For entrepreneurs looking to start or grow a business, building a personal brand is especially important as people need to buy into you before they will buy into your business idea
Entrepreneurs need to understand the importance of personal branding because it can play an enabling role as they seek to build a professional reputation and grow their companies.
Personal branding is about understanding what makes you unique, identifying your greatest strengths and talents and finding ways to consistently communicate these to your target market. Once you’ve spent time developing your brand, you will need to actively market it.
Here are some easy ways for entrepreneurs to build their personal brands for career success:
- Write a brand positioning statement for yourself: What sets you apart from everybody else? Know it, own it, believe and embody it!
- Build or expand your digital footprint: When you ‘Google’ your name, what comes up? Being constantly associated with a specific area establishes you as a leader or expert in that field. Find places to comment, share, speak on the topics you know most about. The Questions area of LinkedIn is a great place to showcase your expertise. Why not have your own website that showcases your product – you? Maximise the opportunities that being online affords you.
- Pick a few attributes you want to be known for and demonstrate them at every opportunity: Establish a track record of competence in your field and reinforce it at staff meetings, management meetings and networking opportunities by sharing your thoughts, asking smart questions and engaging with people in a meaningful way. This will keep you top-of-mind for related projects.
- Focus on great service: This includes interactions both within your organisation with colleagues and employees, and externally with your customers. Be reliable, communicate and deliver on promises you make.
- Love what you do – it shows! Passion is your personal brand’s fuel and it’s contagious. Let your energy motivate those around you.
- Have a global perspective: there is opportunity to learn, gain new perspectives and information at every turn and you will be surprised when that information can be used. Make sure you invest in yourself and in broadening your perspective, whether it’s through reading, training or mentorship.
- Challenge yourself: Step outside your comfort zone; learn new things; keep a record of your experiences and the things you have learnt. Challenging yourself will ensure you remain fresh and don’t stagnate.
- Develop a personal visibility campaign: Think about platforms you can use to market your personal brand, whether that means facilitating a workshop, developing a keynote speech, submitting articles to professional journals, getting active on social media or joining an industry body.