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Personal Branding: How To Build Your Personal Brand As An Entrepreneur

Personal Branding

As a business person, building a brand should not be limited to your organization or company, it also applies to you- the entrepreneur. Personal branding will help you build a strong brand and connect better with your audience.

When people see you, what is the one thing that comes to their mind? Even when you’ve created a brand for your company that you’re proud of, you should also consider building a personal brand.

See Also: Resources that will help you start, market and grow a sustainable business.

Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don't Have An Idea
Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don’t Have An Idea

Many entrepreneurs hide behind their companies. However, times are changing; a lot of consumers are responding more than ever to entrepreneurs who share their personal lives on social media, and this translates to sales.

Is Personal Branding Important?

In today’s saturated marketplace, a personal brand is the perfect blue ocean strategy that can differentiate your product or service from competitors. Nobody wants their products or services caught up in the crowd without a distinguishing factor. This is what personal branding can do to your organization.

Building a personal brand by promoting yourself is especially valuable in the early stages of company development. Businesses that are seeking niche customers will find a solid personal brand particularly helpful. We can’t overemphasize the importance of a personal brand.

Any business leader or entrepreneur who has plans of positioning their brands and making it top of mind to their ideal customer should embrace personal branding.

Deciding how you want to be perceived by your target audience is integral to your success as an entrepreneur. Consider learning the “hows” of personal branding; develop a personal brand identity. The business landscape is no longer business as usual, especially with the distractions in the market.

Customers buying decision is no longer controlled by features or prices of your product or services anymore. They are now more influenced by your character, integrity, and the personal relationships you build with others.

What Is Personal Branding?

Personal branding is a conscious effort at positioning an individual as an authority in their chosen field of enterprise. In simple terms, personal branding is a combination of activities that will help develop a view that a person wants their followers or marketplace to see.

Gary Vaynerchuk, a serial entrepreneur, and brand strategist says that “your personal brand is your reputation. And your reputation in perpetuity is the foundation of your career.” This means that reputation is also core. You can spend millions on building a personal brand, but if your reputation is not strong, you will be pouring water into a basket.

Additionally, at the core of personal branding is an effort to influence public perception. It is no secret that perception is the core of a brand and personal branding is no different. If you want people to see you in a certain light, you need to influence the way they perceive you.

Why Do You Need To Build A Personal Brand?

The fact remains that an entrepreneur’s or a business leader’s personal brand is an asset to the company. As any company asset, if it is tended to with care, it will bear fruit.

More so, remember people don’t buy from businesses, they buy from people that they like and trust. The game has changed for entrepreneurs and you have to be deliberate about building your brand. This will in turn translate to sales in your organization because buying decisions are not made solely on the basis of the products or services you provide.

Personal Branding: How To Build A Personal Brand

1.) Start With What You Have

Take a cursory look at the different qualities and skills you have. What do you have by default and what are you already known for? If you are a jack of all trades, what stands out? This will help you decide the trait or skill to project.

We all have talents, gifts, and attributes, even in our default state. There’s something positive about you even when you don’t realise it. Capitalise on what you do well and specialise in it.

Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days
Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days

By the way, your specialty does not necessarily have to be exactly the same as that of your company, but it should be related. You want to make sure you fine-tune and prune what you already have. Start with self-evaluation, ponder on what you are already known for.

Don’t stress yourself over what doesn’t come naturally to you, run at your pace, and build your brand from something you are passionate about. You can start with videos, articles, or even podcasts. It will help you reach your audience via social media.

When you are clear on your special strengths, you need to communicate them in a useful and interesting way to people. Create valuable content that projects what you stand for.

See Also: What is your brand saying? Let your brand make a statement.

2.) Have A Social Media Strategy

Social media is an essential tool to propagate your personal brand. You need to first know the kind of audience you want to appeal to. Who are the people you envision to key into your personal brand? Answering this question will help you select the right channel to reach them.

If you are targetting corporate executives, LinkedIn is the place for you, if you are looking for young and forward-thinking millennials, you might want to consider Twitter. For visual content and a diversified set of audiences, consider Instagram.

From Twitter to podcasts, blogs, etc, you must get your voice out there. Secure your URLs, claim your brand names across social media.

