Of all the factors responsible for the steady growth and expansion of a small business, building and leveraging a solid personal brand appears to be the most powerful. Personal branding, when properly used, can transform a small business from a sole venture into something more significant, impactful, and influential.
In this article, we’ll explore how important personal branding is for small business owners and provide you with practical steps to establish branding in business that wins the hearts of potential clients and employers alike.
What Is a Personal Brand?
A personal brand encapsulates who you are, what you have, what you can do excellently, and what you firmly stand for. With effective personal branding, you will stand out from the pack and attract prospective clients and employers to your brand. A strong personal brand also leads to improving the online visibility of your business and establishing credibility with the public.
Personal Brand vs. Business Brand
A business brand carries an exclusive business identity that is independent of your name. In turn, your personal brand is the one you create around your personality, skills, areas of strength, experience, and accomplishments.
Personal Branding for Business
Business owners like Neil Patel, Richard Branson, Janine Allis, Marie Forleo, and Oprah Winfrey have something in common. They all succeeded in building incredible personal brands around their ideas, personality, expertise, and experience, which helped upscale their businesses and establish them as revered pace-setters in their industries.
You can also create your personal brand to promote your small business. With the massive use of the internet and social media, it has become cheaper and easier to build your personal brand, intending to increase the visibility and viability of your small business, help forge new alliances, and earn customer trust.
Personal Branding in Five Steps
Step 1. Clearly Define Your Personal Brand
The first step to creating your personal brand is to figure out who you are, what skills and solutions you can bring to the table, and what you want people to think of you. To arrive at this point, you may need to ask yourself these sincere questions:
- What kind of perception or impression do you want people to have of you?
- What drives you or fuels your energy?
- What do you want people to see once they search for your name online?
- Do you want to be known for particular expertise or skill?
Step 2. Create a Platform
Another effective way to create a compelling and winning personal brand is to build your website using your name in the website’s domain (www. your full name). This is important because when your name is searched, it will be the first thing to show. For example, most renowned marketers like Neil Patel (neilpatel.com), Gary Vaynerchuk (garyvaynerchuk.com), Jeff Bullas (jeffbullas.com), and Seth Godin (sethgodin.com) use their names in their website’s domains.
Step 3: Define Your Audience
Don’t yield to the temptation of trying to appeal to all and sundry. It’s not in your best interest. Instead, it’s vitally important to carve out a well-defined specific niche tailored towards a well-defined audience. This way, you will become an expert and authority in a particular niche with an excellent reputation, experience, and expertise.
Step 4: Optimize Your Personal Brand Website and Social Media Pages
In your quest for a strong personal brand, you need to own an attractive website and optimize it to the fullest. This involves integrating the following things into your website:
- Information about you ( education, inspiring things, and interests)
- Relevant achievements and experiences
- Links to your socials
- Professional photos or headshots
A survey conducted by CareerBuilder in 2018 showed that 70% of employers screen applicants by checking their social media, and 48% use it to check on current workers. In addition, people maximize five major platforms for personal branding: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.
Step 5. Stay Consistent and Sincere
Try staying consistent on all platforms and channels, whether on social media platforms, emails, office spaces, phone calls, or even networking events. Ensure you adopt the same profile picture, name, and bio everywhere from your blog, website, social media platforms to external sites, business directories, and online listings. Consistency will help you manage your brand effectively over a long period.
Though building a personal brand is not an easy adventure, the eventual gain is huge when done correctly. So, whether you want to position yourself for juicy opportunities, step up your career, or find a particular target market, a personal brand will get you there.