12 Solid Tips for Successful Personal Branding
As an entrepreneur, you need to focus on branding. You brand your company so that people know exactly what your company can do for them and how well. At the same time, you need to brand yourself so that people know with whom they are doing business. Personal branding requires time and effort; you can find the why and how here, so you can do it right from the beginning.
In this blog, I will first examine more closely why it is important for an entrepreneur to focus on personal branding. Then, I will list twelve tips that will help the entrepreneur build a personal brand.
What is personal branding and why should an entrepreneur focus on it?
Jayson Demers explains personal brands as a collection of characteristics and traits that constitute a unique identity and generate popularity. People with strong personal brands are more visible, more popular, and more authoritative.
If used in conjunction with a corporate brand, personal brands can earn you a host of benefits, such as trust: people trust other people more than they trust corporations. When they read content written and promoted by a person, they are more likely to believe its sincerity and importance than when that same content is pushed by a business attempting to generate a profit.
Jonathan Long claims that consumers want to hear the story behind the founders: the failures, struggles, and the success. This means putting yourself out there and marketing yourself in addition to your business.
Mike Wood agrees. He says that in today’s competitive business environment, it may seem nearly impossible to stand out. Still, many people have managed to step out of the shadows by opting for personal branding. He defines personal branding as the method of marketing yourself and your career to improve relationships with managers, colleagues, and clients. Turning yourself into a brand helps you manage how you are viewed and how much trust you can establish in your career. It involves creating a distinct voice, image, and ethical standard.
Personal branding: how to build your personal brand
How can you create a personal brand that can support and complement your corporate brand? I have compiled a list of twelve tips that I have found when reading Wood’s, Demers’s, and Long’s articles. You will first find general tips and then some tips that center around social media, which is an essential tool in establishing your personal brand.
1. Personal branding: develop a strong value proposition
Every major company has a value proposition and you should too. What makes you, as a person, attractive to potential customers or clients? What is it that makes you special? Why should someone work with you? Once you have this established, make sure your audience knows what it is.
2. Understand your industry inside and out
Your business is only as good as the people running it, yourself included. It is important that you understand your industry inside and out. This means staying up to date on latest trends, breaking news, and your competition.
3. Become a thought leader
If you have followed the previous tip, you can aim for thought leader status by writing articles or participating in interviews. A portfolio of helpful information and advice will enable that status.
4. Be visible and accessible
You cannot hide in your office behind your computer and expect to build a personal brand. You need to get out and make yourself visible and accessible. Attend industry conferences, even if it is just to network and socialize. Make your social media profiles open to the public and allow incoming messages. Hold live video Q&A sessions on social media and interact with your followers. The more visible and accessible you make yourself, the stronger your personal brand.
5. Personal branding: practice two-way networking
Rather than focusing on your own needs and ignoring those of the other person, focus on two-way beneficial networking. Make sure to give the other person an opportunity to benefit from the relationship as well. This approach will help you secure more connections and opportunities, which will all contribute to strengthening your personal brand.
6. Maintain a detailed database of contacts
As your personal brand grows, so will your list of contacts. It is important that you keep a detailed list of all your contacts: who the person is, where you connected, potential opportunities, and how you can help them. It can be referenced when you have an opportunity. Your relationships will become much stronger and beneficial when you approach a contact with an opportunity that helps them without asking for anything in return.
7. Give back
Giving back can help you build your personal brand. Whether it is donating money to a charity or volunteering your time to a cause, this type of deed can benefit your personal brand. You can highlight your charitable deeds on your website and even issue press releases to attract positive attention. People remember selfless acts.
8. Show the real you on social media
Do not use social media as a 100 percent marketing channel. It is fine to throw an offer out there or promote your company occasionally but focus on showing the real you. If you come across as a robot or unauthentic, you will push people away. Consumers love to see the other side: what you do on the weekends, where you eat, what your hobbies and interests are, etc. This makes you appear more human, which attracts more people to you.
9. Get involved in groups and conversations
If you want to grow your personal brand’s visibility, you need to do more than simply write and promote content. You need to get involved with other individuals, so they can see and appreciate your content. The best ways to do this include getting involved with groups, which you can easily find on LinkedIn, or by engaging in conversations, which are easy to find on open public platforms like Twitter.
Look for topics relevant to your area and expertise and get involved with comments, answers to questions, and even some questions of your own. It is a good way to build your presence and reputation at once.
10. Follow new people
Go out of your way to follow new people; it is a good way to get their direct attention. However, it’s inadvisable to follow total strangers; instead, follow people once you have had an interaction with them.
11. Engage with your followers
It is not enough to attract followers to your personal brand; you also have to keep them interested in you. Continuing to produce and promote content is a good start here, but it is better to interact with your followers directly.
Give them rewards for following you, such as discounts or special promotions, and make sure to respond to all their comments and questions.
12. Strengthen the ties between personal and corporate
Eventually, you will also want to strengthen the ties between your personal and corporate brands. Occasionally, toss in a promotion of your corporate brand, and remind your followers where your allegiance lies.
Personal branding: branding professional as entrepreneur
If you are an entrepreneur and just starting to learn about branding, it may be a good idea to read about how to brand your company as well. While quality, cost, and execution play a role in a customer’s decision, trust remains the key way to win the sale. Branding is an essential part of winning trust, so make sure to do it right from the start of your company. In my blog ‘How to Be a Branding Professional as an Entrepreneur,’ you can find twelve branding tips as well as seven tips for brand consistency.
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