Most entrepreneurs understand the value of branding their business. Having a powerfully branded business adds a tremendous level of worth that clearly transfers into success and competitive advantage.
The same goes for your personal brand. And, yes, these are two very different things. They are two separate brands, but if molded properly, they will complement each other when needed and double your presence as a result. Two are more powerful than one.
Consider this. Virgin has a brand, but so does Richard Branson. Spanx has a brand, but so does founder Sara Blakely. Berkshire Hathaway has a brand but so does Warren Buffett -- the list could go on.
These iconic entrepreneurs did it right and have been reaping the benefits as a result. If you don't have a personal brand established, you are putting yourself and your business at a major disadvantage.
Here are three ways your personal brand goes beyond selling your product and why you need one today.
1. It showcases what you stand for.
People want to buy from people. It really is that simple.
Recognize that society will always interpret the brand and product to be an extension of the person who created it. Instead of letting that scare you, use it to your advantage.
Invest time into building yourself as an authority in your space. Cast yourself as the expert that you are, and be willing to share your knowledge with others. Share what you know and where you stand. When you authentically do this, people will place their trust specifically in you and the brands you support. And when the brand you support happens to be one of your own businesses, the rewards will be bountiful.
This will require you to spend time mapping out what key attributes you want your audience to know about you. Sit down and ask yourself, "What truths would you be willing to fight for?" Consistency is key here. You want to build trust with your brand, so remain strong in your ideals and values, and keep your voice clear across varying media platforms.
2. It provides you with long-term potential.
If you choose to be a ghost within the brand of your company, all your eggs will remain in that basket. There will be no way out for you.
Having an established personal brand will position you to make strategic moves down the road, not only for your business but also for yourself. In the event of an exit strategy, having a personal brand will make you and your company more sellable. When there is a level of separation, your company doesn't define you, you define it.
If you are an entrepreneur, chances are every day you find a new opportunity worth exploring. The problem is, when you marry yourself to a branded business it becomes much more difficult to navigate success in other ventures. When you have taken the time to build your own presence, the opportunities will come to you more readily and be easier to generate success within.
Be bold and allow your face to be part of your company. That way, people have a close connection not only to your products but also to you on a more intimate level. Through my company content, it is clear I'm the founder; however, the business itself also has its own branding.
3. It helps you build stronger relationships.
People are what can make or break a business's success, and you want to work with the right ones. It is important to let people know what you stand for because when there is a clear understanding of what you value, there is clarity in whom you want to be surrounded by.
Your personal brand will attract customers who believe in your purpose, partners who want to be a part of building something with you, and talented employees excited to join your cause. You can't ask for much more.
Look for opportunities beyond marketing and branding on your business's media. Along with growing my business, I host a podcast where other entrepreneurs come on the show and share their wisdom. This outlet has not only been an expression of my personal brand but also a great way to build lasting relationships with other creative people.
If you want to build something that transcends for a long period of time, having a personal brand is the key component to making this happen.
Don't wait around for your business's brand to succeed. Start branding yourself.