You keep hearing you need a personal brand to grow your business organically.
But you find yourself wondering…
What the h*** is a personal brand? And why do I need a personal brand to grow my business?
Let’s start with the good news:
Whether you know it or not, you already have a personal brand.
Yes, you do! Allow me to explain:
Simple right? 🤣 Let’s break it down:
The people around you (both in real life and online) already have a perception of YOU and the values you represent. Somewhat akin to your “reputation,” your personal brand is how others perceive you and the solutions you provide.
What most business owners neglect to realize is that developing a profitable personal brand takes intentional effort. Allowing your personal brand to develop “by default” not only hurts your chance of business success, it can also be catastrophic.
Small business personal branding case study: Angela’s story
Let me tell you a story…
Angela was a former teacher and stay-at-home mom of 3 adorable boys.
After surviving treatment for breast cancer, she took time to stay home, recover, and try to get back to life as normal.
During this recovery period, Angela was struggling to get her kiddos to sleep on regular schedules. The bedtime struggle brought such stress into her life and marriage on top of everything else she had going on that she decided to dive into some deep research.
What Angela found was a ton of conflicting sleep ideologies. Frustrated with the surplus of confusing tactics, Angela made the decision to seek formal education. Fast forward: Angela is now certified as a Pediatric Sleep Consultant.
Angela’s personal struggles unleashed a passion for helping other moms navigate the challenges of a non-sleeping child and she decided to start helping other moms like her.
What does Angela’s story have to do with developing your personal brand? Like Angela, you already have a personal brand – even if you don’t yet realize it!
What was Angela’s personal brand?
Angela’s audience members (or the people in her “circle”) know her as a mom and a cancer survivor. They are familiar with some of her hobbies and her personality quirks.
And it is these characteristics, perceptions, and personality traits that make up her personal brand.
What pieces of your personality make up your personal brand?
A personal brand is the sum of the parts. Thinking objectively about your personality, answer these questions:
Are you always on time?
Are you the life of the party?
Are you known for being a great host? Or a terrible cook?
Sure, some of these questions are small, but it’s the little traits and personality details that build up your brand over time.
You must understand that as a business owner, your personal brand is developing by default.
Even if you are not currently managing your personal brand development, your personal brand is still developing by default.
Unfortunately, an unintentional personal brand can actually do more harm than good to your business by raising questions in the minds of your potential clients.
Who is she really?
What does she specialize in?
Why should I hire her?
Does she even understand my specific problem and situation?
The reality of today’s online world is that no one will hire a business owner who doesn’t intentionally build her brand to answer these audience questions.
Personal brand development is not only critical for newly launched business owners but seasoned professionals as well. Social media has made everyone’s brand more public than ever before.
Perhaps you’ve run your business successfully for years, but have never invested time into managing your brand intentionally because you relied on referral clients.
Referral marketing alone is no longer a sustainable business strategy in our rapidly evolving (and rather cutthroat) online marketplace. Even as an established brand, your business now has to compete with more and more competitors entering into the mind of your potential clients through the largest and fastest growing marketing tool around: social media.
The dangers of forsaking intentional personal brand development as a seasoned business owner
Neglecting to manage your brand can result in…
- Attracting unqualified clients who are not the best fit for your offers, and vice versa
- A lack of quality clients to fill your client and customer roster
- Confusion among your audience members being unsure of exactly what you offer and how you provide said offers
- Your lack of specificity (AKA: Marketing too “broad”) turning away hot leads who are searching for a specific solution
While many aspects make up your personal brand, it is key to remember that YOU are in control of your brand! Your past clients and your competitors (heck, even your mom!) do not control or define your brand.
Your personal brand is something you have complete control over, and you can redefine your personal brand at any time.
As a business owner, you get to define what you want to be known for. You get to change this definition over time as your expertise and experience evolve and mature with your business growth.
The age-old marketing adage that people buy from those they like and trust holds true today. Only now in the world of social media’s reign, being known, liked, and trusted by your clients requires a consistent effort.
Long gone are the days of throwing a flyer on someone’s door, posting one time to your Facebook page, or making one phone call and then expecting the floodgates of eager buyers to come running.
Developing your personal brand as a business owner takes time. However, this intentionality is crucial to allow people the opportunity to get to know you, like you, trust you, and (eventually) buy from you.
Becoming the “go-to” authority in your industry
To become the go-to authority in the sleep consulting world, Angela needed to continually develop and manage her personal brand.
The good news? Doing so allowed Angela to grow and scale her business and attract more of her dream clients.
That kind of success comes from intentionally developing a personal brand so that you become top of mind when your people think of the offer or service you provide. When you become the unquestionable authority in your clients’ view, guess who they’re going to call?
(Nope, it won’t be your competitor 😉)
To become an authority in your industry, you need to build and manage your personal brand intentionally.
Doing so will allow a few *magical* things to happen in your business:
- People will ask you about what you do, your offers, and how to work with you.
- People will start sharing and referring you and your offers and services.
- Clients will start coming to you (instead of you having to chase them!)
How do you begin to develop your business brand? It all starts with asking one simple question:
What do you want to be known for?
Once you are crystal clear on that answer and commit to intentionally sharing with systemized strategy, you’re well on your way to developing a brand that helps you grow your business online and offline.
Are you ready to start building a personal brand that gets your dream clients excited to work with you? Take the free Profitable Brand Assessment here to understand your brand strengths and how to improve your brand weaknesses.