If you’re an entrepreneur, you probably have a great understanding of the value of branding for your company or product. But what about building a brand for you as an individual? While the former is vital to your success, one could argue that your personal brand is equally important. If you find yourself in a crowded, competitive market, a strong personal brand may be just what you need to break through to the next level of sales and profitability.
What is a ‘personal brand’?
Personal branding is an intentional effort to shape public perception of who you are as a business owner, leader, or influencer in your industry. Steve Strauss wrote a book on the topic, “Your Small Business Boom,” and he describes personal branding as “your name, reputation, value, personality, expertise, differentiation, and promise, all rolled into one.” As a business owner, building your personal brand will give you the opportunity to tell your unique story. It gives you the chance to tell the public and your target market what is important to you and why you (and your business, service, or product) deserve a place in their life as a consumer. A personal brand tells the world how you are an expert in your field. Some large-scale examples of great personal branding are Gary Vee, Grant Cardone, Joe Rogan, and even Oprah Winfrey. On a smaller scale, you can probably think of some local examples in your own community – a local chef, restaurateur, real estate agent, or other members of your chamber of commerce.
How do you measure ROI on personal branding?
Investing time and resources into a personal brand isn’t right for every business owner. The return on investment will be higher for some industries compared to others. Usually, a personal brand is most effective for service businesses where the business owner and the business are really one and the same. A few examples of this are lawyers, writers, marketers, or even aestheticians, hairstylists, or personal trainers. There are always exceptions to the rule, especially depending on who your target market is. Many of these exceptions find success and huge exposure on social media platforms like Instagram, and especially TikTok, and are able to sell whatever they want as a result of the personal brand they’ve built for themselves on that platform. But keep in mind that good personal branding takes time and doesn’t happen overnight. Be mindful of where your resources are best spent.
How to Get Started on Your Personal Brand
If you’ve determined that building a personal brand is a good investment for you and your business, it can be hard to figure out where to start. First, you will need to pick your niche and build everything else according to this. What makes you unique? What is your differentiating factor? Build everything from here to reflect whatever that is. Second, you’ll want to define your target audience. You’ll need to generate original content that is tailored to them. Leverage social media to amplify that content, and lastly, create a strategy and stick to it. What are your goals? It’s important to define them to visualize a trajectory for your personal brand and how it will elevate and accelerate your business.