Whether you are an employee or entrepreneur, cultivating an authentic personal brand is more important than ever. Your personal brand is everything as it is interconnected with your day-to-day life by the very virtue of our digital daily lives. People with strong personal brands have a strong why and a deep understanding of their passion and purpose, which are critical to entrepreneurial success. In this article, we will explore what personal branding is and why you should build one.
The important role of personal branding in shaping your future
Undoubtedly, personal branding underpins business success. According to serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, building a personal brand is more important than ever at a time when differentiation and first impressions are everything in standing out in a crowded space. By crafting an engaging and stand-out personal brand, entrepreneurs not only bring more attention to their company’s brand, but it enables them to individually stand out from the rest and connect with various key stakeholders – future customers, people, suppliers, investors and other influencers.
In addition, it is important to point out that studies show that often one’s personal branding can affect how easily they can attract capital. A study of budding entrepreneurs demonstrated that the presence of a strong personal branding is very necessary for attracting investors’ capital. The reason for that is that investors often provide funding to the entrepreneur behind the idea rather than the idea itself.
People often think that personal branding is only for the rich and famous. Think entrepreneurs and leaders such as Richard Branson, Opera Winfrey, Gwyneth Paltrow, who have built billion-dollar empires through their personal brands as much as their business acumen. The good news is that in today’s rapidly evolving digital world, everyone has a personal brand, and more importantly anyone can build one with the digital tools available. Personal branding is no longer only for those who are running big brands or companies or who have deep pockets.
How personal branding benefits entrepreneurs?
Your personal brand allows you to be the CEO of your own life, and of course your business! It is your reputation and a true reflection of who you are and what you stand for.
People are fascinated by the driving force behind a business – and ultimately the founder themselves. What do you stand for? What is your story and what is your purpose? As an entrepreneur, your personal brand is not only for your benefit, but it also can positively influence the future growth and success of your business, and others around you.
Personal branding is a key marketing weapon, especially when you’re at your most authentic self. It can also do the following:
- Grow individually and achieve your goals
- Differentiate your business and make you stand out
- Enable you to influence others
- Facilitate change creation
- Unlock your professional and business potential
How to define your personal brand?
Your personal brand is essentially what people say about you when you aren’t in the room. It is your reputation and how you conduct yourself in your personal and business life. It’s everything you represent, your values, how you interact, your style, attributes, traits and your why – it is a collection of perceptions linked to you.
We are often asked by business leaders, small business owners, or someone starting out in business, where do you even start building a brand? In our YoungGems® program, we teach personal branding with a proven “heart” model.
The very first step in creating your personal brand is to determine the following:
- Your personal ambition
- Your personal brand goals
- Your core values
- Your traits and attributes
- Your why – your purpose
Once you feel comfortable with determining the above factors, you should be able to define the essence of your brand in one statement. For our creator, her personal brand statement is “creating a level playing field for all”. If you get stuck, we always recommend that you ask your family and friends some questions to help you define your brand.
How to build your brand once you have defined it?
You need to build your personal brand based on your defined values, attributes and ambitions. But how do you exactly do that? Start by implementing our top tips below.
- Lead with purpose: Instead of aiming to be rich, work out how to make a difference in the world. What change do you want to make?
- Set big goals: Don’t be afraid to dream big. Have a growth mindset.
- Know your talent: Your natural gifts will serve you well. What are your key strengths and skills?
- Be yourself: Have flair in your personal brand.
- Be consistent: Don’t change. Tell your story consistently. Live and breathe your values daily.
- Be human: Be authentic. Share your joys, sorrows and journey with others. It will empower others to embrace their stories.
- Live your brand: Integrate your values into your daily life. Live a life with purpose and meaning and know what you stand for.
In summary, your personal brand is a crucial element of your entrepreneurial success. It is how you are seen by others around you including your staff, investors, partners and customers. Creating a strong personal brand not only helps you to stand out among competitors but also helps you kick business goals and influence others to create change. To learn more about how to build your personal brand effectively check out the YoungGems® Masterclass on personal branding.