In the age of social media, search engines and endless opportunities to be accessible online, everybody has a personal brand. However, not everyone strategically manages their personal brand. Entrepreneurs, in particular, can reap huge benefits from nurturing their personal brand.
Today’s “Consumers demand humanity from brands like never before, regardless of whether the company has defined and demonstrated a foundational purpose, The tectonic shift from mass marketing to one-to-one conversations on social platforms requires brands to act, talk and respond like real humans — in both marketing and corporate behavior.” In some cases, personal brand messages are likely to win out over the same message shared by a company.
If you want to build a personal brand that delivers business results, here’s a look at three objectives to focus on this year:
1. Increase your know, like, and trust factor
By including personal branding as a part of your overall marketing communication strategy, you can increase the “know, like, and trust” factor for their business.
Communicating through your personal brand will allow you to connect with customers and help them get to know the person behind the business. People naturally like people who they can relate to or aspire to be more like. This is because we like to see ourselves through other people and we relate to those who have been through similar life experiences as us or those who have achieved something we want for ourselves too.
By sharing your business story through your personal brand, you can become more credible and relatable. When people know, like, and trust you, they are more likely to listen to your message.
2. Earn brand loyalty
Entrepreneurs who choose to intentionally build their personal branding tend to connect with their audience at a much deeper level and create stronger and more meaningful relationships with their customers.
There are two key aspects entrepreneurs can benefit from: one being more personalized marketing and the other is strategically catering to customer needs. When you get to know someone you can better understand how to serve them. This will in turn help entrepreneurs earn brand loyalty.
For example, I recently purchased a few products from an online handbag company. When my order didn’t show up on time, I contacted the company through their website. Instead of receiving a generic response from customer service, the founder of the company wrote back to me with a sincere apology. She also noted that she would personally be on the case and follow-up. And so she did, both via email and through her personal Instagram account.
Even if my order was nearly four weeks late, the founder of that company managed to turn what could have been a terrible customer experience into a very positive one. On a side note, I’ve since followed both her and the company on Instagram and I consume their marketing content on a daily basis.
As a wise mentor once said, “The best relationship you can build with your customers is not about what you can do for them, but rather how you can make them feel.” In the example above, as the customer, I felt safe in knowing I was being looked after by the CEO. Personalized experiences such as this one build relationships, trust, and loyalty.
3. Expand social media reach
When entrepreneurs create specific social accounts: one dedicated to their business and the other for their personal brand, they can benefit from cross-promotion. This can help to expand social media reach as your personal brand accounts may have different followers than your business accounts. This way, you can increase the range of your brand message to more people. In turn, you access a larger pool of potential customers.
Many entrepreneurs find it challenging to post personal images on business social media accounts. The fear of what others will think of us as well as fear of failure are some of the most common mindset blocks–especially those who are just starting out. As a result, many entrepreneurs tend to hide behind their business, creating social media accounts with little to no personal touch.
For example, Mark Zuckerberg currently has 4.9 million followers on Instagram, whereas Facebook has 3.1 million followers. Meanwhile, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson has 3.2 million followers on Instagram whilst the official Virgin Group Instagram account only has 137K. The list goes on. These entrepreneurs have not only created successful global companies, but they also understand the importance of a powerful personal brand. As a result, their reach extends far beyond what they have built.
Personal branding is about authentic connections
It makes sense that entrepreneurs should focus on building relationships with their audience and potential customers before trying to deliver a business message.
Ultimately you want to build your “know, like, and trust” factor and brand loyalty before marketing your products or services to your audience. It is also important to remember that personal branding is mostly about establishing authentic connections, and a crucial step is to make sure you come across as a relatable human being who has dealt with the same problems as your potential customers. Only then, as an entrepreneur and problem solver, will you have found the solution that speaks to your customers’ pain points.
Monika Sveen is a Content Creator & Personal Branding Strategist based in Oslo, Norway. With more than 5 years of extensive digital marketing and branding experience at a professional level. Monika is now helping ambitious millennials take their personal brand to the next level through inspiring content, how to videos and digital courses – so that they can learn how to get noticed in their industry and online. You can connect with Monika on Youtube and Instagram.