How a Founder’s Personal Brand Establishes a Credible Startup

All entrepreneurs know that their startup needs to be ‘doing branding’ and ‘marketing’ in order to thrive. But, what about the founder’s personal brand?

​Should the founders care about their brand in addition to their startup’s brand?

The answer is… Yes, absolutely!

Here’s how personal branding establishes credibility for your startup.

1. It positions you as an authority.

A personal brand, backed up with plenty of useful and informative content, puts you on your industry’s stage as a leader. It says, “I know what I’m talking about — you should listen.”

And, even if you’re wrong and putting content out there, your bravery still wins over those not putting themselves out there. Because you’re not afraid to be challenged.

On the other hand, if you have not taken the time to build your personal brand, prospects will see you (and by extension, your startup) as an unknown.

And because you are not seen as an authority until you’ve established your brand, prospects will need more information before trusting you or your business as a potential industry leader.

2. It provides a foundation.

A credible personal brand needs to have an online home: your website. This acts as a hub of information showing why you and your startup are trustworthy and worth doing business with. You can use it to promote and host your blog posts, gain a following, collect prospect information and be found more easily online.

Without a personal website, third-party organizations are not vouching for you as an expert. After all, where would they link to, anyway? Give them blog posts and websites to link to.

This also helps you with search engine optimization (SEO) — meaning that you will be found more easily and, if you do it right, build a bigger audience following you and your startup. You need a base for others to start building back-links to, so publish your site ASAP.

The competition is already fierce and you’re falling behind without owning more online assets, like your own live personal website and domain.

3. Personal brands build context.

Everything your startup does will be backed up by a strong personal brand that provides context. You know what’s nice for me when it comes to having a strong personal brand?

…Strangers approach me every week making jokes about ‘handshaking,’ so when it comes to selling, I never need to tell them what I do: they already know my company and what I’m about as a Founder. They just want me to hear about them a little bit and tell them how Handshakin’ services can help them in specific.

As you can see, your personal brand’s content serves to show why prospects should engage with you, trust you, do business with you, and so on. It will strengthen all of your startups content as well.

For example, personal testimonials add credibility to your company testimonials, and active, updated personal online profiles makes you look like a thought leader today, in 2016. If you don’t have time to clean the cobwebs from your personal profiles, just delete them.

So make sure that your personal brand is built out to add context to why your startup is credible and will succeed. Your brand acts as a foundation for who your startup is and why it is better than competitors.

If you’re having trouble getting started with content for your personal brand, please contact us for a helping hand.

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