The popularity of the social web has created a new opportunity that every individual can leverage to build their businesses and careers; personal branding. By positioning yourself as the go-to-person for information related to your industry, you can enjoy new audiences, industries, and opportunities.
If they can’t trust you, they won’t buy from you no matter how great your business brand promise is. For service businesses, personal branding is critical. You must develop relationships with your customers for repeat business and referral business. Those relationships can transcend any short-term problems or issues customers have with you or your business because they trust you and know you’ll make things right.
Define Your Personal Brand
The first step of personal branding is self-evaluation. What are your strengths and what value do you bring to the table? What are your goals? How does your personality affect who you are? Consider your leadership abilities, achievements, talents, and distinct qualities that make you, you. Once you take stock of who you are and what you stand for, take some time to evaluate what information and messages consumers want to hear from you. What do they want and need that you can give them?
Use the information you gather to define what your personal brand promise, image and message should be. Your logo design show also define your image. If you are a construction company, than your should have a construction logo that reflects your brand and image. Or if you are a marketing company, make sure your marketing logo reflects your brand. Your personal brand should be one that effectively communicates who you are and what you stand for. It should set audience expectations for what you’re all about and what you can do for them.
Just as you’re unique so should your personal brand be unique. Naturally, there will be elements of your personal brand that overlap other personal brands, but the essence of your brand should be uniquely yours. That’s how your personal brand stands out from all the other personal brands in the world.
Spread the Word and Build Your Personal Brand
You’ve defined your personal brand and know what your brand image, your logo design, messages, and promise are. Now, you need to develop a strategy to spread the word to your target audience. The social web offers the perfect place for you to get started. Using blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on, you can find your target audience and consistently and persistently communicate your brand messages to them.
To build your personal brand, you have to truly believe in it, and you have to live it. If it’s challenging for you to live your personal brand, then you need to redefine your personal brand. Whether you’re interacting on the social web, networking at an in-person event, addressing customers during a sales situation, or communicating via email, your personal brand message must stay consistent. In short, everything you do can affect people’s perceptions of your personal brand. Make sure your actions appropriately reflect your personal brand at all times.
Personal branding done well can bring big benefits to companies. For small business owners and entrepreneurs, making your personal brand an integral part of your company and product adds layers of differentiation and publicity opportunities to a business. As your personal brand equity grows, so will your business brand equity.