To keep the ball rolling with the “Branding” theme from last week, I bring you a post from the great folks at Ontraport- the creators of an all-in-one small business management platform that integrates all the software tools an entrepreneur needs to start, systematize, and scale his or her business.
Here’s a shocker: people would rather do business with you than with your company. No matter how well your small business is run, you can get a lot of mileage out of bringing your personal story front and center.
Prospects and customers want to feel connected to your brand and one of the most powerful ways to connect with them is via your story. They want to know what your passions are, what your personality is like and how that impacts the product or service you sell.
Personal Branding isn’t necessarily about creating a brand out of scratch. Rather, it’s about identifying the unique things that make you YOU and packaging them into a story that you can share with the world.
To begin figuring out what story your personal brand should tell, you need to spend some time reflecting on your passions, the values you stand for, your skills, the value you offer, and your unique quirks and trademarks.
How does your personality make the product you offer better than that of your competitors? How did your passions lead to the birth of your business? What personality traits do you have that will echo through all your brand’s messaging, and set the tone for the experience a customer will have with your business?
Once you’ve sat with these questions for a while, and you feel comfortable telling the story of how personality and experiences create the value you have to offer, you’re ready to devise a multi-channel personal branding strategy.
Here is a list of four ways that you can create a compelling personal brand.
How To Create A Compelling Personal Brand
You know that you should have a website for your business. You might want to incorporate the messages you crafted about your personal brand into your pre-existing website. But how about a website for your own personal brand?
This can be effective in scenarios where you want to establish yourself as a thought leader, or where your personal brand is integral to the product you offer, such as coaching, consulting or speaking. Either way, your website should include the following:
- A snazzy logo that visually communicates the character of your personal brand.
- A high-quality, professional photo that shows off your personality and conveys warmth and competence.
- Testimonials and other feedback from people who have worked with you.
Your blog is where you show off the depth of your knowledge in the area where you want to establish your thought leadership. Design elements from your website should also make their way onto your blog, to make sure that the branding message you’re sending is loud and clear.
Make sure and stay current, posting quality content that you created our curated regularly. You can even use a blend of different types of media to create excitement around your blog and keep engagement high.
3. Social Media
Social media is one of the single most important tools for personal branding in this day and age. The way you portray yourself on social media is key to gaining followers and maximizing the visibility of your posts.
The same rule about quality content for blogging applies to social media: make sure you are offering content that is so valuable to your followers that many of them would even want to re-share it!
Speaking gigs are a great way to increase your visibility, establish thought leadership and make new connections.
To help create opportunities for this you should include a video somewhere on your website that demonstrates your speaking abilities and shows off your unique style.
If you feel a bit skittish about public speaking, this is definitely a skill to practice as it will inevitably become more important to your branding efforts the more successful you become.
Now that you have some idea of what personal branding should look like, go out there and get started! It’s not something that you can afford to neglect if you have a small business, and doing it well will only magnify the reach of all your other public relations and marketing strategies.
To get more in-depth advice on personal branding, as well as a worksheet that will walk you through the complex process of finding your story, you can download Ontraport’s free ebook, Leveraging Your Personal Brand to Advance Your Business..