For any start up personal branding is vital. You might think you need to work to ‘discover’ your personal brand, but actually, it’s right in front of you. You. That’s your brand. Whether you’re a photographer, copywriter, graphic designer or food critic, you are your own personal brand. So that part was easy at least.
Unfortunately, there’s more to it than that. A good personal brand will create an image that customers want to be loyal to, and that drives sales. On the other hand, a bad personal brand could damage your business and even offend customers.
Your personal brand will serve you for as long as you’re trading, so don’t rush into things. Be sure you get it right with these effortless steps.
What is Branding?
Before you start to think about personal branding, it’s important to understand what branding as a whole means for your business. Many confuse marketing and branding as the same thing. While the aim of both are similar, there are essential differences as to how they are carried out.
Branding is how you express your company values to customers. It’s the website, social media sites, leaflets, blog, logo and copy. Branding is permanent. As long as your business exists, so does your brand.
Marketing is only temporary. While your branding will last forever, your marketing will only make a fleeting impression on your customers. Through marketing you’re actively promoting your product. You’ll have many marketing strategies over the course of your business but you’ll only have one brand.
This distinction is important when discovering your personal brand. Creating marketing plans without a personal brand won’t work. Take time to build your brand before building a marketing strategy. This way you’ll create a business that lasts – and your marketing will be able to go the distance.
Your company values are a key factor in defining who your audience are. Your values will be attractive to specific people – who will be your potential customers.
As you begin to discover a target audience, you’ll need to develop your personal brand. Don’t bend or change anything you don’t want your business to stand for. If you find yourself doing this, you haven’t found the right target audience.
A fool proof way to define your audience is to conduct a customer survey. Find out exactly what people want from you and you won’t be able to go wrong. On the other hand, guessing what your audience desires could cause your brand serious damage.
What Makes You Unique?
You’re offering everything your customer asked for. But so are your competitors. It’s a constant battle to fight over customers, so how do you get customer to pick you? Make your brand unforgettable, that’s how.
There’s a lot to be gained from a brand that has something unique to offer. A quirky twist that makes your brand likeable will go a long way when in terms of customer loyalty. People are more concerned about the values of brands than their offers, and will stick by your side as long as you make yourself unforgettable.
Make customers know it’s you talking without having to check your logo. Let your personality shine through your copy and develop a brand tone of voice that keeps customers interested and engaged.
Perfect the Image
Perfecting your image means working on a brand that’s consistent, relevant and attractive to the customer. The design of your website is the main place where this image should be emphasized, so don’t shy away from hiring a good website and graphic designer.
If you’re too worried about your budget, you won’t convey the message you hope to. A conflicting image and brand voice will confuse customers, which won’t make loyal to your company any time soon.
Your image is created through the story your business tells, so think about your company history and values when considering your design. A good background story and business mission is a great way to get people talking about your business.
Have you got any tips for personal branding you’d like to share? Leave a comment in the section below!