In a time where virtually every word imaginable has been used in the creation of a brand name, many entrepreneurs and business owners are finding it difficult to get ahead. The fact is that startups now have to compete on a global scale, increasing the odds of there being some heavy competition against your personal brand.
In effect, this means that brand identity must be wholly unique if a business is to rise above the competition and make a name for themselves in the global arena. This is the advantage that personal branding offers over corporate branding.
Leverage Personal Branding to Grow Your Business
One solution that many have found is to use their own names as a foundation and begin marketing themselves to the world – something businesses can learn a lot from.
This idea of presenting your company as a unique brand built around individuality can be adapted to suit your needs – regardless of the size the industry or your budget – provided you have:
- Already established yourself and your business online
- Set up social media accounts where your buyers are
- Have a found a small, if not modest, customer base
We’ll address a few of the steps you will need to take to grow your business and how you can strengthen your personal brand while engaging your audience in a meaningful way.
Create Content With Your Audience in Mind
By now, most businesses around the world are privy to the benefits of social media and are using it to their advantage – more on that later. Quality content is about shareability and posting the right material at the right times.
If you want, you can also go against the flow and post about controversial topics if you believe in your point of view and can back up your claims. Just keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to ignite the passion of the right percentile of your consumer demographic in a non-adversarial manner.
Generally, you will need to think about:
- What content is most valuable to your readers
- What format your audience typically prefers
- What message or point you’re trying to get across
In a great infographic by QuickSprout, the best times to post are shared. Content posted at around 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. get the highest amount of shares and clicks respectively, with Mondays being the most optimal day of the week to post an update.
What does this have to do with promoting your personal brand? Everything. You need to know your audience extremely well and make things as convenient for them as is possible to build traction and grow your business over the short to long term.
Humanize Your Business for the Right Reasons
Approachable brands are those that are consumer-centric – that is, they cater to the needs of their audience. This is one of the reasons why social media has become a popular marketing and promotional platform for many businesses.
In fact, the message is even getting through to Fortune 500 companies who are becoming increasingly more active online. According to a recent article on SteamFeed, 77 percent of these companies are on Twitter, 70 percent are on Facebook and 69 percent are on YouTube.
If this says anything about the current state of affairs in business, it’s that communication is a critical factor in attracting and developing an audience. The conversation should be a two-way street, however, as consumers are just as interested in the people behind the brand as they are about the product or service.
With this in mind, use social media to approach your customers in a personal way and don’t be afraid to incorporate elements of personal branding to humanize your business.
Build a Dependable Circle of Early Adopters
If you treat your customers like people rather than walking wallets, you’ll effectively be able to encourage trust and can then begin building a rapport with your buyers. It may be more apt to refer to your customer base as your fan base.
You want these people to be early adopters and trendsetters so that they’ll do your marketing for you via positive word-of-mouth. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can go about increasing your brand’s visibility, such as:
- Crowdsourcing new ideas to attract and forge new relationships
- Establishing contests or social media campaigns to gauge loyalty
- Creating your own community of authority by calling on relevant experts
Ideally, your marketing efforts need to be equal parts appealing and authoritative to encourage this kind of engagement and response. If you do it right, conversion rates should increase as a flow-on effect is created.
Reinvent Yourself and Your Brand if You Need To
One last thing to keep in mind when making a name for your brand is to use storytelling whenever possible to give your audience a sense of who you are and relate what you’ve experienced over the course of establishing a business.
Additionally, remember that you’re free to explore other avenues should you choose. Personal branding as a malleable process that changes over time as you reach new milestones. As such, if you feel the need to reinvent your brand’s image, there’s nothing really stopping you.
A Case Study in Personal Branding Repositioning Done Right
Consider the situation the owners of Just Cabinets would have found themselves in when they decided to change their name to reflect their expansive product offering that included more than just cabinets.
Rather than change the name entirely and undo years of hard work, the appropriate solution was a compromise. The brand name going forward included the words Furniture & More and repositioned the business in a much stronger position within the marketplace.
If this is an option you need to make, implement small changes gradually and make sure you’re aware of the basics of reinventing your brand well in advance if all possible.
Ultimately, your brand’s name is of little consequence, but it does need to be marketed in a personal way. If you follow the hints and tips laid out in this article, you should start to see activity levels increase and your business begin to make a real name for itself.