What is a Personal Brand and why is it important
I often see classes offered to business owners on how to build their online persona for personal branding. I cringe when I see this. Personal branding isn’t about creating a persona, it’s about branding you as the heart of your business.
Building a personal brand is the fastest way for a small business to grow in an honest and authentic way
People trust people, they don’t trust brands. How often have you bought a new product or service because the logo was kick ass? How often have you been disappointed by a company that you submitted a complaint to and got the distinct feeling the person you talked to was reading from a script. Then when you push your questions, they just re-read the script. It’s not personal, and it doesn’t make us feel welcome, wanted or appreciated.
Personal brand is where you are the heart of the brand, as yourself. If you plan on designing a persona that you want the world to see, it’s not authentic, and it wont last. You can’t change who you are, so instead you celebrate it.
Examples of successful personal branding from companies and individuals
Jenna Kutcher is excellent at building her personal brand. She’s a wedding photographer turned Instagram expert and has built a 7-figure empire around her personal brand. She empowers women through body awareness, shares her personal struggles with conceiving a baby and her beautiful relationship with her husband. She has branded herself as the girl who loves mac and cheese.
Jenna is very authentic when she shares her posts. She is an excellent copy writer. She connects with her audience on different levels. She knows exactly who her audience is and talks directly to them. She connects with them on a personal, professional and supportive level. Knowing who your audience is enables you to talk directly to them.
Becoming an influencer has allowed her to build a 7-figure empire through selling workshops and landing deals with companies like Nordstrom where she talks about how much she loves their clothing.
Another example is Bill Gates. He built his brand very differently from Jenna Kutcher. She shares a lot of very personal things that help you connect with her. Bill Gates doesn’t have to do that, and you get the feeling he is a private person. Perhaps an introvert. We know him as the founder of Microsoft and previously the richest man in the world. Today, he’s using his name, his brand, to help improve the lives of people in 3rd world countries. And he is influencing others to do the same.
McDonald’s has an extremely powerful corporate brand. They aren’t pretending to be someone they are not. If you want burgers and fries fast, you go to McDonald’s. You know you aren’t getting a healthy meal, you are getting fast food. They bring their personality into it with Ronald McDonald the clown. They make sure kids know who they are with the happy meal. To connect with their audience, they have built Ronald McDonald houses all over the world to help families with critically ill children.
Then you have companies like Tesla where Elon Musk has built up his personal brand. His personality shines through his brand. He can’t hide who he is, which is also why he keeps getting himself in trouble. You either love him or hate him or you are fascinated by him. He seems extremely passionate about what he does. But he also has an ugly side. Take him as he is, or not. Either way, he isn’t hiding his personality and if he tried to create an online persona, he failed as you can never change who you are.
Personal branding is about building a connection with your audience and future customers
Are you starting to understand what a personal brand is and why it’s important?
Let’s break it down even further. Brand identity is where a company selects something as their identity. Most of the time it’s a logo and sometimes also a slogan.
These companies have built their brands around a powerful logo and a catchy slogan. This is where most small businesses start. They try to replicate what large corporations have done. But when it comes down to it, they have spent millions, if not billions of dollars into advertising their brand identity (their logo and slogan). They purchase ads where they can put their brand in front of millions of eyes. Do you have that kind of budget? I’m guessing not.
You must think further for your business. How are you going to market? I can tell you right now, that running a brand recognition campaign is extremely expensive. The goal is to get your brand in front of as many people as possible as often as possible without being annoying. I doubt you have that type of marketing budget.
You, as a small business need to market yourself at the level you are in your business. You can’t replicate or compete with large corporations that have existed for decades. While using personal branding, you can dominate your immediate market, and then scale from there. Are you starting to see why building your personal brand is so important?
Instead of branding your logo and slogan, you brand yourself. It’s the best way to connect with your customers. It builds up trust and loyalty, and before you know it, you will be the most recommended business in your area. There are many ways to build a personal brand, but it starts with knowing and understanding. What is a personal brand and why is it important? Select the route that is right for you.
If you need help with where to start, I’m here to help you. Click here to schedule a free strategy call. If you found value in this article, why not join the mastermind community where we have daily conversations on personal branding and social media marketing!
Until next time!