To maximise business potential, it’s vital to portray a personal touch.
Some people believe that once you have developed a business brand nothing else matters. Wrong. It’s also important to develop a personal brand. While your business brand may already be heavily influenced by you, ‘the owner’, the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Here’s why, and here’s how you can build one.
When thinking about personal branding, a good example of this is Virgin and its founder and chief executive Sir Richard Branson. Both names are as famous as each other. And that’s because Branson didn’t hide behind the company name.
Personal branding can be described as the online representation of yourself. This is the image seen by future customers, team members and investors. It remains an essential part of any company, because the world of business trusts people more than it trusts brands and advertising.
It allows even greater opportunities to come your way, which may not have been possible had you relied solely on business branding. Public speaking, sponsorships and partnerships usually happen after the personal brand starts to develop, and will sit nicely alongside business success.
This will also give you a platform to be as authentic as possible, without having to think of the company first ‘ although there are boundaries and it’s not completely plain sailing either. You will need to think about how your online presence affects the company and ensure that it doesn’t have a negative impact. For example, if you disclose strong political views this could damage your audience and associated profits.
Building your personal brand
Develop consistency. This does not simply mean the frequency by which you post information, but also consistency and tone of message. Before you build your brand, think about how you want people to perceive you as a person, leader and owner. And then start working this into your plans.
Start by selecting five adjectives that best describe you. And make certain these are descriptions you will be proud of. Then, make a plan on how you can include each of these into your branding. You need to focus on the ‘why’: Your ‘why’, not the ‘why’ of your business. It must be about ‘your reason’ for doing what you are doing, while developing your niche.
This will add a more personal element to your brand and help others to relate to you. It could be that your business allows you to spend more time with your family, or that it provides you with a platform for giving back to your community. Dig deep to find ‘your why’ and share this with your audience.
Your own expertise and knowledge is incredibly valuable, but may not be reflected through your business. Position yourself as someone who is worthwhile to follow, whether the commodity is knowledge, a sense of community or simply entertainment value.
A personal brand also gives you the ability to pick and choose where you want to build your network. And it isn’t solely based on the best place to find new customers or leads for your business. When building your personal brand, think about the network and audience you want to attract. Where can you find these people and what is the purpose of the community you are seeking to create?
Developing your personality through your brand
Now it’s time to think about how you can bring your personality into the mix. First, you can always share your own stories and experiences. These will provide your audience with some context as to who you are. And don’t be scared to inject a little humour and fun into your posts. This will make you appear more approachable and authentic to your audience. These are good traits to portray online.
Another element is to use ‘your voice’, and specifically tone of voice. When you send out material via your personal brand, make certain it replicates the exact manner in which you would say these words yourself.
This article is no more than a brief description of the importance of developing a personal brand, which will sit comfortably alongside a business persona.
This article was brought to you courtesy of ActionCOACH the world’s no.1 business coaching company.