Personal branding is becoming more and more important – especially for solopreneurs, business coaches, advertising/marketing agencies, and even B2B service companies. In fact – when you look at some of the well-known agencies rocking it today (think Gary Vaynerchuck) – they’re ALL about Personal Branding.
So what exactly IS Personal Branding and how can you use it to grow your business?
In a nutshell, Personal Branding is all about stepping out from behind your logo and really creating your business around you.
Why is Personal Branding so powerful?
When you’re trying to cut through the noise as you market your business online today, one of the best ways to differentiate yourself is through adding your own personality to your company.
How to do Personal Branding Well
If you’re a coach – life coach, business coach, sports coach – making sure your personal brand focuses on you is a key element for your success. When people are hiring a coach, they want to know that they (or their kids) will connect with you.
So your site should focus on your personal branding:
- Include photos of you – on your own and with clients/kids
- Write in the first person – use “I”, not “we”
- Use video – short and long videos go a long way in building your personal brand
Even if you’re not one-on-one with clients – maybe you’re an agency, a tech company or a manufacturing facility. – it’s still important to build your personal brand in a way that also promotes your company.
It can be as easy as assigning yourself as the “spokesperson” for your company – and you then narrate corporate videos, write in the company blog, star in the company video posts, etc.
Personal Branding for Introverts
Not sure you feel comfortable putting yourself out there?
I get it – I’ve been there. Here’s what I suggest.
1 – Start Small – you don’t need to go out and start a YouTube channel and post every day. Start by just using your photo in your Twitter profile instead of your company logo. Or include your photo on the home page of your website. Once you start putting yourself “out there”, work on expanding to videos, additional images on other social media sites, etc.
2 – Stay Professional – once you start building your personal brand, you have to keep in mind that everything you say and do publicly becomes part of your brand. So try to stay away from controversial social media posts (unless, of course, that is part of your brand). That doesn’t mean you have to keep it safe all the time – but always consider that your #1 client may come across even the most random posts online.
Personal Branding Pitfall
Probably the biggest pitfall of building a personal brand that also supports a company that’s larger than just you and, say, a team of 20, is that when you leave, it’s likely that the company you’re leaving behind is going to want to carry on without you.
In order to protect against this, if it’s the right fit for the situation, work to develop a “group brand” for the company. Maybe you’re in charge of the sales and marketing personality, someone else is tech support, etc. This way you can still bring “personal branding” to your company without the risk of the brand getting tied to someone that isn’t necessarily tied to the company.
So tell me – are you hiding behind your logo or are you building your personal brand? What is some advice you can give to “newbies” who are just starting out? Post in the comment section below!