How a Personal Brand Plan Benefits Your Business Brand
You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
Truer words were never spoken, and they apply to both you and your business.
If you’re a store owner, for example, you know that if someone has a negative interaction the first time they visit, they’re going to walk right out, and likely never come back. They might even tell a few friends.
But if they have the time of their life on their first visit to your store, you’ve got a loyal customer for life. And again, they might even tell a few friends.
But what about if you’re someone who works with clients? Someone who hopes to be a leader, a speaker, an author, an entertainer, a consultant?
Perhaps you’ve done the hard work of building your business brand, with a logo and professional website to match.
But your business brand is only half the battle. Because if you want to stand out and reach your ideal clients, then you need to spend just as much effort on understanding, developing and maintaining your personal brand.
While personal branding is critical for all business people of all genders, the reality is that women are so often conditioned to be meek and mild. So while anyone can benefit from the tips I’m about to share, I highly recommend that women, in particular, listen up (so they can get the confidence to speak up and stand out!).
Why You Need a Personal Branding Strategy
Women often ask me, ‘how does a personal brand contribute to my business?’
Branding takes work and effort, and business leaders are tuned in to ROI. So they often want to know how a personal brand can benefit their business, before putting in all the effort.
In short, your personal brand is a representation of your business, and people will judge you accordingly.
The reality is that people do judge a book by its cover.
So creating a brand is like the cover for your business. You want that cover to not only stand out, but also to be a true reflection of who you are, and what your business is all about.
And whether intuitively or directly, most people believe that how you do one thing is how you do everything. If your personal brand is haphazard, lazy or nonexistent, that will reflect on your business whether you want it to or not.
On the other hand, when you align your personal brand with your business brand, you’re much more likely to not only connect with the right people but also turn them into raving fans.
So that’s the ‘why’ of developing a personal branding strategy. To learn more about how personal branding dovetails with professional branding on our website.
Now let’s get into the ‘how.’
Creating A Personal Brand
If every journey begins with a single step, then the first step on this journey is to embrance your personal brand.
That means being confident in who you are. This calls for authenticity. Honesty is important over all else in branding – being genuine builds trust, and trust builds customers.
This can be difficult for women who are often raised to be people-pleasers and all-things-to-all-people.
That’s why you need to keep your target audience in mind.
When building up your brand you need to define yoour ideal client.
And then realize that only your ideal client matters.
Not everyone has to like you, and that’s OK. Remember that the people who don’t embrace your brand were never likely to be customers, anyway.
So be confident in who you are. Own it! Own your personality and don’t be afraid to share it with the world. Embrace what makes you unique, and share it with the world.
READ:8 Personal Branding Mistakes that are Hurting Your Business
Personal branding blunders can repel customers. But how do you avoid them so you don’t actually harm your business?
Here are the biggest personal branding mistakes to avoid.
Read more online.
Examples of Building Your Brand and Building Your Business
In my role, I wear lots of hats. Our Canadian-based agency provides just about every service you could require for digital marketing: logo and graphic design, custom website design and development, SEO and SEM marketing, social media marketing, content writing, copywriting, newsletters, and strategy consulting.
And while I love all my hats, I think what I love most is working one-on-one with small business owners and entrepreneurs to help them define both their personal and professional brands and use them both effectively.
It’s so powerful to help women have their ‘aha’ moment of getting crystal clear on who they are and what they have to offer.
For example, our good friend and (now retired) client Dana Smithers is a woman who lives, eats and breathes her personal brand. Always the ‘lady in red,’ Dana is a shining example of integrating her personal brand with her business brand and her whole life.
Our client Katherine Hartvickson of Quantum Ascendance is another shining example of creating solid and consistent personal and professional brands.
Katherine is a high performance leadership and HR Consultant, as well as speaker and best-selling author.
She is also a powerhouse personal brander, infusing professionalism and grace into everything she does. This includes regular insightful blog posts and a longstanding social media presence that establishes her as a go-to expert.
And like we’ve covered, it’s important to fully embrace who you are.
For example, our client Yvonne Douma isn’t afraid to show her playful side! While her company Douma Leadership offers serious services to entrepreneurs looking to improve their communication skills, Yvonne brings an infectious lightheartedness to her work that her clients love.
So instead of forcing herself into the ‘somber businesswomen’ role, Yvonne embraces who she is, with a social media presence that reflects the fun, family-oriented person she is.
Don’t get us wrong: Yvonne is a super serious entrepreneur and consummate professional who also shares incredibly insightful tips and strategies to establish herself as an expert in her field (for example, see our talk on communication skills on our website).
But that doesn’t mean she needs to shoehorn her personal brand into something that just isn’t her.
Branding Tips for Women In Business
So once you’ve got a little clarity on your personal brand, what comes next?
Here’s are some tried-and-tested ways to build your personal brand:
Optimize Social Media
The best way to effectively use social media in your marketing is to be consistent and create authentic engagement.
Social media is not a tool to sell your business. Instead, it offers a wonderful opportunity to share your personal brand. Keep your social media presence consistent in order to build and enhance your personal brand awareness and develop a “know, like and trust” factor with your followers.
Learn some more tips on how to create an effective social media strategy with us online.
Develop An Appropriate Content Strategy
A good content strategy is important for so many reasons, one of which is establishing your personal and professional brands. We’re all familiar with the phrase ‘content is king,’ so it should be no surprise that well-written content is one of the most important elements of your website and marketing materials.