What could creating a personal brand do for you and your business?
Have you ever thought about leading your business from the front by creating a personal brand? Although building a personal brand is another time-consuming project to add to your already bulging to-do list, there are some powerful reasons for taking on the extra work.
5 ways a personal brand can boost you and your business
Here are some of the main ways a personal brand can add value to your business and to your personal reputation:
Every successful business offers something special to help it stand out from the competition. If you are struggling to compete on cost, quality or customer service, a strong personal brand could be the USP you need.
It is difficult (though not impossible) for customers to build an emotional connection with an inanimate product or faceless service. A personal brand, on the other hand, gives people a real person with which to develop that 'know, like and trust' factor.
A business owner who wants to establish themselves as a thought leader or social media influencer in their industry needs a strong personal brand. By building their reputation, they may even be invited to comment in the media or attend presentations.
This in turn can lead to even more social media engagement, better quality backlinks to their website and higher positioning in search engine results.
A powerful personal brand enables a business owner to stamp their own indelible mark on a company. This can be passed down through the business's culture from generation to generation. Establishing a legacy may be important to those business owners who have strong ethical or social values.
Compatible businesses whose owners have strong personal brands can get together and create exciting partnerships based on shared goals and values.
4 signs of a strong personal brand
What are the telltale signs of a strong personal brand? Here are some factors the most well known business personalities have in common:
Like all strong brands, the best personal brands are consistent across different platforms..
As the face of your business, your customers will gradually learn what to expect when they read your articles or watch your videos. Anything which contradicts their expectations will confuse them and threaten their loyalty. For example, you wouldn't expect to see Elon Musk presenting an insurance commercial or Richard Branson scowling into a camera.
Although we are all one of a kind, some people struggle to harness what makes them special. Those who can leverage their unique identity can quickly establish a personal brand to give them an edge over the competition.
What makes you different from every other person in your field? What do your colleagues say about you? How can you work with that information to establish your brand?
Although it can be tempting to create an alter-ego as a personal brand, this is unlikely to be successful in the long-term. It is much easier to be yourself than to keep up a fake persona.
People with powerful personal brands rarely sit on the fence and often have strong opinions over certain industry issues. Business owners should be careful about using their personal brand as a general soapbox though. Strong opinions can sometimes turn off otherwise interested customers.
More personal brand building tips
If you do decide to start building your personal brand, here is some more advice:
- Take a good quality headshot to use as your online avatar in newspaper columns, on business cards and anywhere else you publicise yourself.
- Reserve your name as a domain name and use this for your blog or website (e.g. www.yourname.co.uk)
- Perform a Google search on your full name. This will highlight your existing personal brand and whether you need to put more content out there.
- Contact newspapers, industry magazines, radio stations and other media. Offer to write a column or host a slot.
- Are there aspects of your clothing, appearance or hairstyle that stand out. Consider accentuating them and using them in your branding.
Some business owners are content to let their business brand do the selling, focusing on pulling the strings from behind the scenes. But for those who can engage with their audiences on a more personal level, investing in building a strong, personal brand can be the key to unlock their business's full potential.