As business owners, it’s easy to get consumed with building the company’s brand. It’s easy to camouflage yourself within the company, diverting eyes away from you and showcasing your business instead but it’s important to remember that you are part of that brand. Your personal brand should be in a constant warm embrace with your businesses brand and together they should ride off into the sunset with multiple sales and customers following behind.
Have you ever caught yourself thinking “Oh, no one cares about little old me” or maybe “I don’t want to seem like a narcissist?” What about “This is about the business and our collaborative efforts so I shouldn’t be standing out”? Yeah, it’s time to change your mindset because your business growth can tremendously skyrocket the minute you realize that your personal brand is just as important.
People want to support other people more than they care to support an almighty brand and this became even more important as the Shop Local movement took off around the world amid the pandemic. Buyers actually want to know your story and when you become relatable to them, they will form a loyalty that goes beyond your business’s brand recognition.
Your personal brand, who you are, a human being, is a selling point in and of itself but so many business owners and even their employees don’t often realize this. If you’re forgetting to promote yourself in this big wide world, you’re not only doing a disservice to yourself but also to your company, whether you own it or work in it.
Self-promotion isn’t an icky word and while it can feel uncomfortable, it’s one of those things that gets better with practice. The more you put yourself out there and share your unique perspectives on your industry, your knowledge, your likes and dislikes, the more human you become and the easier it is to get people to buy into whatever it is you’re selling (even if you’re not the salesperson at your company).
But be aware that your brand is a two-way street and it’s not all about you. Engaging with your audience is just as important as what you share and ensuring that the content you are putting out is valuable and includes takeaways will make you unforgettable. If you work in the insurance industry, this can mean sharing tips about best practices or what the benefits of insurance are. If you work in the beauty industry, share your personal tips and stories about your hair and makeup routines. The possibilities are endless because you’re sharing content about the thing you know best- YOU!
And as you begin to open yourself and your stories up to the world, take note of the people who begin taking interest in what you do for a living. Pay attention to the new champions that begin following you and nurture those relationships like newborn babies because even if they don’t seem like your ideal customer, you never know who their network could consist of. And that’s the power of a good personal brand.
So, stop overthinking it and decide what you want to be known for. It’s important to narrow in on your niche so you can grow the right following who will actually care about what you have to say. Once you decide on that the world is your oyster. Take to social media and post away. Begin guest blogging for websites in your niche (like I’ve done here with this article) and get over the idea that no one cares about what little old you has to say.
People will care if you give them something to care about, so as you continue to build your company’s brand you need to remember that YOU are a big part of that brand as well and that what you say matters. It’s never too late to define what your brand is, so get inspired; tuck away your shyness into your back pocket and start sharing yourself with the world. Because the biggest step to overcoming all the fears you have about putting yourself out there, is in fact…. just beginning to put yourself out there. And once you do, your business will thank you as your reach and customer loyalty grow together, creating a magical relationship you once shied away from.
by Shannon Ferguson
Shannon is the Co-Founder & CEO of FanSaves and has over 16 years of marketing experience and a flair for entrepreneurship. She is the co-host of the Living the Startup Podcast and an emerging public speaker with a passion for helping other entrepreneurs on their start-up journeys. Connect with her on Linkedin, follow her on Instagram and learn more about her here: http://www.shannonferguson.ca