Creating a recognizable, solid brand for your entrepreneurial pursuits or small-to-medium-sized business is no easy feat, especially if you already wear several hats. Marketing is a major aspect of business building and is often a complete job unto itself. With so many companies competing for the business of your potential client, how do you set yourself apart? Make the time to invest in shaping and marketing your brand. In order to stand out as an authentic voice in an increasingly noisy business world, developing and marketing your own personal brand is non-negotiable. Fortunately, the concept of creating, evolving and marketing your brand has become common practice in the self-starter world, so there are plenty of systems you can implement as you grow.
What personal branding is
The shortest definition of a personal brand is that your brand is your story as a person IN your business, as opposed to the story OF your business. What is your story? How do you tell the story in a marketable way while offering value to your audience? What you’re about and what you stand for as a person within a business entity are attributes that future customers seek when they’re looking for help. It’s important for you to be able to identify your story or even your savviest potential clients never will. If your clients are unclear about who you are, it’s easier than ever for them to find another company that knows exactly how to tell its story and how it delivers that unique element that will solve their problems. Your identity, authenticity and individuality are all components of your personal brand. They each work together to show your audience exactly how you can help them. At the end of the day, your business performs a service that is ultimately less about you and all about the needs of your audience.
Why personal branding is important
According to cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner, science shows that people are 22 times more likely to remember facts when they’re wrapped up in a good story. Since your brand and your story are one, it’s important to capture attention and engage with potential clients as early as possible. Notorious issues with social media algorithm inaccuracies are rampant, and the importance of a reliable, separate business presence online has become more obvious. Personal branding, paired with a supporting website, sets the stage for several valuable business marketing tools. A professional website is the primary way business owners can create a home for their brand identity, as well as take full responsibility for how their brand is represented. Having your own piece of online real estate legitimizes your business and serves as a visible representation of your brand. A polished business website that serves as a one-stop solution for all things related to your brand would include content that showcases your abilities, an explanation of how clients can work with you, contact information, and - you guessed it - the story of your brand. All these aspects of marketing your brand will help lay a foundation of trust with your clients before you even enter working relationships.
Evaluating your personal brand
Defining your brand means taking responsibility for your business presence. To cultivate the presence, you want people to take the time to evaluate your brand. Evaluating your brand essentially means you’ll need to ask yourself several important questions. What services do you offer? Who needs those services? What specific pain points can you resolve for those people? Who is your competition and how will you outperform them? How would you describe your brand voice – formal and educational? Casual and conversational? Identifying as many aspects of your brand as you can help you highlight how your brand differs from the other brands offering the same services. You want to choose signature brand colors and fonts so that your content is instantly recognizable, whether it reaches your audience through email campaigns or by publishing to your business website. Don’t stop at the creative stage. Track of all this information in a simple, easy-to-manage format like a computer document or planner, so you can update certain aspects as the idea of your personal brand shifts and solidifies. You can review this information as you make progress to remember what worked and what didn’t work, which will help you make better, on-brand business decisions in the future.
Improving your personal brand
As a business owner, you’re aware that there’s always room for improvement and evolution, so don’t make the mistake of setting up your personal brand for success only to put it on autopilot. A brand identity can’t care for itself. It takes persistence to maintain. As you grow and adapt within your business, your brand identity will need to stay current, too. Periodically re-evaluate your brand and improve your content by using the same framework that assisted you in establishing your brand. Revisit your brand tracking document to analyze where your brand has been and think about where you want to take it next. Have any of your services changed, discontinued or expanded? How does that fit into your brand? Have you communicated the changes clearly so that potential clients understand your brand journey? Another trick you can easily perform is a Google search of yourself to see what the internet associates with your company. Is it accurate? As with most aspects of business ownership and management, consistency is key. Keep up the process of creating content focused on the identity of your brand. Through that consistency, you’ll create brand messaging that resonates with your audience and builds your business.
Once you establish your personal brand, you can utilize your coworking space’s unique opportunity to grow. When you’re based in a coworking space, you’re already part of a culture that supports the community with other business owners and entrepreneurs. Now, you can leverage your brand to make a long-lasting association between you and your business. Another powerful way to leverage your brand from a coworking space is to use the facility amenities to show your brand is well equipped for any client need. Use the private event space to host a free gathering of your ideal audience and give a presentation. Sharing value during a presentation shows potential clients how you can help them thrive while gaining their trust and positioning yourself as an expert in your market. Nurture client leads by making use of an available high-tech meeting room to pitch your proposal in a professional environment without any technology hiccups.
Contact Venture X today to schedule a tour and learn how you can bring your company and brand to life while working in a coworking space.