Your skill also sets the tone for the channel to use. If you write a lot, Linkedin, Twitter, and Medium might be the best channel to promote your work. However, if you are passionate about aesthetics (fashion, art, design, interior decor), you are better off with visual appealing platforms like Pinterest and Instagram.

3.) Content Is King

It is one thing to know your audience and the right channel to reach them, having the right content is another thing. Good content will help you build a solid personal brand across various platforms.

You must create a plan for your content; what kind of information do you want to share on these platforms? Do you want to outline the needs you want to address? What differentiates you from other people in your space? Having a plan for the things you want to say is the secret to communicating who are. 

4.) Leverage Relationships

In a world of over 7 billion people, nobody is an island. As social creatures, we need to communicate with each other. When building your brand, leverage other people’s audience to build yours.

Collaborate with people who have the kind of audience you need to gain valuable connections. However, this can only be effective if you share similar personal brand values. A lot of people are constantly looking for a story and content to latch on to, reach out to them, and share your content with them.

In the same vein, you need to be intentional about building quality relations with folks who already have established personal brands. For any relationship to work, it has to be mutually beneficial. You necessarily don’t have to know them; all you need is to show that you can give them value.

5.) Build A Community 

Anyone with access to the internet and a following on social media can build an audience, and position themselves as an expert in a field. 

However, instead of trying to build a large and broad audience, shift your focus to becoming a leader of a niche community.  Define your target audience, and build a community where they can interact, share ideas, support each other, and reach out to you directly. These can generate leads and start attracting clients for your business.

This journey of building your personal brand is best enjoyed when you have a community. If you try to go alone, this pursuit which is supposed to bring you deep fulfilment will leave you constantly stressed, frustrated and downcast with no substantive result to show forth. 

One common thing about great personal brands is that; lone rangers don’t win and winners don’t lone range. So, it’s about being intentional about building quality connections and networks with people who have the same interest as you and then setting out to be the most generous and resourceful person in that circles.

See Also: Telling ReDahlia Story: A brand preoccupied with entrepreneurial support.

6.) Consistency Trumps Intensity

When building a personal brand, consistency trumps intensity. Being consistent is very similar to having a narrow focus—it’s much easier to get recognized for one topic if you consistently create content and brand voice around it. Inconsistency can derail your personal brand goal.

As an entrepreneur, you have to ensure that your personal brand remains consistent with its message and values, both online and offline. Demonstrating consistency across your communication and appearance means your audience will always have value to feed off your brand anytime they come in contact with your content. Therefore, whether you’re creating “a wild, incredibly out-there fun” brand or one that’s a bit more conservative and corporate, consistency is key.

7.) Live your brand.

Quite frankly, you can separate your brand from your personal life; but that is the fastest way to stress and frustration, as it will be a burden too difficult to carry. It is possible, however, it’s easier when your personal brand and your actual lifestyle are in sync.

Clearly, immediately you have built a great personal brand with a reputation and community behind it, the next is to think about the legacy you’ll leave behind. What are the actions you want to be remembered for? Know this and know peace; a personal brand is a lifelong project that constantly evolves and changes as you approach different stages.

Conclusion:

In a saturated marketplace, a great personal brand can be the unique selling proposition of your products and services, when compared to other brands. It can also help your credit rating and reputation when raising funds. A great personal brand will give you access to top investors in the business landscape and makes you creditworthy. 

More so, when people google your name, what do you want them to find about you? This is not to condone self-promotion, however, you have to be strategic about positioning in your industry. You need to have a voice that can be reckoned with at any point in time.

Are you thinking about putting your personal brand in the face of hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs? We have built a global platform tailored to entrepreneurs and business owners. Entrepreneurs.ng is offering you an opportunity to be different and do things differently. When you tell your story or advertise your business on Entrepreneurs.ng, you will be seen by the right audience; our audience of entrepreneurs and business leaders who make household and business decisions.

Let’s create visibility for your brand today and put your business on the world map. Contact us today to make your brand the preferred choice among our audience of entrepreneurs and business leaders.

To keep track of our activities, follow us on Instagram.

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