You’ve heard it before…
“First impressions are everything.”
We know this statement is true in business. We know this statement is true in the services or products you sell. And we definitely know this statement is true in personal, every day life.
If we know all of this to be true, why is it as entrepreneurs we forget about the latter?
We get so caught up in building the brand of the business – making sure that our audience recognizes us and falls in love with us – that we forget, WE are our business’s biggest brand ambassadors!
But for whatever reason, many of us aren’t comfortable with developing our personal brand.
Maybe it feels forced. Or you don’t want to put yourself out there. Or you feel like you’re selling your soul.
But “personal branding” isn’t as intense as it sounds. All it means is that as an entrepreneur, a creator, a professional (whatever it is that you are), your business, your craft, your value (whatever it is that you do) is an extension of yourself and a part of your life’s story.
Personal Branding weaves together your life & your work—in the form of sharing your life’s work.
Think about some of the top players out there – the most well-known, well-defined brands. There’s Apple. There’s Tesla. There’s Microsoft. Now think about the person behind those brands. Apple has Steve Jobs. Telsa has Elon Musk. Microsoft has Bill Gates. The point of this exercise is for you to realize that the reputation of the person behind the business is closely tied to the reputation of the business. Each and every one of these entrepreneurs have distinct personal brands that are inseparable from the companies that they’ve built.
So why should your’s be any different?
Personal Branding is quite simple. It is taking whatever makes you special and projecting it in a consistent, authentic, and impactful way.
Here’s three easy steps to help you get started…
1. Put Yourself Out There
The number one thing is BE ACTIVE ONLINE!!! The strength of your brand isn’t the number of followers you have, but rather the sum of your activity. As we mentioned before it’s about consistency and engagement. Don’t overthink posting or sharing something – whether it be a photo on your feed or story or even a comment on someone else’s post. If it matters to you and is authentic to who you are as a person, then that’s all you need.
2. Tell Your Story
There is a lot of “fluff” out on the internet. Believe it or not, people are searching for the meat!!! They want deep meaningful content to relate to. They want to hear your story. They want to hear your struggles. And they also want to hear your victories. Share them ALL. The more authentic and vulnerable you are, the easier and more natural it is to build your personal brand. In short, BE YOURSELF. Don’t worry about what is popular or “keeping an image” – the more unfiltered you are, the better!
3. Join Online Communities
The actions you take online – from leaving comments, to liking posts, to re-sharing other’s posts – leave a digital footprint. Believe it or not, leaving your footprint in the right or wrong places can significantly impact not only your personal brand, but the brand of your business. So, join online communities and groups that reflect the same values that you and your business possess. Leaving your mark in the right places can effectively help you network with others, garner interest in your business, and attract followers to your pages and traffic to your website.
Remember, you’ve got a voice, a story to tell and the opportunity to tell it. The world is a stage, and it’s given you a choice…
Will you sit in the audience? Or…
Will you step out from behind the curtains and be heard?