Does the thought of having a personal brand make you a bit uncomfortable?
If it does, that’s understandable. You’re not alone.
Many entrepreneurs believe that personal branding is rather pretentious – and something that only people who are obsessed with being celebrities invest in.
A real business owner doesn’t have time for such frivolities, you may be thinking.
But this is not completely true. In reality, personal branding is important for every business owner – big and small.
Here are just a few reasons why…
Your business brand is its reputation, and its reputation is you.
Think about it.
In business, you know that your business’s brand is your business’s reputation.
And in business – particularly in small business – you, the business owner ARE the business.
Therefore, your personal brand and your business brand are very tightly intertwined with one another. Sometimes, they may overlap so much, they could be considered as one and the same.
When you are an entrepreneur, people will buy from you, not so much the business.
You are what makes them feel comfortable.
You are what fills them with confidence.
You are the one they trust and build rapport with.
So when you invest in your personal brand, you are really investing in your business brand.
You only get to make one first impression.
You only get one chance to make a great first impression.
Research indicates that it not only takes seconds for someone to decide if they like you, but that it will take a LOT longer to UNDO that first impression if it happens to be a bad one.
If you have a good handle on your personal brand, you are in fact managing your first impression.
The way you dress, the way you talk, your body language, the way you maintain eye contact, your scent, elevator pitch, the way you handle questions… all of these seemingly innocuous factors all snowball to create one giant first impression that could set the standard for a business relationship for months to come.
Your personal brand is key to making a good first impression on someone, and that first impression is a deciding factor on where a business relationship is going to go.
And we all know that when it comes to business – particularly small business – relationships are everything.
Don’t sabotage your networking efforts and your business relationships by neglecting your personal brand.
If you don’t have a personal brand, you won’t stand out.
If you don’t brand your business, it will get tossed around and lost in a sea of other businesses that look just like it.
If you don’t make important decisions about who you want to attract, who you want to serve and sell to, and which niche you want to dominate, your business will get overlooked.
It will seem like your business is trying to be everything to everyone, and in doing so, it will not appeal to anyone.
The same will happen if your personal brand doesn’t exist. Or if it’s wishy-washy and undefined. Or if it’s inauthentic.
Remember – personal branding doesn’t mean pretending to be something you’re not.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Personal branding is understanding what makes you unique and different from all the rest. It means realizing what it is that you have to offer that no one else can offer in the same way.
Think about this. There are many real estate agents out there, and most of them belong to a handful of real estate agencies. They all sell the same properties and have to abide by the same rules and standards. Why would you choose one agent over another? Is it trust? Is it reputation? There really isn’t much separating one agent from the next, EXCEPT their personal brand.
The case of the realtors is perhaps an extreme or exaggerated one, but it applies to anyone who runs a business. Personal branding will often be the deciding factor of whether or not someone should do business with you.
Many business owners neglect the importance of honing a personal brand because it might seem frivolous or unimportant at first. The truth is, however, that personal branding is very important when it comes to building a reputation for yourself and your business. Your personal brand and your business brand are very tightly intertwined. Personal branding will help you make a great first impression, and that will help you create and maintain good business relationships when you are networking. And finally, personal branding will help you stand out from all the other entrepreneurs you are competing with.
Need help with your brand? Call Kim Speed at Purple Moon Creative today!