In business, selling a top-notch product is just half the battle. But your personal brand can be a secret sauce, giving your marketing efforts an authentic, human touch. Think of it as adding your unique stamp to every message you put out there. Personal branding is about being genuine, cutting through the noise, and letting your personality and expertise shine.
Understanding Personal Branding
A personal brand isn’t just a fancy term for self-promotion. It encapsulates who you are, your values, and the unique perspectives you bring to the table. It's a connection between your knowledge and your genuine self.
And the data on personal branding is interesting. Nielsen Consumer Trust found that 92% of consumers trust user-generated content more than a traditional ad. Also, 96% of consumers think that small businesses provide a more personal, customer-focused experience. That's according to Small Business Trends.
So small businesses have a unique edge to build a trustworthy personal brand. The human touch they can add builds trust and loyalty with their audience.
Why Personal Brands are Business Game-Changers
Great personal brands are destined to stand out amongst other content. Especially if it's in a sea of sameness. People buy from people, and you become the touchpoint that humanizes your business.
By carving out a niche for yourself through personal branding, you position yourself as an expert in your field. People are more likely to care about your content when they know your expertise can help them, and they trust your insights.
Take Gary Vaynerchuk, a powerhouse in social media marketing. It isn't just his expertise that people are interested in. His candid, no-nonsense approach has built him a vast following. Steven Bartlett is one of the UK's most notable entrepreneurs of the past few years, too. People connect with his personal brand because of his honesty and vulnerability on his podcast, The Diary of a CEO. He also interviews other entrepreneurs, many with strong personal brands, which widens his appeal.
Building Your Digital Footprint
Posting on social media isn't just about throwing your content into the digital void. Engagement is a big part of it. Building connections is where you create relationships with your customers. Even though it takes considerable work.
Forge Authentic Connections
Neil Patel doesn't just post. He converses, shares stories, and offers nuggets of wisdom. This is all done with a content strategy in mind. His team will also have thought about who the audience is that they're sending the message to.
These genuine interactions cement him as a go-to figure in digital marketing. It's more than just branding; it's about creating a community that listens to him and trusts him. Over time, that's what becomes the key for business growth.
Curate Value-Driven Content
It's one thing to post, and it's another to post with purpose. Nobody is reading the filler content. So hone in on what your audience genuinely wants to consume. Think of it as a digital conversation. What insights can you share that can spark curiosity or solve a problem?
Consistent Visual Branding
From the colors you use to your preferred style of imagery, consistency is your best friend. Ensure that your online aesthetics resonate with your brand's ethos. Just as you'd recognize Apple's sleek, minimalist designs, you want your audience to spot your visual brand from a mile away. And if you want that process to be right first every time, then that’s why we’ve built designstripe. All of your social media content will look on brand, without you having to put the effort in.
Engage, Engage, Engage
The digital sphere isn't a one-way street. Respond to comments, ask questions, hold polls, and most importantly, listen. The more you engage, the more relatable your business becomes. It’s doing this stuff that doesn’t scale that increases your following, user by user.
Laying the Groundwork: Tips for an Authentic Brand
When building a personal brand, we're often checking in with ourselves to ensure it genuinely reflects who we are. What our CEO communicates with his followers is different from that of our Head of Product Design. After all, they have different expertise and their day to day is pretty different, too.
What we've discovered is that laying the foundation of a strong personal brand needs introspection. Without this deep understanding, you might not truly resonate with your intended audience.
First, it's all about authenticity. Just as the wrong software can inhibit a company's growth, an inauthentic personal brand can do the same for your reputation. Make sure your brand aligns with your core values and strengths.
Understanding your audience is the next step. Take the time to deeply connect with their needs and aspirations. It means your messages are more likely to resonate. And they’ll also be more likely to hit the mark.
Every piece of content you put out into the world should serve a purpose. Just as we'd evaluate the functionality of a tool for its efficiency, we should evaluate the intention behind our content.
Lastly, remember to engage in real life. It's one thing to have a digital presence, but it's another to physically show up. Events, workshops, and seminars can offer that extra dimension to your personal brand, solidifying your position in your industry.
Embrace and Evolve
Creating a compelling personal brand isn’t a one-and-done deal. It’s a journey of evolution and growth. As you navigate through it, make sure that your brand mirrors your growth, pivots, and aspirations. After all, your personal brand should reflect the steps you’re taking in the real world.
Great personal brands stay true to their essence, and present it in a way that resonates. With a sprinkle of authenticity, a dash of strategy, and a whole lot of passion, your personal brand can be your small business' strongest asset.