As an executive coach, I work with founders every day to help them lead their teams, implement the right tools and processes, and grow personally. Entrepreneurs have a lot of drive, both to improve themselves and, of course, to make sure their company is successful, so they're most often incredibly open to my coaching

But there's one area that many founders push back on. When I start talking with them about building a personal brands, they often get defensive and stubbornly resistant. 

I can understand that. A founder wants to spend time building the product, talking to customers, and driving the business. Building their brands often seems superficial and a waste of precious time. 

But it's a mistake to ignore your personal brand. As a founder, the vibe around you can open doors. When you raise your profile you become known as a thought leader and that expertise accrues to your company. And of course the better known you are, the better known your company becomes. 

So here are 5 ways to (painlessly) build your brand.

Recall your purpose

If building your brand is all about you, no wonder you feel a little squeamish when you even think about it. But building your brand is not about you at all. It's about what you stand for and why you built your company. It's telling the world how great your product, your service, and your company are. It's bragging about your world-class team and how phenomenal they are at building, operating, and getting customers.

You as the founder have a unique platform to become better known so that people can better get to know you, get interested in your company, and ultimately help your company become a massive success. And also, to let the world know about your life-changing products. Wouldn't it be stingy to keep it a secret?

Build your network 

And speaking of other people, one way to build your brand is to let others do it for you. People meet you, they find out what you're up to, and they become part of the tribe around you who can recommend you, vouch for you, and help you get the word out about you and your company. 

That's one of the many reasons it's important to curate and nourish your network. There are thousands of books and articles to help you do this, but the most important tool is to make the time to meet new people. Find ways to ensure that you're meeting a diverse group of people and remember to keep in touch. 

Speak up 

Many people are nervous about public speaking, so if that's you, know that you're not alone. But since you're the founder, people want to hear from you. There's a lot more to public speaking than standing up Tony Robbins-style in an auditorium. You can do a fireside chat, be on a panel, do an informal tech talk, or even lead a workshop. Start with ways that make you only a little nervous and build your comfort zone from there. 

Say yes to the press 

This one is sort of obvious, but I often come across founders who don't want to speak to journalists and pass at the opportunity to be on tv or podcasts. This is a mistake since media in all forms can amplify your voice and your message. So step one is simply to take advantage of those opportunities when they come your way. 

In addition, it's helpful to cultivate relationships with journalists, bloggers and podcasters as part of your network. You can do this by introducing yourself at events and letting them know your area of expertise. Also, offer to help them by connecting them with other experts inside of your network.  Do them a favor, and it may well pay off for you.

Be you

You may be surprised to find out how much people want to know you personally. They want to know what you enjoy, your pet peeves, and your quirky interests. So rather than try to come across as a polished talking head, let people know that you're learning to juggle or enjoy waking up at 4 a.m. with your kid who won't sleep.  It's your humanity that people will most connect to. 

Your personal brand is an essential part of your success as a founder and the success of your company. Make sure you devote some time to making it shine.