The business world is a very crowded world. Chances are, that even within your own locality there’s several other businesses doing exactly the same as you.
So, how do you stand out and get noticed? Let’s talk personal branding.
Why Do I Need It?
Building your personal brand is a sure-fire way to build trust with your customers. Done well, it can help you to stand tall over your competitors and get noticed for all the right reasons.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a celebrity or an Instagram influencer to have a personal brand.
What The Devil Is It?
Let’s get this out in the open: your personal brand is NOT your logo – but your business logo
should reflect your personal brand. Your personal brand should encompass everything you and your business stand for: your beliefs, your values, your strengths, and yes, your visuals. Most importantly, it should speak to your target audience.
Let’s suppose you’re looking for a plumber and you find a snazzy website with a chap all suited and booted looking like 007, offering to come and fix your sink. This person hasn’t thought about their personal brand – a tuxedo is not in-keeping with the personal branding you may expect – and relate to – for a tradesman.
How Do I Go About Developing It?
It’s simple really. Be authentic. Tell your story. Let’s face it, if you don’t tell your story someone else will tell it for you – surely you want to be the one to do that? People buy from people, so why hide behind an invisible façade? Personal branding is about putting your face behind your business. It’s also about sharing your knowledge effectively so that you are the first person that springs to mind when someone needs help in your professional specialism.
Sadly, recognition doesn’t happen by magic – you have to work at it. Hence, the importanceof developing your personal brand.
Let’s Get Started!
There are a few crucial elements to consider before you dive head-first into that incredibly crowded ocean. The most unique thing about you is your personality, so it’s a natural place to start. Make a
list of all the personality traits you’ve been noted for and think of ways to harness them into your personal branding. What are your hobbies and interests? Can you link them back to your brand in any way?
Believe in yourself as a brand. When you think of Microsoft, do you think of computers or technology, or do you think of Bill Gates?
Don’t be afraid to show an element of vulnerability. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will give greater credibility to your personal brand. Once you’ve laid down the foundations of your personal brand, you need to think how to reach people. The obvious first step is to think about your website. And yes, it’s time to step outside of your comfort zone!
Now is the time to call in the professionals. Invest in your website – be picky about who designs it for you and avoid the self-build sites like the plague. Google hates them! You’ll also need to think about some outstanding photography. Personal branding is not all about stock photos – it’s about YOU. Any photographer worth their fee will have a full consultation with you before any photoshoot to discover the real you, and what you want to achieve from the shoot. If you work from home, don’t worry. You can think of locations where you want to be photographed and have a fun day out building a bank of images. Please, please, please do not rely on selfies and mobile phone snaps for your website. Writing the copy for your website can be challenging, so maybe consider using a copywriter to capture the real you.
Next up, take a long, hard look at your social media platforms. Where are you posting? Where are your potential clients hanging out online?
Developing a personal brand is a great catalyst for a social media clean up. Scroll back through your posts and get rid of anything that doesn’t align with your new-found brand values.
Create a social media strategy and content calendar so that you know where you are and what you’re doing online. And always remember to ENGAGE! Leave it to the anonymous, faceless businesses to one-way broadcast their content. You want to be known for your approachability and knowledge. And that you care about your audience, their views, and values.
If you need any guidance, Hannah has a wider network of web designers, photographers, copywriters, and social media experts she can introduce you to if all of the above seems a little overwhelming.
Hopefully, you’ve now got an idea as to why your personal brand is important to the success of your business.
Now all you have to do it market yourself – and a great starting point is to book a
Marketing Brainstorm with Hannah to get you on the right track.