To grow your business, you have to build a strong personal brand.
Competing with giant companies in your niche with sheer costly exposure simply won’t do. You don’t have as many resources to spend on advertising as large businesses do.
Also, people don’t trust your business brand. It’s not entirely your fault, as trust in business brands, in general, is going down the past years. This makes it harder for you to convert people into buying customers.
So, how do you get past these challenges? By building your personal brand.
But what is a personal brand? And how does it help grow your business so you can compete with other brands in your industry?
Let’s find out the answer below.
What is Personal Branding?
Personal branding is how you promote yourself to your target audience. It involves communicating certain qualities that you want people to associate with you. It is a marketing practice that sums up your experience, skills, values, beliefs, and purpose as a brand.
Simply put, your personal brand is how people think of you. It is your reputation that can make a difference in your business.
Everyone has a brand. However, only a few have managed to turn their brands into a strength. If you want your business to succeed, you should work on building a solid personal brand that works to your advantage.
Why Personal Branding is Important
Back in the days, brands used to be only for a select few. Branding was better left to businesses, celebrities, athletes, and prominent people.
However, the emergence of new marketing channels such as social media has changed how branding is perceived. Today, personal branding has started to present itself as an essential element in business success.
With social media now allowing your voice to be heard, you get to reach and influence people. Likewise, it becomes easier for people to find you. Now, everyone has access to some degree of information about you.
For instance, you are a financial advisor and your prospects want to learn a thing or two about you. With a few taps on the screen of their phones, they can see your credentials and what other people are saying about you.
It would be a waste of opportunity if your prospects didn’t see what they want to see. As someone who runs a business, you would want to leave an impression on potential customers when they search about you.
That’s where personal branding comes into play. Taking the reins of your personal brand lets you control the narrative and show your audience what you want them to see. And that’s always good for business.
Benefits of Personal Branding
When you take control of the narrative surrounding your online persona, you are putting a face behind your business. A face that reflects your personality, hopes, dreams, and motivations. As a unique human being, you have interesting stories that attract people toward your business.
Personal branding is a powerful marketing strategy. To further understand what a solid personal branding can do for you, let’s take a look at some of the most important benefits of personal brand to your business.
- You are Discoverable
In a crowded space where businesses try to vie for attention, personal branding allows you to stand out from the rest.
Say, you’re a financial advisor. You want your name to appear in Google when people look for “how to invest” on the search bar. But the problem is, you are competing with massive companies like Investopedia, CNBC, Bankrate, and Bloomberg on the search results.
Defeating these giants for that search term is virtually impossible unless you have a team and a large budget. It’s a major uphill battle that has no guarantees. However, there is a better way.
With a personal brand, you can make it appear like these established brands are competing with you and not the other way around. If someone searches “Your Brand Name” and “How to Invest,” even these giants would struggle to compete with a specific search actively requesting information from your brand.
That’s one of the powers of a personal brand.
- You are Shareable
Fact: content posted by a personal brand gets reshared 24x more than when it is posted by a company brand. It’s all about trust.
On average, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from other people over business brand content. This number translates into better engagement when you post content under your personal brand.
No wonder why a significant number of individuals have or are already building their own personal brands based on a survey by Steven J Wilson & Associates.
- You Establish Authority
One key to building a personal brand is by publishing valuable content. When I say valuable, I mean content that educates your audience and helps them solve their problems.
Each piece of content you post on your social profiles, website, or blog contributes to the development of your personal brand. As you develop your brand, you are also gaining authority in your field.
The content you publish presents you as an expert, making your audience think that you are the go-to person in your specific niche. And when you are seen as an expert, your credibility starts to grow.
People would start trusting you, and this opens up various opportunities not only for you as a personal brand but also for your business brand. You get to meet fellow experts in your industry, build partnerships, and attract a following.
- You Build Partnerships
With a solid personal brand, you get to meet other professionals in the field and work with them.
Now, let’s go back to the financial advisor example. With a personal brand, say, you meet another advisor who’s also winning thanks to his branding. As like-minded professionals, you form an alliance with one another so you can both benefit in your respective referral networks.
How you would work together depends on both of you, but you get the point. Having personal brands open up opportunities to partner with fellow experts so you can strengthen your business.
- You Attract a Following
When people trust your personal brand, you get to expand your network.
Developing a personal brand helps attract like-minded audience. This lets you build a network of people in your industry, prospects, and existing customers.
Having a loyal following to your personal brand is extremely valuable to your business. How?
An expanded network helps boost awareness of your business brand. You also enjoy an increase in visibility in terms of your potential audience. In fact, when people share content through a personal brand, it is 561% more likely to reach a new audience than when it’s shared by a company brand.
