Chances are you’ve spent a lot of time and effort building a brand for your business. But the reality is that your personal brand is also a key part of the business image you’re looking to create.
Your personal brand helps establish you as an authority in a specific space, adding to the perception of expertise that your business offers.
So let’s look at the key elements of developing a personal brand in line with your business.
What personal branding should do
The aim of personal branding is to create a consistent brand around a person rather than a business entity.
And it’s used in a series of ways. With a great personal brand, you have the potential to become an influencer and expert, or in other words someone whose opinion and insight carry weight with others.
This expertise can then help you attract an audience who seek you and your business out for services and products.
Why does personal branding matter?
Personal branding is designed to give you credibility, which in turn makes your business more credible to customers.
It helps build that ‘know, like and trust’ factor that sees people seek out your opinion, then your products and services.
It’s a highly effective way of extending the reach of your business brand and allows your potential clients to connect with a person, not just a business entity.
It’s also important in the context that when it comes to seeking a service or making a purchase, the reality is people buy people, not necessarily brands.
It takes time
Building a personal brand takes time, commitment, and consistency. It’s about crafting an online presence that sees you stand out from the crowd.
Along the way, you need to approach it much like you do business branding, considering:
- The look of the personal brand
- The tone of your personal brand
- Who is your audience
- Your unique value proposition (as in what’s in it for your audience and why you’re different)
- What you want to be known for
- The places you want to be found
How to build your personal brand
There are numerous ways to build a personal brand that supports your business or furthers your career.
But most often it starts in the spaces you know best and where your potential audience is most likely to ‘hang out’.
The following are just some of the best options available…
Your business website
The primary place to start building your personal brand is on your business website in the ‘about us’ section.
This page should have a current picture of you, along with a brief (up to 300 words) insight into your credentials and why you do what you do.
Beneath, there should be social media buttons that link to all the other places you can be found.
If you’re seeking to really carve out a personal brand that complements but also stands separately from your business, you might also wish to create a specific website under your own name.
Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram are the main social channels for building a personal brand, remembering each has a different twist and feel.
Facebook is for brief posts, memes and personal insight into who you are as a person, along with what you do professionally.
It’s a place of two-way communication where any comments other people make allow you to start a conversation that builds an audience.
The content you post here should offer professional value, such as tips, links to longer posts on your business site, and more.
Instagram is a place of inspiration. It’s the space where you post imagery that inspires people to pick you (and use your business products and services).
Again, it might contain tip-style images or photos that offer an insight into what you do.
LinkedIn is a professional space. This is the place to really highlight your credibility and expertise with commentary and links to your best professional content.
LinkedIn doesn’t so much talk to an audience as it offers a communication method with peers.
Each of these channels should have a written section which clearly indicates who you are. In terms of Facebook and Instagram, this description might be brief.
When it comes to LinkedIn, it’s more comprehensive and includes what you do now and why you do it, your education, skills, credentials, and any endorsements by others.
The thing to be mindful of with your personal branding and social media is that this is content for public consumption.
It should reflect you in a professional capacity, rather than your more personal social media profiles.
Other techniques for building a personal brand
While your business website and social media platforms are the places where your branding begins, there is also a range of different methods and techniques to build on your profile.
Blogging – Blogging is the bare minimum of content you should be creating and this can then be posted to your business website, personal website and social media.
Podcasting – Podcasting reaches a whole different type of audience and is a great way of showcasing your expertise. You could create a solo podcast, where you share tips and opinions or go for an interview-style where you invite guests onto your show to discuss issues that matter to your audience.
Newsletters – Newsletters help ensure you remain front of mind for your target audience, but they must offer value to the people who subscribe in the form of insight and information they can’t find anywhere else.
Course creation – Course creation is the gold standard for showcasing your expertise. It positions you as the expert and allows you to teach others the skills you have, adding to your credibility.
Media interviews – Media interviews and public speaking are other ways to highlight your expertise. Ensure you have an Available for Interview profile at hand, create regular press releases on issues relevant to your industry, and have a speaking profile that illustrates you’re available to talk on relevant issues.
A few final takeaways
Like any marketing, building a personal brand takes time and consistency, but it can be highly beneficial for your business.
A personal brand helps showcase your expertise and highlights your credibility. It also ensures you are top of mind when people are ready to seek out your services or products.
Looking for further tips on personal and business branding or marketing? Join us in The Marketing Circle
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