When a certain business was first starting, the biggest problem for the owner was choosing a name for it. He looked everywhere to find out what was unique, what was available, and what sounded good to him and potentially, to the public.
After that, the logo was a huge deal. He hired three designers who worked on it for weeks until it satisfied the boss. Finally, the team created a website that was perfect for the business owner. After all, it was the branding of the company. Everything went well.
But how much did the website, the catchy name, and the perfect logo give to the owner? The short answer: none.
In the meantime, while the company branded site was still in the building process, the owner got impatient, so he decided to set up his own site with his name on it. The new website was far from perfect, but he used to as a portfolio for his clients to see who he was. At the same time, he optimized his LinkedIn profile and other social media accounts, making sure he was a person, not just a business.
To this day, his personal brand is still much bigger than his corporate brand.
Virgin CEO, Richard Branson, once said that branding is all about commitment – particularly to continual reinvention, imagination, and stirring their emotions.
As a business owner, you may have practiced some strategies to market your company. One of these marketing strategies should be personal branding in which the attention is on the most significant product of all: you.
When you develop a personal brand, it is required to figure out who you are. From your personality to your skills to your passions to your values, it should be about you. You should also know who you want to serve, which you will consider your boss or your target audience. Finally, you should define how you are different from your competition, meaning your unique niche.
When you successfully brand yourself, you can generate a consistent, focused impact, which will lead you to achieve both your personal and professional objectives.
What is really important with a great brand is that it is always honest. Live authentically as you can never fake your way into attaining a successful brand.
You may wonder, “Why do I need to brand myself when my company is the one that will give me profits?” To understand better, here are the best reasons why you should start with this marketing strategy right away:
People want to deal with a person, not a robot or a faceless company.
While some companies, particularly big-name ones, can stand with their brand alone, some businesses should be more than their fancy logo. Therefore, you should showcase yourself as an individual, such as through…
Personal branding gives you the chance to be yourself – and be proud of it. You do not have to attempt to be someone you are not since this particular strategy is about expressing your real self. Personal branding allows you to be the person you are meant to be precise.
As you develop your personal brand, you will know more about your strengths and your positive qualities. You get to share these things with other people, which can help with your self-esteem. As a bonus, it helps minimize your weaknesses as well. You can determine your weakest skills, and you can improve them over time.
When your actions align with your brand, you validate that you are someone who can be trusted. Your target audience wants to make sure that you can do what you say you will do. It is not through words but your actions. Therefore, you have to live by your personal brand. Keep that promise, and you will automatically be on the path to credibility. It is that easy.
Your personal branding strategy is not about communicating your message to the world; rather, it is about connecting to the right people. That’s your target audience whom you need to build a solid relationship with centered on emotional connections. You eventually develop trust faster, and you get to distinguish yourself from your competition that may be focusing on their business brand alone.
Identify your target market by visualizing your ideal client, scenario, company, or service. For instance, you characterize your impeccable client appreciates your work, pays you well, and refers other clients to you. The perfect situation you dream about can help you learn about the right target audience for you. Simply put, it is the group of people you want to put your energy, time, and effort.
Personal branding also involves an online strategy as well. In fact, this is a crucial part of the process in which you build a profile hub that serves as the central point for your online activities. For example, you can use your blog or website to tell people about who you are. Make sure to include the following details:
When creating your profile hub, do not forget about your photo, which is as important as the pieces of information you have provided. You can choose from the popular profile hubs such as:
LinkedIn: For most business-minded people, they turn to LinkedIn to build effective relationships based on “knowing, liking, and trusting.” If you do not have your social media presence or it is not as strong as your competition yet, start with LinkedIn. Typically, those on the site are exploring updates with their contacts or reading articles in Pulse. You can use your profile to introduce yourself and your products. You can also use LinkedIn to post articles within your network.
Facebook: This well-known social media site helps users tell their story through entertaining and informative methods to connect with target markets. There is a gentle balance of sharing your personal brand and being social as you offer people a taste of what it is like if they ever meet you.
If you already have a personal website, you can help rank your name on Google. It does not have to be extravagant, as a modest two to three-page site with your social network links, resume, and short bio would suffice. You can always expand the site over time.
For some businesses, anonymity may be useful. However, a healthy dose of personal branding can improve sales and engagement online and offline. It is something that the following discovered:
A quick Google search will give you “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” which is a very successful Dos Equis campaign. This man is portrayed by actor Jonathan Goldsmith who lends his character in the ads. He plays cricket, jumps out of planes, paints, invents the cell phone, and gets the girls.
When the campaign started running, sales of the tequila brand increased more than 15% in 2012. The growth was higher than the average of other imported alcohol brands, which was just 2.7%. By using a personality with a face in their ad, Dos Equis was able to break the advertising mold of beer products. In return, they enjoyed more sales and revenue.
When the grill came out, it was a bit surprising. A former boxer, George Foreman, started selling a workaday grill that turned him into a multi-millionaire.
In truth, there is nothing so extraordinary about the George Foreman Grill. It was just that: a simple grill where you can cook your food. The secret to the popularity of this particular kitchen equipment does not rest on the product itself but with the help of the face of the boxer. The grill became a bestseller because the company bought out George Foreman who endorsed the product.
As a result of the excellent pitch to successfully acquire the boxer, more than 100 units of the grill were sold. Additionally, Foreman earned over $200 million, giving the ad a champion result.
This Tampa, Florida clinic deals with people who have sleep problems, especially sleep apnea. Aside from providing excellent services, there is one thing that sets the clinic apart from others. Its CEO is a master of personal branding on social media, particularly on Facebook.
Vick Tipnes has realized that social media is the ideal place to show people his personality and at the same time, he was able to use Facebook for supporting and marketing his brand. With almost 27,000 followers and likers on the website, the CEO/founder of the medical clinic puts out his persona in a casual way, while speaking genuinely to his clients.
Aside from Tipnes, Blackstone’s website shows the people behind the company. As they give people a view of who they are, more patients trust them. It is apparent to their three-year growth of 320%, and in 2016, their revenue grew to $3.1 million.
While the Harpoon application was being developed, one of the founders decided to improve his personal brand. He started blogging on a regular basis. At the same time, he interacted with his followers on Twitter and improved his other online profiles. His goals centered on product awareness and with the hope that his efforts would eventually result to speaking engagements.
Currently, Harpoon benefited from the way the founder built his personal brand. Although the product has not begun publicly yet as it is still in private beta, he has noticed that the biggest source of traffic for their landing pages is through referrals. Most of the referrals come from the founder’s personal website.
Dan Norris launched a product known as WP Curve. For a while, Dan built an audience and used it as he presented his new application. It allowed him to reach thousands of people very quickly. The users of his app have been receiving updates from him for a long time before the product was offered.
Because his audience already knows him and they follow him, they rooted for him to be a powerful force. Therefore, he gained early traction, which allowed WP Curve a successful campaign.
Aside from the other favorite social media sites, there is a question and answer site that is also great for establishing your personal brand. Quora can help business owners become a trusted authority, leading potential customers to check out their products. This is what happened to Noah Kagan who launched Appsumo.
Using Quora, he answered questions regularly. He built a following as he further enhanced his influence and his reputation on the website. His efforts resulted in at least 10 to 15 unique people visiting his blog on a daily basis. According to him, what really helped was the visitors are already interested in his content. It did marketing and running his business much easier.
Everybody has a personal brand – even if you think you are just starting with it. The key to the whole process involves a smart strategy that should be well-executed to lead to quantifiable traction with your new product or startup. Personal branding, unlike business branding, can open doors for other things you may decide to go for in the future.