Importance Of Personal Branding For Entrepreneurs

Many entrepreneurs don’t concentrate on personal branding since they feel it might shift the focus from the brand. Fair enough. Some might even argue saying the customers are paying for the product/services, not for the face behind the brand.

As an entrepreneur you are the public face of your business. You have clients and customers on your social media. Whether you like it or not, people want to know the real you. And in these modern times, it’s all about relationship management. And this is where personal branding comes in. It makes your customers feel closer to you, which in turn makes it easier for you to establish trust, connection and an authentic relationship.

Well, it’s a tricky game, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Entrepreneurs, it’s time you took your personal branding seriously.

Entrepreneurs are here, and they are here to stay. In this digital age, there is a pressing need to stand out and be heard. So how do you rise above the clutter? For starters, get your personal branding right.

Like a business brand, your personal brand also needs a growth and exit strategy. People need to know who you are, what is it that you are doing, and what to expect from you. A personal brand shouldn’t be limited to the first set skills we’ve perfected.

Building a personal brand online doesn’t happen overnight. It happens post after post, tweet after tweet. Your reputation is the most valuable asset you own. It is what people say about you when you’re not around. Give them something good to talk about.

Before you start with branding yourself online, make sure you have the answers to the following questions-

Who am I?
Who is my target audience?
Am I comfortable promoting myself (yes would be a good answer)
Do I understand the need to be patient with social media marketing?
Do I understand the importance of reputation management?
So how do you get personal branding right? Well, you treat it as a business brand! We’ll show you how-

1. Market Penetration
Walk into your first job and stick with it. Figure out what works for you and learn it really well. Make sure everyone knows what your strong point is.

2. Market Development
Take on new projects, explore your options, learn how to integrate the various aspects of your job. Coordinate with people of other departments and never stop learning and sharing.

3. Marketing Channels
Get strong on LinkedIn. Start a blog. Start a Twitter account. Get onto Pinterest. Attend conferences. Exchange business cards. Be seen, be heard.

4. Product Development
Learn new tricks. Are you dealing with market research? Learn social media. Get into business development. The industry is constantly changing, make sure you are a part of it.

5. Product Innovation
A company customizes it’s offerings as per the client requirement. You too must start expanding on new areas of your industry and knowledge based on the needs of your new customers.

Be a strong personal brand. Because in a fast paced world, you do not want to be left behind.

This was first published in Social Media Week 2015.