Most people associate reliability and quality of a product/ service to a brand. Brand building is an exercise not limited to organisations alone; every individual is a personal ambassador of his/ her own brand. It’s a powerful way to differentiate yourself, get your voice heard, and make your own mark. Needless to say, your personal brand is a reflection of your image, attitude and behaviour, both offline and online, and it’s how YOU are positioned in people’s minds.

Why Personal Branding Is A Must For Every Entrepreneur

Communicates vision

A well-positioned personal brand helps you effectively communicate your vision and value systems thereby earning you a repute in your niche.

Expands your audience base

According to studies, 77 percent of consumers are likely to buy from a brand if the CEO is active on social media. Jay Shetty, a British-Indian Monk turned Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker and Influencer uses Facebook to directly interact with his audience, and with 25 million followers, his short videos are widely received. Jay has successfully built a brand strategy with the help of digital social media.

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Evokes thought-leadership

Your post updates and conversations with followers are an opportunity to create your personal brand. Take for example Indian entrepreneur, Anand Mahindra who actively tweets about the projects he’s engaged in and discusses current affairs and other general issues. He’s gained the leader’s reputation of sharing thoughts and responding to questions with intelligent solutions.

Increases your market value

Customers buy expensive products from brands they attach high value to. In similar light, personal branding helps entrepreneurs to attach value to their name, which then sets the foundation to increase the marked price of the company they are associated with.

Boosts conversions

With effective personal branding, prospective clients can reach a business, rather than the other way around. If existing customers share the same value as you and have developed trust in you, they will be a trusted source of testimonials and referrals for your business. According to a Gartner study, 80 percent of your company’s future revenue comes from just 20 percent of existing customers.

Builds trust

Personal branding also helps inspire trust, necessary to build professional networks with people in the industry and maintain healthy relationships with them. Take Ratan Tata, the billionaire industrialist, philanthropist, and former chairman of Tata Sons for example – his willingness to share his knowledge and experiences has earned him an instant Instagram fame of over 280K followers (in less than 24 hours).

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Gains loyalty

Remember, your personal brand is how people describe you when you are not in the room. It’s not about the first impression, but a long lasting perception, created with consistent effort. It is pivotal to demonstrate why clients should choose you and your firm over other choices available in the market.

Provides flexibility

A well recognised brand name increases your worth in the industry, gives you freedom to decide who you want to work with, and gives you the choice of a flexible work schedule.

PR and alternative sources of income

Lastly, with a strong personal brand, you can leverage supplemental income or PR through columns, panels, book deals, and endorsements.

Online Personal Branding Strategies

Identify and narrow down your niche

While building a personal brand make sure to focus on those skills and values you have mastered. It’s important to identify your niche while positioning yourself in the industry. Next, do a deep analysis and proper research about your field and competition to narrow down your niche even more – it will help to generate better results for your personal brand.

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Be part of a movement

Stand for something that defines your personality and promotes the values you identify with. Be original even if at times your opinion reflects with the minority’s. It’s always a good idea to structure your personal brand strategy around concepts you believe in.

Create a mini-manifesto

Establish a brand culture that resonates with your identity. Create a manifesto that enlists your values, mission and vision.

Create a personal branding statement

Your personal branding statement is your USP summarised in one sentence.

The Real You Vs The Projected You

What Personal branding is not:

  • Boasting – It’s not the ‘what I am good at’ but rather, ‘what I am interested to converse on’.
  • A fake image -‘You cannot fool all the people all the time’- Abraham Lincoln.
  • Not your whole self – Just a few of your interests which you want to be associated with, these will form part of your USP.

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What personal branding is:

  • One type of news, that is your passion – One niche you are inclined to learn more about, even though there is good amount of knowledge in the domain.
  • A daily image – Because building connections is constant.
  • A task built on consistently.

So what’s your personal brand story?

Natasha is an award-winning marketer and founder of The Words Edge. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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