When you attract a loyal following, you are building a real asset that grows with both your personal and business brand.
- You Have Greater Asking Power
Personal brands also have the power to sway people into action.
Your audience is more likely to do what is asked if the personal brand meets their needs. Statistics show that personal brands who share content gets 2x higher CTR than company-shared content. Leads developed through individual social media activities are also 7x more likely to convert than other leads.
To improve your chances of people doing your intended actions, what you need to do is to ask. Yes, even if some tasks may seem obvious, asking people to do something is an easy and efficient way to improve the results of specific actions you want your audience to take.
Just take for example how YouTubers always ask people to Like & Subscribe to their channel. Every single time. Regardless of the size of their following.
Why? Because there is power in the ask. So, don’t leave it to chance. Make the ask.
- Your Business Becomes Stronger
Finally, personal branding strengthens your business.
When people can find you, trust you, follow you, and perform your desired action, you are creating a business that stands out from the competition. You forge strong relationships with your customers that is not easily achieved with business branding alone.
Ultimately, your business goals become more achievable thanks to personal branding.
Things to Remember When Building Your Personal Branding
Personal branding can be the key to your business growth. Before you start building your personal brands, here are some things you need to know so you don’t run into common pitfalls.
Determine your brand voice
Your personality is what makes you unique. It is what sets you apart from your competitors.
To create a solid personal brand, make a list of your key traits. Include in the list your strengths and weaknesses. These qualities will make your brand as human as possible. Also, don’t forget to ask relevant people in your life what characteristics stick out at you the most.
Then, communicate those traits with your content.
The key here is to make your personal brand authentic, so be honest about it.
Know your target audience
Not everyone will be interested in what you are going to say. So, it’s best to direct your thoughts to people who matter to your business.
Like with any solid marketing plan, you have to narrow down who your audience will be. These people include:
- Those who will pay you
- Those who influence the person who pays you
- Those who will benefit from your message
Create a description of each person and include as many details about them as possible. Doing so allows your message to better resonate with your audience.
Build your online presence
Once you have your personality sorted out and who your target audience is, it’s time to get the ball rolling.
To get your voice out there, you have to determine where is “there” exactly. Start by knowing which platforms you should be establishing a presence in. Defining your target audience helps.
Then, decide what you will and will not be sharing in your brand.
Information about your family may be off-limits, like many entrepreneurs do. You don’t want to subject them under online scrutiny. On the other hand, you may want to share your personal struggles so your followers can relate more to you.
Deciding what you should and shouldn’t post entirely depends on you. There’s no wrong answer. Choosing not to share specific things doesn’t make you less authentic. That said, decide what you think is right for your personal brand.
Create a website
You may have the option to pick a social channel that you think will work best for you. However, having a website is a must.
This is because those social channels may disappear in an instant someday, along with all your efforts building your personal brand. But a website is something you owned and you have control with.
Having a website also allows you to publish a personal blog, which is essential in establishing your reputation online. Publishing quality content that shows your knowledge about the industry helps boost your authority.
A website also allows you to publish other types of content such as your products and services, contact information, and membership forms. It is also an essential element if you want to be found online, especially when you follow SEO best practices.
In short, building a website is beneficial for your personal branding. Don’t go around establishing a personal brand without it.
Build relationships in the industry
How do you get found online when you’re just starting a personal brand? One way is by connecting with other well-known brands in the industry.
When you interact with these brands, you are making yourself visible to their already established following. That’s why it pays to engage with them whenever you have the chance. Leave feedback on their blog posts, comment on their social media posts and communicate with them.
Sometimes, your competition can also be a great partner that can lead you to the success of your business.
Taking the Power of Personal Brands to the Next Level
Indeed, personal branding helps grow your business in many ways. Now, imagine this: if your personal brand can have that much impact on your company brand, what more if OTHER personal brands also work for your business?
By other personal brands, we mean your employees.
Yes, employee personal brands tied with the company brand are a lot stronger than using yours alone. When employee personal brands work in harmony with your company brand, you are tapping into their extended reach, credibility, and convincing power.
Leveraging employee personal brands to your advantage is a step above the concept of personal branding—an approach dubbed as “Building Brands Within a Brand.”
In this method, you help your employees develop their own personal branding that attracts their own set of followers.
When you build employee personal brands, you are leveraging on your greatest influencers. And when employee personal brands build their own following, you are building a real asset that grows with you. Hence, your company brand benefits on the increased reach and trust.
Start Building Personal Brands Now
Whether it’s your personal brand or your employees’ personal brands, we’d love to help. My team helps employers and business owners build solid branding that allows for long-term business growth.
If you think personal branding is key to help you succeed in the long run, contact us.