As an entrepreneur, it is essential you create and effectively manage your own personal brand. While it is important to sell your product or service, formulate a financial plan, secure investment and run the business, a lot of running small operations is about you.
Why? Because people invest in people, according to Scott Duffy, a TV and online personality, keynote speaker, business coach and champion for entrepreneurship. “Every action you take helps others define you,” he says. “Personal branding goes a long way toward cultivating your tribe, as well as your customer base.”
Here are five steps to help you take control of your personal brand:
Identify your ultimate goal
The first step is to be clear about what you want to ultimately achieve. Do you want to release a new product that extends your company’s profile? and Do you want to build a top-quality team to transform your local business into a global operation? also, Do you want to secure funding for the next stage of your business plan?
Whatever the target is, think carefully about who you need to help you achieve that goal and the image you need to project to encourage others to join you on this journey to success.
Understand where you are now
Take some time to assess where you are today and where you want to be. What is the gap, and what changes need to be made to fill this gap?
Duffy says a good way to answer this question is to ask the five people you spend the most time with and ask them to describe your brand. Then extend this question to others who you have less interaction with.
By understanding how others see you and your brand, you can learn what needs to be changed. If they say you comes across as rude when you think of yourself as confident, then you know this is an area you need to work on.
What do your daily habits say about you
Daily habits can shape how people brand you, and ultimately your business. What you wear, how you present yourself, your organization – all of these tell people about you, and the right presentation can go a long way.
For example, someone who is well presented, has a friendly demeanour and comes across as well-organised comes across as a person who is committed, disciplined and can follow through on their commitments.
Small things such as the fit of your clothes and the warmth of your handshake can make all the difference – and are all elements that are within your control.
Recruit the help of technology
The majority of people’s first introduction to you and your business will be online, whether they find you on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or type your name into Google.
This means, they will see pictures and videos you choose to share publically, as well as your interests, so use these online tools to your advantage. Use a professional photograph for your profile pictures, include links to your website and make sure your bio is engaging and up-to-date.
This is the most important tip of them all. When developing a personal brand, it’s vital you remain authentic. Be original and creative, but make sure you keep your credibility.
Don’t try and be someone you think others want you to be and present a sincere, concise version of yourself.