Your personal brand as an entrepreneur may be as important as your start-up’s brand. Over the past few years, faceless entities as exemplified by company brands have taken a dive in terms of trust. People just don’t trust them as much as they trust a person. Developing a personal brand gives you a different way to connect with your audience, create customer loyalty, and grow your business. It also gives you more options on a personal level, as it can allow you to get out of the entrepreneurship path if you decide later on that it isn’t for you.
Personal branding as a concept may be easy to understand, but applying them can be a nightmare. There are a number of things you need to know if you want to do it right.
It Might Not be For You
The use of personal branding is usually effective as it puts a human face on your start-up, but it’s not for everyone. Developing your personal brand requires constant and daily interaction with other people, networking, and stepping into new territory. It’s not a problem if you’re naturally extroverted, but introverts may find it too stressful to execute properly. That isn’t to say that if you’re an introvert you can’t use it, but you have to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. If you’re not a people person, you may end up making things worse instead of improving your company’s position.
It’s Going to Take Time
Time is one of the few things entrepreneurs cannot get more of, so it can be tempting to look for personal branding shortcuts. The fact is there aren’t any. There are no lifehacks that will instantly develop your brand and make you a visible figure. Your brand is basically your reputation, and no reputation can be developed overnight. It will take time to get your visibility to ideal levels.
There’s No Strict Formula
While there are certain rules to developing your brand, the fact is that there’s no one magic formula to making it work. Cause and effect is in a strange place when it comes to personal branding, as what works for other people might not work for you or make things worse. That’s because you’re different. You need to craft a plan that suits your personality and how you interact with people.
It Can Work Independent of Your Other Plans
Synergy is not just a buzzword. You want the different parts of your company to not just work together, but to improve each other. It’s tempting to force your personal brand to become part of your overall strategy, understandably so. Just remember that developing it independent of a content-marketing strategy is entirely possible. Naturally, it’ll should still end up directing people to your business as conversions are your final objective, but it can work fine on its own.
It Can’t Be Done Entirely Online
Personal branding evolved into what it is today due in large part to social media and networking. You’ll definitely need to take part in some Facebook marketing, but it’s important to remember that you cannot develop your brand efficiently or completely from your phone or desk. You will need to get out there and interact with other people face-to-face. Go to a networking and speaking events. Ask some of the influencer’s you’ll meet online to coffee. While connections can be developed online, those that are developed face-to-face tend to be more intense and stronger.
You Will Need to Work Hard
Nothing about being an entrepreneur is easy, and personal branding is no exception. You will reap what you sow. If you don’t spend hours daily developing and strengthening your connections, you won’t get the personal brand recognition you want. Take care of your social networks personally. Study your industry and identify influencers who can help develop your image. If you’re wondering how much effort you should put in, think about what you want it to do and how important it is to the success of your start-up.
As an entrepreneur, your personal brand can help increase both your and your company’s influence and reputation. It’ll improve your standing on a personal level and can give you access to opportunities that you may not have received otherwise. It’s not going to be quick and it’s not going to be easy, but after a few months you should be able to see improvements in terms of how your audience perceives you.
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