In simpler times, we may have known the names and faces behind small, local businesses we frequented, but the concept of personal branding wasn’t much in evidence until the internet age. Now, not only do you have to define your company brand, but you may need to become the face of the brand of your new enterprise to make your business more relatable.
The “personal brand” can be an incredibly valuable business tool. It doesn’t mean you have to become the Oprah of your industry, just that people want to connect real people to the businesses and brands they love. When you allow customers to do that, they feel a stronger connection to your brand and you’ll build that trust relationship much faster. Here are a few ideas about building a personal branding campaign.
Show Behind-the-Scenes Action
Instagram is the fastest-growing social media site, and is particularly popular among mobile device users, because phones are not only used for browsing Instagram, but also for submitting photos there. Some of the brands that have been most successful in leveraging Instagram as a social media marketing channel have taken the time to show customers behind-the-scenes looks at their businesses. Doing this successfully requires that those behind-the-scenes photos be beautiful, just like Instagram photos of products. It may be worth your investment to hire a professional photographer who understands Instagram well to take this type of photos for you.
Do Your Web Properties Tell Your Story?
All of your online real estate should shape your brand by helping tell your story. Though you may highlight different aspects on different web properties, all should go toward capturing the important things about you and your brand. Your web presence should answer several key questions:
- How did you get to where you are now?
- Where is your company headed?
- What were some of the turning points in the development of your business?
- What obstacles have you overcome to succeed?
People relate to personal experiences, and they’re curious about the human side of your business, even if the business itself isn’t touchy-feely. The goal is to get across all the important details of your business story, to humanize your brand and help people feel as if they know you. When a customer feels like she knows the “face” of the brand, she feels a stronger connection to it.
Positioning Yourself as an Expert
Whether it’s on your web pages through blog articles, on social media, in print interviews, or on video, you should strive to position yourself as not only an expert on your company, but as an expert in your industry. How does your line of cookware fit into today’s home cooking trends? Why are you emphasizing sustainability with your clothing brand? How does your software cater to the needs of a more mobile workforce? If you are going to be interviewed, whether on camera, by phone, or in writing, regardless of the questions you are asked, also look for opportunities to educate the audience and the interviewer . All media interviews can help you position your brand more prominently within your industry.
Integrity Is Indispensable
Honesty is absolutely essential to developing the face of your brand. Rest assured that when brands put forward a “face” that doesn’t represent its actual values, the contradictions will eventually come to light. People not only want to put a face on the brands they love, they also want those faces to be real. Trying to portray your business as something it isn’t is an enormous branding mistake. Be real, be honest, and make your media presence such that, if someone actually showed up at your place of business, they would recognize it and feel at home, since it’s as you represented it.
Being the “face” of your brand doesn’t require you to always be in front of a camera. But it does require that you let customers in on what your company is about, who operates it, and what its values are. People today are more intimately involved with the brands they love, and they want to be confident that a brand’s back-story shows integrity and “humanizes” the brand.
Personal branding is a terrific opportunity to draw positive attention to your business, so make sure you put forth the effort to put an honest, candid, appealing human face with your business brand. I would love to help you to learn how to leverage social media for your business, which is one of today’s most important steps for brand-building.
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