I’ve written a lot about how your business needs a strong brand to stand out from the competition and become a success. However, it’s not always easy to decide what to base your brand on. If you’re struggling to define your business’s brand, often, a good place to start is with the owner.
Usually, businesses are founded based on the owner’s skills or driving passion. The owner is the both the heart and the face of the business. For most entrepreneurs, this means their business brand is the same as their personal brand.
If you’re sceptical about personal brand and how much it really affects your business, take a look at these famous examples:
In all these cases, the personal brand reflects the personality and values of the business, enhancing it and more effectively bringing the business brand to life.
What is personal brand and why is it so important?
Your personal brand is what others in your industry or general community think of you, your expertise, experience and achievements.
By showcasing your experience and positioning yourself as a thought leader in your field, you automatically draw more positive attention to your business. When you think of the examples above, their personal brands are closely intertwined with the business brands, making the business more authentic and personable.
Defining your personal brand
If you’re struggling to define your personal brand (and by default your business’s brand) use these questions to get started:
- What are your strengths are and what do you offer?
- What are your values?
- What is your purpose?
- What are your passions?
- Are you being authentic? People these days are savvier than ever and will see straight through any attempts at pretending to be something you’re not.
Once defined, use the strengths and values of your personal brand to define and shape your company brand. This will lead to discovering your competitive advantage. Once you know what makes your offer different from your competitors, it’s easier to stand out from the crowd and encourage customers to switch to you.
Establishing and maintaining your brand
A good brand, whether personal or business, doesn’t happen overnight. You need to think long term and be consistent in everything you do.
One of the best ways to start establishing your brand and positioning yourself as a thought leader is through social media. Today, information about everyone is widely available – almost anyone can build a following. So start sharing your expertise. On top of posting, make sure you comment on other people’s content and respond quickly to comments left for you.
One thing before you hit the publish button. Step back for 5 minutes then review what you’ve written, whether it’s a blog post or short social media message. Ensure your content fits with the image you’re building and most importantly make sure there are no mistakes or grammatical errors.
As well as social media, find other ways to share your knowledge. Write regular blogs and share through your social media channels, look for speaking gigs and search for opportunities to write for publications on your areas of expertise.
Your personal brand and your business’s brand are two separate but closely related areas. Think of them as two sides of the same coin.
It is often hard, especially for small to medium sized businesses to differentiate between the two. This is why it’s so important to clearly define your personal brand, and then use it to enhance and bring to life your business.
This article was written by Rosina Webb, Marketing Director of Energise. Rosina is a passionate marketer of Kiwi consumer brands and shares her expertise through writing, blogging and speaking about all things marketing.
NB: This article was published in the EMA “Business Plus” magazine. Enterprises of all types and sizes join the Employers and Manufacturers Association, for opportunities to learn and grow, make valuable business connections and change the world. EMA provides its members with professional advice and training to succeed in many aspects of business.