Let’s Talk About Personal Branding, Shall We?
By Ayandola Ayanleke
Many business owners hide behind the image of their company and even with the advent of social media; they concentrate on creating a company brand while they neglect theirs. It is absolutely surprising that entrepreneurs in 2020 do not see the need to have a personal brand; we aren’t here to judge you, we are only going to help you understand the essence of developing a personal brand. Creating strategies that are more focused on customers is one of the major marketing trends for 2020. Customers are more likely to interact with a business or brand if they feel an emotional connection with the person behind the business, let’s just simply say, they want you to put a face to your brand.
It is not a coincidence that some of the biggest businessmen understand this already and are creating a personal brand that is different from the business. Take a quick look at Bill Gates’ profile on LinkedIn, it reads, “Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation” and not just “Co-founder, Microsoft”. Although the latter was included in his bio, it wasn’t the focus. His understanding of personal branding helped him to project himself as a philanthropist who is passionate about giving back to the world. You get that right?
What is Personal Branding?
Personal branding is self-explanatory. It is simply building a reputation around what you do, what you stand for, what you want to be associated with, and how you want to be perceived by the general public. It is called personal because it focuses on you and is independent of your company’s brand. Of course, part of your branding is that you are the owner of the business but personal branding allows people to know you as a person and not just an entrepreneur or employee.
Here’s Why Personal Branding is Important.
- Customers want to know you; they are more likely to interact with your business when they feel a personal connection.
- A personal brand helps you build or reinforce the trust your customers will have in you and your business. It is always easier to trust those we know based on what we know about them rather than what the Public Relations or Communication teams tell the public.
- Advertisements are effective but people have been found to trust business brands that have a face than businesses without one.
- Furthermore, your brand can serve as your Resume to showcase your skills, knowledge, and expertise; this can get you other jobs/contracts/appointments which you never applied or pitched for.
- Again, you can use personal branding to pursue other interests and passions that are in any way related to your business.
In essence, your brand can be different from your company brand or you can serve as the face of your company brand.
Personal Branding Tips
- Determine who you are and what you want to be known for.
- Create a social media account on LinkedIn and Twitter, especially.
- Follow industry leaders on social media.
- Create a personal website or blog to share your thoughts.
- Be positively active on social media. Don’t get into irrelevant banter or conversations that can bring disrepute to you or your brand.
- Remember to have a good reputation offline as well and take advantage of networking.
- Remember the place of constant growth and self-development.