only need to trust your company – but you! Your customers and clients need to trust that what you are selling them is safe and effective, that they will receive your product or services when you say they will, that your employment practices are honest, and that this exchange is secure. By cultivating your presence on social media and building an active website, you establish trust via transparency with customers.
Tell your story
The most memorable personal brands are the ones that have mastered the art of storytelling.
People are always interested in knowing the story behind your journey. What brought you here? What challenges did you face on the way and what did you learn? Who do you look up to? What do you believe in?
Also, don’t be afraid to share behind-the-scenes stories about yourself. Do you love Game of Thrones? Are you learning how to play the saxophone? Share it. Your audience will be happy to know that you’re a human, just like them.
Write about your entrepreneurial experiences and publish them on your website/blog, as well as promoting them on your social media profiles. However, while doing so, it’s important that you don’t appear to be all over the place. This brings me to my next point:
Provide a consistent experience to everyone, no matter how you interact with them (via social media, email, office, networking events, phone, etc). When they repeatedly come across the same personality, it will become easier for them to recognize and recall you.
Use the same name (spelling and case), profile photo, and bio everywhere, whether it is your own site, blog, external sites, social media platforms, business directories, or online listings.
Position yourself consistently. For example, if you describe yourself as a small business expert, do so on all websites and forums.
It takes time and effort to build a personal brand—the trick is to be useful and consistent. As you develop your brand, you’ll discover new opportunities and realize that you’re able to grow your business by simply being yourself.
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