Your business and your brand are an extension of you, your expertise, your dreams, and your hard work. That's why you spent so much time creating an impeccable logo and website, perfecting your packaging, and crafting your messaging to speak to your potential clients. But, how much time have you spent on your personal branding? Personal branding for business owners is just as important as all of those things and should be a huge part of your brand strategy. Why? Because your clients want to work with YOU as a person.
You Are the Face of Your Brand
You might think that your brand speaks for itself, as Coca-Cola or Nike’s does. But when you are the one speaking directly to your clients, it's YOU that they want to know and trust, not your logo. Small business is driven by relationships; even more so in this interconnected, social-media-driven world. Don’t panic! Creating and maintaining your personal brand is easier than it sounds; it’s all about sharing your authentic self and message with your audience.
Personal Branding for Business Owners
There are several ways you can effectively brand yourself personally as a business owner or vendor.
Personal branding is just fancy-talk for letting people get to know you. In order to do that, it's time to step out from behind your logo and products and tell your story. This can be as literal or as detailed as you like!
Share pictures of yourself at work, tell the story behind your company, or get into detail about how things have changed over the years you've built your business. Through sharing more about yourself, your clients and potential customers will start to feel like they “know you”, and trust more in what you bring to the table. Your personal brand is about you, while your business is an extension of that.
Personal branding as a business owner is not a one-time deal. It is an ongoing process in which you continually show up in the same places (i.e. your blog, social media, in videos, or in-person), and allow people to get to know you.
Showing up “in person” is only half of the formula, though. The other half is about bringing value to the table. While showing up consistently, you have the opportunity to share what you know and position yourself as an expert. Are you a photographer? Share your tips on posing for family photos. A garden designer? Share your personal garden plan. This gives people a chance to get to know you on both a personal AND professional level.
Look the Part.
A personal brand is how you present yourself to the world. You want people to recognize you and your expertise, and being in-style or trendy absolutely is not necessary. Think of Steve Jobs’ black turtleneck or Gordon Ramsay’s spiky hair. Their looks suit them and their businesses and are recognizable. No matter what you choose to wear or the hairstyle you choose, just be YOU.
Take as much care with your personal branding as you do with your company, products, and services. Whether you choose to have professional photos taken, or learn to love your cell phone’s camera, take pictures of yourself in a way that aligns with your company’s brand while showcasing it. Is it fun or serious? Colorful or monochrome? You've spent so much time building your company’s brand that it likely is already a reflection of you. Now you just need to step out and shine!
Personal Branding for Vendors: Add Branded Items To The Mix
As you build your personal brand and start putting more of yourself out there, branded items such as canopies, event displays, or flags are an excellent way to highlight your company. Whether it is a full-scale tradeshow, an in-store sample sale, or an outdoor event that you are part of, having your company showcased professionally as you share your story adds another level to your brand strategy.
Your company is a living, changing entity - one created by you. Why hide the talent behind the business that you worked so hard to grow? With our tips, you can start building your personal brand as a business owner right away. And be sure to contact us when you are ready to add quality, custom textiles to your brand strategy.