How to Grow Your Personal Brand for Long-Term Success
Growing your brand can yield life-changing opportunities. If you’re interested in creating content based around your passion, it’s something to consider as an investment of time. Depending on your industry, a strong personal brand may even be a requirement for your field.
A personal brand could include your areas of expertise, colors or patterns you associate with yourself, catchphrases, or specific teaching methods. Your brand expresses how you do things differently than everyone else, and it defines your style while you do it.
While your voice and passions may change over the years, your brand also goes through a natural evolution, especially in fields like marketing, which are dependent on constant innovation. Your brand can attract interactions with other influencers, phenomenal networking opportunities and more.
Personal branding is the art of becoming knowable, likable and trustable. – John Jantsch
Personal Branding – Why Now is the Time to Build Your Personal Brand
Business-level branding has been a key part of the economy since the Industrial Revolution. Today, children who are not yet old enough to read can recognize popular brands like McDonald’s and Nike.
That said, brands used to be only for businesses. Employees were expected to uphold and support the principles of the brand. Some of us in marketing were even lucky enough to help our businesses build their brands. But as trust has eroded away from corporations and government institutions, we are seeing the ushering in of a new era: the personal brand.
Those of us who understand how to yield the power of our networks will achieve greater levels of professional success. And those who know how to use social channels to deliver helpful messages will ride the wave of this new era in personal branding.
Now, more than ever, is your time to shine as a positive voice in the crowded media marketplace.
The rise of branding on a personal level has been more recent. For a long time, personal branding was better left to athletes, models, and Hollywood celebrities. Today, personal branding is a key to succeeding in many different parts of life.
6 Reasons Why A Personal Brand Is Important For Entrepreneurs
There is a saying in sales, people buy YOU and not really your product. They buy into who you are and what you represent. And this is no more important than today’s convoluted marketplace. In the present global economy where anyone can sell anything, or anyone can copy what others are offering, having a strong personal brand is crucial in order to stand out. And not just to stand out, but to be trusted, that is the key.
People trust something they can relate to, like a person, and not just a brand. With that trust comes loyalty, and with loyalty comes fans who proudly recommend your brand to others. Think of free advertising on social media and word of mouth from strangers, who are willingly advocating that you (and your product or service) is the best they have ever had. And we all know a third-party testimonial or review is the most powerful one there is.
Having these online reviews serve an even greater purpose. According to a study by Kredible, 52 percent of online vendors lost potential sales because of information (or lack thereof) about them online. This clearly underlines how important customer reviews are, for you and your brand. More than that, it shows how a strong personal brand can make or break your business.
A great brand is a story that’s never completely told. A brand is a metaphorical story that connects with something very deep – a fundamental appreciation of mythology. Stories create the emotional context people need to locate themselves in a larger experience. – Scott Bedbury
Defining What a Brand Is: Why Is It So Hard?
A lot of people – even those in branding – struggle with answering the question: So what’s a brand, anyway?
The term “brand” first emerged more than half a century ago as a way for cattle ranchers to identify their animals. In the late 1880s, packaged goods like Coca-Cola started taking off. Brands were used to differentiate them from the generic competition.
But as branding progressed, marketers realized there was more to the brand of Coca-Cola than just a non-generic name.
David Ogilvy, the “Father of Advertising,” defined brand as “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes.”
The Dictionary of Brand defines brand as “a person’s perception of a product, service, experience, or organization.”
Marty Neumeier, author and speaker on all things brand, defines brand by first laying out what a brand is not: “A brand is not a logo. A brand is not an identity. A brand is not a product.” Neumeier goes on to say that “a brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization.”
Great companies that build an enduring brand have an emotional relationship with customers that has no barrier. And that emotional relationship is on the most important characteristic, which is trust. – Howard Schultz
What’s the difference between branding and marketing?
Although often mentioned interchangeably, branding and marketing are two separate things. Knowing the difference between the two is key to mastering both parts of your business. Branding and marketing are both equally important to the success of your business. Being strong on both sides will put your company on a path to success.
Ask around and you will get various answers regarding the distinction of the two, and some may even tell you they are the same. This will explain how and why they are distinct and, most importantly, how to build them both into an advantage over your competition.
Marketing can be described as an activity a company takes to promote its products or services. Marketing’s primary goal is to generate interest for the product or service. Marketing is a set of actions that are designed to communicate the benefits of a company and what it has to offer to its target consumers.
Marketing can be carried out in many different forms that will cost varying amounts of money depending on the potential customers that each specific activity can reach. To develop and manage a successful marketing plan a business will first need to determine the message it wants to convey and that target audience to serve that message to.
Branding, in comparison to marketing, is more internalized. It is about defining who you are. Defining your brand is paramount to the success of your marketing efforts and your business in general.
The characteristics that make up your brand, including your name and logo, should easily identify your business to consumers and be distinct from competitors. Taking it a step further, the colors and fonts you use will become a part of your brand so the small details cannot be overlooked.
Branding needs to be clear, concise, and consistent. Staying consistent in all aspects of your brand will allow for recognition and an easier path to building a solid reputation.
Branding demands commitment; commitment to continual re-invention; striking chords with people to stir their emotions; and commitment to imagination. It is easy to be cynical about such things, much harder to be successful. – Sir Richard Branson
Where Marketing Ends, Branding Begins
So you’ve got a business and you’re ready to push your branding efforts online. The first question you encounter is “How do I go about with branding?”
What I’ve noticed from my years of experience in online marketing is that you probably think branding involves the following:
● Logos, color schemes, and website design – What should my logo be? What colors represent my business best? How do I go about with my web design?
● Brand mentions, links, and social popularity – I have to be as visible online as possible, because this promotes brand recall
● SERPs visibility, ad campaigns, and other promotional efforts
If you answered any of the above, then you’re looking at branding the wrong way. The items I mentioned are all marketing tools and strategies, and they only scratch the surface of branding.
Three Marketing Tactics Every Budding Entrepreneur Must Employ
As an entrepreneur, the art of marketing is at the forefront of your strategy. To grow, you need to employ thorough marketing tactics towards the right consumers. And in today’s business world, there’s a wealth of information at your fingertips. Visit your local bookstore, and there are likely shelves upon shelves of marketing advice. A simple search online will yield millions of results. But with a wide breadth of resources, it can be difficult for entrepreneurs to navigate.
For this reason, biographies and how-tos are popular in the business world. Business owners want to hear advice from people who have been there and done that. They want to learn more about the tried-and-true methods of the successful.
Advantages of digital marketing for entrepreneurs
Most of us enjoy the security that comes with doing a 9 to 5 job. The monthly or weekly salary is a safety net that keeps our financial life balanced. But out of this lot, there are few who just can’t stand it. They hate the routine and work under someone. So what do they do?
They become entrepreneurs. Instead of working for someone, they have others work for them. While it may seem easy from afar, a lookup close will prove otherwise. If you are an entrepreneur, then you know what I’m talking about. But sometimes along the busy schedule, digital marketing might get pushed back. Which is why I’m here to tell you it shouldn’t. In case you forgot why it’s important here are advantages of digital marketing for entrepreneurs you definitely should know about.
9 Reasons Why Every Entrepreneur Should Be On Social Media
As an entrepreneur, you are constantly trying to find an advantage. A new tool that can make you more productive, a way to save more money, a market trend you can capitalize on…
The list goes on and on, as I am sure you know. What if we told you social media is one of the biggest advantages an entrepreneur can have. Even better, it is free. Regardless of where you are on your entrepreneurial journey, pre-launch to post IPO, social media can literally be the difference in success and becoming just another failed company. You might already be active on social media, but the question is: are you taking advantage of all the benefits?