Building a business brand is necessary as you develop and grow your business, but have you considered your own personal brand? It is a must in the digital world, making it imperative to ask these questions: What are you associated with? What do you stand for? What do you represent? With the answers to these questions you can build your personal brand.
Entrepreneur Magazine puts it best: “A strong personal brand that dovetails seamlessly with a business has the power to turn customers’ perception into profits.”
Big businesses often shirk the responsibility of managing a personal brand but small business owners can’t afford to; this is a crucial step in developing sound business strategies. By defining yourself as the face behind the business, your business creates greater brand loyalty and builds more meaningful customer relationships, thereby growing your business.
The building of your personal brand begins by defining your core values and goals – as an entrepreneur, not as a business. Build your personal brand from the ground up, using these values as the framework.
Identify your talents, expertise and passions and find ways to promote these alongside your business image. Consider building a personal website, or contributing a personal blog post to your company’s website. Never underestimate the importance of the “About Us” or bio sections of any promotional channel.
When it comes to social media networking, like LinkedIn and Twitter, remember to be purposeful with what you share. Each and every post is identified with your personal and business brand. Be selective and seamlessly tie personal and professional goals when developing and sharing content.
Do your research and find out how others currently perceive you. Ask co-workers and colleagues to define you with a few adjectives. Take notes and keep track of these terms – examine them. Are these accurate with the brand you are building? If not, how might you change this to give a clear picture of your personal brand that complements your company brand?
Monitor your progress regularly throughout the year, noting changes and making the adjustment necessary for your brand’s enhancement.
In building your personal brand, it is critical to manage the assets that represent you, those tools being used to communicate your brand to your audience.
These assets are both in person and online. Online assets include your LinkedIn profile, Twitter handle, Facebook page, website, blog and bios. In person (offline) is simply traditional mediums – business cards, brochures, newsletters or company profile information. Manage your assets and ensure they complement one another to assure your long term success.
Once you have established a personal brand, continue to grow and change it as you grow personally and professionally. Continue to develop your personal brand in the same way you would your business plan.