People do business with people they like, not companies. Relationships are based on mutual connections and trust. The connection with a human creates a level of customer loyalty and endearment, which exceeds any relationship an enterprise could reach.
Even large organizations such as Apple and Tesla have leaders whose personalities promote their brands’ missions. If you’re a small business owner or freelancer, this persona is likely to be you.
The success of freelancers and entrepreneurs depends on building a successful personal brand. Anyone who has access to social media and the internet can build a strong audience, attain an expert’s position, and attract customers for their business.
According to Upwork, the freelance network is growing three times faster than the general workforce in the US.
And by 2027, it’s expected that freelancers will represent most of the workforce in the United States. The secret to differentiating yourself from the competition is developing a compelling and robust personal brand.
Here’s a brief outlining the importance of a personal brand, the rules to build a strong presence, and how to start building a personal brand.
Why Build a Personal Brand?
When you’re starting a business around your domain of expertise, the concept of developing a personal brand comes naturally. If you’re the face of the business, building a personal brand makes sense. It’s what differentiates you from the competition and helps you form a strong impression in your customers’ and audience’s mind.
If your personal brand doesn’t attract your target audience, it’ll be challenging to create a sustainable and profitable business.
Even if your company has a corporate brand, it’s still beneficial to build a personal brand. That’s because people follow other people rather than company brands. So, your personal brand will increase your company’s exposure.
Benefits of a Personal Brand
A personal brand is an effective way to stand out from the crowd. It’s how you can prove your knowledge and skills in a particular field or niche. It’s your chance to connect with your target audience.
A personal brand will help you build trust with your prospects. It’ll position you as a thought leader and authority in your business sector.
A strong personal brand will make it easier for you to pitch and be discovered by media outlets such as online publications, television, podcasts, and magazines.
The media is always searching for industry experts who can share insights with their target audience.
When you have a clear personal brand, which reflects who you are and how you can help, it’s easier for people to identify the value of following and connecting with you.
Build your online and offline network effectively through your personal brand.
Developing a personal brand will help you become the go-to source in a specific niche. This way, you’ll attract more customers.
When you’re seen as an expert, people can easily refer clients to you. It also helps demonstrate charging increased prices for your services and products. Otherwise, you’re just competing on price.
Your business will grow and evolve.
You may venture into different industries throughout your career. But your personal brand must stay with you as your business evolves.
People trust a brand, which connects to a person’s face as compared to a corporate brand.
Start Creating a Compelling Personal Brand
The first step to developing a personal brand is to set a foundation that you can confidently build upon. The key is authenticity. A personal brand doesn’t mean creating a persona.
A persona is a façade, not a true expression of who you are. Branding is about strategically and intentionally showcasing your true self to your target audience and customers. It must showcase your skills, values, passions, and beliefs.
Define your message, the media, and methods through which you’ll communicate your personal brand. And determine how you can monetize it.
A personal brand doesn’t necessarily mean that you must be an author, launch courses, or run a mastermind even.
You don’t even have to become a speaker. It can be as simple as growing awareness of something you do every day.
Next, define the problem you resolve and how you can help people.
The foundation of a personal brand is solving a problem, which your target audience is struggling with.
It goes beyond vanity. It must reflect your purpose. Once you’ve cleared what problem you’re trying to solve, everything will line up. It’s like a company’s mission statement.
To create a profitable personal brand, you must have something to offer to your target audience. Make an irresistible offer, which helps your prospects solve a specific issue.
Position yourself as a specialist and promise your target audience a particular outcome. Identify the overlap between what you’re passionate about, what you excel at, and what your ideal customers need and want.
It’s the ideal time to be an entrepreneur. Thanks to technological advancements, any barriers to entrepreneurship are almost non-existent. You can easily build an online brand and audience and sell services and products to your prospects.
With a personal brand, you stand out from the crowd. Your business brand has competitors, but you don’t.
Although other companies may be selling services and products similar to yours, they’re not you. Your personal brand has no competition. It’s why it’s such a powerful tool.
Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas. She’s a digital marketing specialist, speaker, and marketing coach and loves to share her “Ballen Method” to generate website traffic and leads online. Lori’s specialties are SEO content writing (ranking on the search engines), social media strategies, and affiliate marketing. Need a website? Contact Lori’s brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands.