How Personal Branding Elevates Your Business
Your personal brand is an important part of your business image, especially if you lead or own a company. That’s because the digital transformation and social media make having a personal brand unavoidable, whether you manage it carefully or not. It’s also because today’s buyers, especially in the B2B space, want the brands they do business with to be run by experts who can help them solve problems, find new approaches, and move forward. If you’re not sure how to start building your personal brand, or if yours needs an overhaul, here are some concepts to work with.
Personal thought leadership can reach your business customers
Positioning yourself as an expert or innovator in your niche is the goal of every thought leadership program, but there are different ways to accomplish the goal. The key is to reach your audience in more than one channel and to offer a steady stream of fresh, relevant information to help them with their decision-making.
Effective avenues for thought leadership include:
- Sharing original content on your personal or company blog
- Personal social media activity that includes contributing thoughtful information, participating in productive discussions with industry peers, and sharing others’ ideas when they add value to the conversation
- Networking with other influencers in person at industry events as well as on social media
- Delivering keynote speeches, leading webinars, participating in panel discussions, and leading workshops
- Making yourself available as a subject matter expert for journalists — your media relations team can find opportunities for you on sites like Help a Reporter Out and at local media outlets.
In each case, be ready to share fresh ideas that you truly support and that have value for your audience.
Make a habit of social listening
Keep an ear on the social media and blog conversations you’re part of and also on other trending topics in your industry. This lets you hear what matters right now to your audience and can be a source of ideas for your next blog post, article, workshop, or social media discussion. Besides monitoring industry talk, listen to what people say about you to learn your personal brand’s strengths and weaknesses.
Keep learning, personally and professionally
The greatest innovators are lifelong students, because they know there’s always something new to learn. Seek out the experts in fields you’re interested in, learn from them, and share that knowledge with your audience. Don’t be shy about sharing lessons learned from personal interests, too. If surf camp in Costa Rica or mountain hiking in Norway taught you something you can apply to your business or work life, your audience may benefit from it, too. Plus, personal insights can make you more relatable to your audience.
That leads us to the most important part of any personal brand strategy.
Be personally authentic for stronger professional credibility
Most thriving industries are crowded fields, and it’s your uniqueness that sets you apart from others in the same niche. Don’t build a persona you can’t live up to when you meet colleagues and prospects in person. Be at ease with yourself, and the people around you will feel comfortable, too. Authenticity is the ultimate branding too, for you personally and for your business. Speak your mind, listen well, keep learning, and be yourself and you’ll find that your audience wants to hear what you have to say.