How a Personal Brand Can Help Small Businesses
There is a common misconception that in order to be successful in business, you have to be "all business, all the time." The truth is that weaving a little bit about yourself and who you are into your small business can make your brand more relatable, likable and trustworthy. And that's just the beginning; there are other reasons why letting your business get a little personal is often a good move for small business owners.
Here are a few reasons to allow for some crossover between your personal brand and your small business.
It Boosts Authenticity
By showing you are a real person with your own set of challenges and successes, you become accessible to your target audience; they begin to form an understanding of who you are and why your business came to be. They understand why you do that you do. It is from this understanding that respect and trust can begin to develop. Not only is this vital for building credibility among your customers (which leads to future sales!), but it also puts you in a great position to network on a personal level with your peers. Being genuine and authentic is the first step in creating powerful collaborative opportunities.
It Gives You an Edge With Social Media
It is not a secret that conversations are the key to using social media successfully. While you may have social media accounts for your business, it is important to recognize that your customers can't have a real conversation with a business, only with the human behind that business. If you can incorporate yourself into your social media activity, you become more than just an out-of-reach brand. You become someone your customers would like to get to know. And that opens up the floodgates for many types of natural and personal conversations.
It Instantly Differentiates You From the Competition
Chances are there are other businesses out there selling something close to what you are selling. Even with a strong unique selling proposition (USP), it can be a challenge to show how your business is different from the rest. Merging your personal brand into your business allows you to create a commodity that is unique to you, and you alone.
It Sets the Foundation for the Future
Some might say that tying your personal brand into your small business sets limits on the growth potential of the business; it makes it difficult to sell the business in the future, for example. While that may be true in some situations — and may be a risk you are willing to take — merging your personal brand with your business also lays the groundwork for you to expand your brand in the future. If you decide to start a new business, write a book, become a public speaker, or consult up-and-comers, having a strong personal brand that is tied to the success of a company can be the perfect bridge to your next endeavor. Now is the time to start that process.
So how do you weave your personal brand into your small business? You can start by sharing some personal facts throughout your bio on your business website, engaging person-to-person on various social media sites, and bringing some of your personal values into your business. As you strengthen your personal brand, more of who you are will begin to naturally mesh with — and strengthen — your business brand.