In the digital age, personal branding significantly impacts the success of a small business. Customers want to know WHO they are buying from and connect on a common ground. Prospects want to see inside the victories and failures of the business owner. Personal branding facilitates an opportunity to get to know your client and vise versa.
Creating a personal brand is not a matter of getting on facebook and sharing a picture of your Aunt Mildred’s broken hip or pictures of your cat destroying a roll of toilet paper. Personal branding requires a well thought out of plan of what expertise you want to be known for, personal limitations, and where personal branding meets business goals. Basically, you have to come up with your marketing plan for your personal brand.
Developing a marketing plan for your personal brand needs to include knowing where your target market is hanging out. You need to identify the topics you will discuss, how it will benefit your business goals, and where to draw the line between private and public life.
Here are a few things to think about when launching your personal branding:
- Keep it real! People who have never owned a business believe that ALL business owners always know what they are doing. Non business owners assume owning a business is a 10am-3pm exercise and they are rolling in the money. Be open and honest about struggles and lessons learned. You don’t have to give too much away, but talk about things like understanding how to draw boundaries in the workplace or poor strategy decisions. Honesty breeds trust; trust yields business.
- Develop a content calendar and commit to blogging once a week. Out of sight, out of mind rings true in personal business. If people are not hearing from you then they will forget you and your business exist.
- Keep your drama off the radar. I am not saying to never write about lessons learned from an experience, but keep names out of blogs that might imply something negative about someone else. Be prepared to suffer the consequences of anything you say on your blog. Your crazy neighbor, Vicky, will live up to her promise of lighting your lawn on fire if she finds her name on your blog.
- Have patience. It takes quite a long time to get a following up on your personal brand.
- Always remember your brand has value….your moral value. How you want to be known in your personal life and business? Your brand will reflect your morals and who you are on the inside. People, potential customers, will decide to do business with you based on how you conduct yourself.
Personal branding mirrors your heart and mind. Remember that personal branding has the chance to bring you massive amounts of business and notoriety. What do you want to be known? In business and in life? Now, go out and write!