The chances are, you’ve probably heard the term “personal brand” thrown around quite often in business circles today. As we enter a world of social media and digital transformation, it’s not just big companies and organizations that need a “brand” anymore – it’s individual entrepreneurs too. In fact, if you want to be a truly innovative individual in your industry, then you need a familiar and recognizable footprint online.
The statistics around personal branding speak for themselves. For instance, one study found that 52% of vendors have lost business online just because of the information that customers found or didn’t find about them online.
If you want to make sure that you’re attracting the right kind of people to your business, then you need to start working on your reputation.
No matter whether you’re actively working on your reputation or not – every entrepreneur has a personal brand. Your personal brand is simply how you represent yourself online and offline. It’s what people think and say about you.
The image that people see when they look at you through social media profiles, read online reviews or read your interviews can make or break your business.
While you can’t always control what other people say about you online, you can at least take steps to improve your reputation. Here are just some of the reasons why crafting a strong personal brand is critical for modern entrepreneurs.
There are countless entrepreneurs trying to launch and run their own business today. If you want your venture to be successful, then you need to give people a reason to choose you over your competitors. A personal brand can help you to do this, by showing people what makes you different. For instance, you could use a personal blog to demonstrate your thought leadership or conduct industry interviews to show your unique sector knowledge.
A good personal brand is a fantastic way to get yourself noticed online for all the right reasons. It ensures that you differentiate yourself from a sea of other creators and innovators who might be trying to attract the attention of your audience.
The competitive nature of the current marketplace means that there are plenty of talented and smart people on the market today, all looking for opportunities just like you. If you want to attract the attention of the right audience, then you can’t just have an interesting online presence, you also need a way to show your customers that you can be trusted.
Building a personal brand online gives you automatic credibility because it shows that you’re true to your word. For instance, if you claim to be an industry expert, then take part in countless networking events and publish useful blogs online, then people will trust that you are who you say you are. Just make sure that you follow through on the promises you make with your personal brand.
A lot of entrepreneurs find themselves spending a lot of time trying to chase down the perfect client. Unfortunately, if you’re constantly spending all your waking hours looking for business, then you won’t have enough time to work on developing and growing your company too.
A strong personal brand can help to take some of the weight off your shoulders when it comes to attracting new clients. Good personal branding generates word of mouth from potential customers, who are keen to talk about the services you can offer, and the innovations you’re investing in. This conversation drives relevant clients to you, as well as potential partners who might be able to help bring your ideas to life.
Your personal brand doesn’t just help you to attract new clients, it could also mean that you can charge more too. After all, people are more willing to pay extra to work with someone who has a strong reputation in their field. For instance, think about it this way – would you rather pay a little extra to work with someone who you trust to give you the results you need, or spend less and work with someone you’ve never heard of?
A personal brand shows that you have real value to offer, and that’s particularly important in today’s competitive marketplace. The more you work on your personal brand, the more demand for your skills will grow. This means that you can begin to adjust your pricing based on basic supply and demand. Just remember that the best way to raise your prices fast with your personal brand is to establish yourself within a specific, specialized niche. If you try to cover too much too fast, you could find yourself facing huge amounts of competition.
There are few things more valuable to an entrepreneur than their network. Not only does your network set you up for strong partnerships and collaborations in the future, but it can also open the door to new opportunities that help you to grow the value of your services and connect with potential clients.
Building a strong personal brand makes you more attractive to people in the “higher-up” categories of your industry. Often, when big clients and CEOs are deciding who to do business with, they’ll check their network for recommendations and insights. If they come to your LinkedIn page and find nothing of interest, then they’ll simply move onto the next person. On the other hand, if you’ve got pages of event attendance and insightful blogs to show off, then you’ll be far more attractive.
The more you attract partnerships and conversations with the big kahunas in your industry, the better your personal brand will become. That’s one of the reasons why personal branding is such a great long-term investment. After a while, your brand starts to build itself.
Finally, creating a personal brand is one of the first steps you’ll need to take when you’re defining who you want to be as an entrepreneur. This means figuring out your mission, your goals, and the message you want to send out to the world. A personal brand is what sets you apart from the other people in your marketplace, and it’s how your customers know to turn to you instead of your competition.
Taking the time to create a personal brand forces you to sit down and think about the reputation you want to have, and the perceptions you need to generate from your target audience. You can even create a set of personal brand guidelines to use whenever you need to make important decisions on how to interact with your clients and potential partners.
Remember, a personal brand is a dynamic living thing – and an extension of you. As you continue to build your position as an innovative entrepreneur, you’ll need to make sure that you’re taking steps to manage and maintain your personal brand. Audit your image regularly and remember to take regular steps to protect your reputation. In this digital world, you can’t afford to overlook your personal brand.
About the author: Olivia Diaz is a professional writer and blogger who has worked at several startups. She fully understands why it’s crucial that entrepreneurs give their personal brands the attention they deserve and how it can make a huge impact on their success. You can read more of her tech and business content at broadbandsearch.com.