Why is it important for your company to build a brand? Because building a brand means building a reputation people can trust. And when your business has a good reputation people will buy your products and recommend your services.
But building a brand isn’t just useful for companies. It’s important for the people behind the business to build their brands as well. After all, they’re the ones selling products, writing content, cultivating relationships, and growing the business.
This is especially true for new companies that haven’t been around long enough to establish themselves in the marketplace. Business owners and founding teams with strong personal brands can help generate buzz and propel a startup into the spotlight.
Here are a few examples of successful personal brands that have done just that:
Dave Ramsey is a man and a business. He helps people with financial planning. One way he has created a personality is by sharing his own story about how he had to declare bankruptcy and decided to finally live debt-free.
Ramsey gives talks around the country and hosts a radio show. He doesn’t vary from his advice or the way he gives it, making him instantly recognizable anywhere he’s seen or heard.
Elizabeth Monarch runs The Elizabeth Monarch Group, where she sells homes in the Kentuckiana area. She hosts a radio show, which allows her to showcase her expertise in real estate matters and bring in new clients to her agency.
Monarch branded herself as an authority, making sure you make a wise investment and get the financing you need.
Search for the term “marketing,” and you’re almost certain to come across Neil Patel. He has established himself as an authority in this area, and you’ll see his articles on a wide variety of sites.
Patel also puts out a podcast and gives various interviews throughout the year. There is no denying he knows a lot about marketing and staying on top of his game is likely what drove him to the success he’s had.
But What About You?
How are you going to bring your own personal brand to life in a way that will help you grow your business? It all starts with being yourself and telling your story.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Don’t Wear a Mask
In other words, be yourself. The best personal brands come from telling an authentic story. The ‘fake it til you make it’ mantra is dead. Your background is what makes you unique from every other brand out there, so dig into the details and don’t be afraid to divulge the difficulties you’ve encountered and overcome.
Everyone knows Elon Musk had multiple failures in his attempt to commercialize space travel and other high tech endeavors. It shows his persistence and is part of his overall tale.
Don’t think you have any “huge” success stories to tout? Then you should embrace being the underdog and just share your real experience. Be human and people will relate.
Honesty leads to trust and trust is the cornerstone of every strong brand.
2. Look Alive
Now that you know who you are, it’s time to present yourself to the world. This means developing a well-designed brand identity for yourself just like you would for a business. You’ll need to create a professional social media presence and personal website with thoughtful on-brand content.
Even the colors you choose are important. Every shade has an emotional impact on users. Choose the ones that make the most sense of the image you want to present and use them in your logo, website design, and social media profiles.
3. Be Consistent
Once you’ve developed an identity, make sure you present that image consistently across different places where you appear. If you have a tagline, use it whether you are on television, radio or in an online interview.
Use the same logo and colors on your website, on social media, when you send out an email and for printed materials.
4. Embrace a Cause
At the core of your being, what do you care most about? If it is ensuring children have something to eat when they leave school for the day, then throw your name, time and money behind a program that offers evening meals for youth.
You should never take on a cause to build your brand or gain exposure for yourself, but that does happen organically.
5. Set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
It’s a little difficult to measure how well your personal branding performs, so it’s important to set some KPIs and track how well your efforts work. You could set a KPI of getting a certain number of conversions to your newsletter from website visitors.
This shows you are targeting the right audiences, and they’re interested in more of what you have to offer. There are numerous measures showing how well your name recognition grows, so choose the ones that matter most to you.
6. Team Up With Influencers
Influencers have also built their own personal brand, so teaming up with them can help accelerate your growth. Talk to them about the things they’ve done to become more recognizable in their niche and ask for ideas of what you can do to become better known.
Strive toward gaining insights from each person you work with who has a recognizable name.
7. Share Knowledge
One of the fastest ways to establish yourself as an expert is by sharing specialized knowledge you have about a topic. Write a blog, answer questions posted in forums, go on a radio show and share that information in as many ways as possible.
Provide your customers, partners, and followers with value is the fastest way to raise your personal brand from the dead.
Build You, Build Your Brand
As an entrepreneur, you are the face of your business. Spend time building up your personal image and showing why you’re an expert, and your company will benefit in the process.
Look for as many opportunities as possible to get your name out there, and never turn down an invitation to speak, appear or write unless it would negatively impact your image. Personal branding takes time and effort but is worth the investment.
Editor’s Note: The article is part of the blog series Grow Your Business brought to you by the marketing team at UniTel Voice, the virtual phone system priced and designed for startups and small business owners.