A personal brand can open a lot of doors for a business owner. Whilst some people will seize any opportunity to share their story, some prefer to keep it under wraps and stay behind the scenes. There are those that just haven’t considered how much of an impact their personal brand can be and what it involves to take your place as an authoritative figure within your industry. When done right, it can get you in front of your target customers, help to establish partnerships, bring you closer to collaborations, and even catch the eye of an investor or two. As someone who has created a personal brand, I can tell you how much of an impact it can make, whether it’s by telling people your business’s origin, networking to generate good PR or putting yourself forward for industry awards. Building your personal brand is something that will propel you and your business to new heights.
The goal is to get to a place where you aren’t always looking to be included but instead, people are approaching you for opportunities. So, just how do you do that? Here’s how to capitalise on the power of the personal brand…
Don’t let fear be your barrier
Whilst it will depend on the industry, type and the individual owner how advantageous it is to be at the front of the business, it’s always beneficial to know the person behind the brand. Fear can play a huge part in why people choose to shy away from promoting themselves but your story is a motivating factor for your audience. Some fear their struggles or background may negatively impact them and it can be easy to take things personally when it comes to personal brand but you will face setbacks and it’s important to be able to handle them and come back stronger. Failing is a lot less frightening than never trying at all and even the most successful people start out with a failure. It takes trial and error but people identify with those who make mistakes because it strikes as being more authentic, genuine and human. So share your story as much as you can and harness your unique selling point – You!
Tell your story and be genuine
Building an authentic brand involves your personal story and how that influenced the start of your business. By communicating your journey into your business you create a selling point that people can identify with. Ask yourself how your personal journey from day one feeds into these three key areas – Why do you do what you do? What do you stand for? What values drive you and why? These questions will highlight your successes, challenges and most importantly, your authenticity, which builds trust and credibility. People buy from people, not companies so sharing your story allows your audience/client/customer to connect with you and understand your reason for being. If they understand that they will believe in your product and that it comes from a genuine place. This is especially important if you are in a service-based business that relies on the strength of your connection with your client. If clients don’t understand what your story is or the motivating factor, how can they buy into it?
Get yourself out there and be intentional
A solid personal brand is the difference between being just another business owner and being someone people want to work with, invest in and buy from. It will also help you to become a leader in your field and consistently secure the type of opportunities that will propel your career. One of the best ways to boost your profile is to participate in industry awards, whether it’s by being nominated by someone else or putting yourself forward for them. If you want to start off small, try attending a few national events, sitting on guest panels or talking on your local radio station but don’t be afraid to go big with an international podcast or an appearance on TV. Be sure to actively seek relationships and take advantage of every opportunity that is right for and benefits you. If you aspire to be a notable brand, do everything with conviction and channel big business energy. If the energy doesn’t match the brand, it won’t align and people won’t believe in it.
Maintain your relationships
Developing connections with others is important but maintaining them is crucial. This goes for your target audience as well as other industry figures and entrepreneurs. Building a strong network increases your visibility, credibility, and helps to establish you as an expert in your field. Working with others provides a platform for you to promote yourself and create a community that others want to be part of. There will be others who have shared experiences or who have faced the same challenges as you who can support you. This can be great for personal development but also for collaborations and PR opportunities. This will work both ways so have a good attitude and be prepared to help others. With a personal brand, it is your reputation on the line so whilst you don’t have to give everything, make sure you are having a positive impact. If you hit the right note within your industry and nurture your relationships you will ensure your business has longevity and your brand, a lasting legacy.