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Most entrepreneurs focus on marketing their businesses, but it’s also important for them to spend time developing their personal brand while still working on their business brand.
Even if the company is named after you, there is a difference between a personal brand and a business brand.
Your business brand is built around the identity created for your business. You craft a name, mission statement, and vibe. A personal brand is more about what you stand for personally and what you’ve achieved, as opposed to the business. It’s also what distinguishes you from your competitors.
It’s important to work on both, because some investors care more about the person they’re investing in than the actual business model.
In sales, there’s a saying, “people buy from people.” So even if you’re working for your self-made business, having a personal brand and identity that customers or investors can relate to will ultimately drive your success.
While a personal brand can be hard to control because it’s what people think of you, with some strategy and work you can project an image of what you want others to see and think about you and your business.
We’ve compiled some key steps for you to curate a personal brand:
Figure out what you stand for.
This is the first and most important step in building an authentic personal brand. Figure out who you are and what you stand for. Why did you become an entrepreneur? What motivates you? These are all elements in building your brand and telling your story.
Use social media — the right way.
How many followers you have is not completely indicative of whether you’re doing social media right. But it is a good idea to partner with other leaders in your industry and tag each other in posts; this helps more people find your content. If your business social media page has more followers than you, ask your social media manager to tag your personal page in posts, too.
Most important, you want strong content on your platform of choice, without spreading yourself too thin. If you’re in an industry that writes white papers or is heavily statistics based, LinkedIn and Twitter are strong platforms for sharing thought-provoking articles.
Add in some extra personal commentary with your posts, so people know your stance. If you’re in a more creative or visual field, stick to Instagram with pictures and videos. Add your commentary in the captions or videos.
Get featured in the media.
Doing your own outreach to media outlets can pay off in building your personal brand. People want to read about people. Having a magazine or online outlet write a feature about you as an entrepreneur helps increase your personal profile and brand. Ultimately, it can also help your business.
Interacting with people is the old-fashioned way of spreading the word about yourself and is still just as vital. How you interact with people on a day-to-day basis reinforces your brand and ensures people that what they see online isn’t phony.