When it comes to building a healthy, profitable business, there are countless pieces of advice out there for entrepreneurs to dive into. Yet, one avenue which hasn’t been widely covered over the years is how building a strong personal brand as a business owner can benefit your company as a whole. One explanation for the lack of attention is the internet flipping personal branding on its head.
With online publishing platforms now allowing anyone with an internet connection to create content, which can then be seen by the rest of the world, the game truly has changed. Here are 3 main reasons why building an unforgettable personal brand can lift your company to new heights (plus important things to avoid along the way and how to get started).
Humanizing Your Brand: A Personal Touch
Today, consumers are bombarded with advertisements of all types all day long. Whether it be yet another pop-up ad, an ad on social media or a traditional billboard, while marketing appears everywhere, it almost never includes a personal touch. Because of the large volume, individuals have grown accustomed, even numb, to inauthentic content being produced by faceless logos.
As a result, if you produce content on a personal level that is still loosely affiliated with your brand, you’ll automatically stand out from the crowd when it comes to branded content. At the end of the day, humans trust other humans more than they do logos, and having your face front-and-center will intrinsically build trust in the online world that would be much more difficult otherwise.
A Personal Brand Is Less Threatening
When it comes to landing key promotional opportunities, from podcast interviews to speaking engagements to book deals, doing so through a personal brand is much easier than doing so on a company-wide level. Unless you want to spend thousands of dollars via sponsorship, these opportunities come much easier for individuals than they do for companies, which is why you see icons like Gary Vaynerchuk and Lewis Howes getting widespread exposure as opposed to the companies they created and operate.
It’s common knowledge these opportunities are some of the best ways to increase brand awareness and affinity for your company. Once you have firmly established a personal brand in a specific niche, being invited to share your knowledge on topics related to your niche will become simpler than ever.
Built-in Trust As a Result of Your Personal Brand
When you’ve created a stellar personal brand, people begin to follow you so they can stay up-to-date with your content. Because they have elected to follow you, there is already a level of trust established between you and the individual who followed you. What this does is set the stage for a seamless introduction to your brand.
For example, if you follow a fitness expert on Instagram because she or he gives you actionable, helpful health advice, you’ll naturally be much more open to hearing about their fitness company than a company running an obstructive Facebook or pop-up ad. By developing a personal brand, you’ll have the luxury of putting your brand on full display in natural ways other companies can not, and it’s all thanks to the trust you have built between you and your followers.
Things to Avoid When Building a Personal Brand
Like everything in the business world, growing a noteworthy personal brand has its cons you will want to look out for. First and foremost, a personal brand disproportionately larger than your company brand is a dangerous game.
Why? Well, if the value of your company is exclusively on you as an individual, scaling your company will be next to impossible, limiting your company’s growth to all the things you can accomplish as a single person. In turn, this will all but eliminate your ability to sell your company if you ever chose to do so. To solve this, be sure to pace your personal brand and company-wide brand at a similar rate.
Another pitfall to look out for is your colleagues feeling as though you’re putting your personal brand above the interest of your company in terms of priorities. This is something which will inevitably arise the more you speak on stages, podcasts, land book deals and more. The way to combat this is simple: through communication and through always giving recognition to your team. Be sure to mention your team at all the events you speak at. Additionally, be mindful to communicate openly with your team as it relates to your personal brand — if you hide things, trust will erode and your employees will begin to question where your loyalty lies.
Where to Start
There are, quite literally, a thousand ways to answer this, all different depending on your company’s particular situation. That being said, the best place to start when building a personal brand is first establishing, while being extremely specific, what your goals are with your personal brand. Is it to sell more company merchandise or tickets to your next event? Is it to expand brand awareness? Whatever your goals are, be sure to mark them done on paper to use as a guiding light as you begin building your personal brand.
Next, get started by publishing content online. Pick one to two primary social media channels — whether that’s YouTube, Instagram, Medium, LinkedIn or something different — that you’ll focus your attention on. Then, publish content your target audience would find helpful. This content could be answering frequently asked questions your company receives on a regular basis, why you started your company or something else entirely.
From increasing brand awareness to building trust, developing a personal brand as an entrepreneur can help your company grow by leaps and bounds, especially in the content-hungry world we live in today. By applying the tips laid out in this article, you’ll be in a great position to start your journey as a content creator and reap all the benefits your personal brand can offer your company as a whole.