5 Personal Branding Tips For Small Business
Whether you realize it or not, branding has been a large part of your life. Fact is, you make buying decisions every day based on branding and marketing. But, these concepts are no longer solely designed for big companies. With influencer marketing changing the way consumers discover, learn, and purchase goods and services, personal branding is becoming more important–regardless of whatever industry you belong to. Keep reading to learn some personal branding tips to boost your small business or brand and find your target audience.
Understanding Your Personal Brand
Building a personal brand is often the missing link between customers and connecting with your business. A personal brand is very similar to a traditional company brand but directed towards an individual. Personal brands also have core values, a mission statement, and even brand colors.
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Just remember this as your mantra: People buy from those they know, like, and trust. With social media today you are better positioned than any time in history as a small business or personal brand to show your potential customers what you're all about, that you're likeable, and you're trustworthy. And the best part is you can do this for free with the phone you already have in your hand.
1. Define Your Personal Brand Personality
Ideally, your day-to-day personality and personal brand’s personality are very much alike. Still, you want to make sure you understand your personal brand’s character. It needs to come across in every social media post, article, video, and interview you share with the world. Consistency is key. There are many ways to help you find out your brand’s personality, but asking yourself these questions can also help:
2. Find Your Niche
As you start to discover your brand’s personality, you’ll ultimately find its niche too. Determining your specialization, that thing you can do better than anyone else, helps you focus on your brand’s messaging. The best way to create a distinctive personal brand is by becoming the go-to, recognized authority, and expert on a specific topic.
For example, I'm a logo designer in Portland but I also do photography. Within the many types of photography I'm best at shooting portraits in Portland so I have built my brand and marketing strategy to reflect that and attract those in need of portraits, instead of weddings or family photos. If you market to everyone you market to no one.
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Another example, maybe you're a graphic designer but you specialize in logo design and have no interest in designing business cards, posters, or brochures. If that's the case make sure that's crystal clear to your potential clients so you don't waste time or resources attracting the wrong clients.
3. Build Your Social Media
The power of social media is undeniable, and you must capitalize on it to build your personal brand. Think of social media as the modern way to network. It isn’t just about posting beautiful photos and engaging videos anymore. You have to engage and interact with your audience. Reach out to others who share similar values or interests, follow other influencers within your niche, stay up-to-date with the latest conferences and events. These small actions will help you build a personal brand as you start to find your spot in the market.
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4. Use Visuals to Reinforce Your Brand
Companies have products, storefronts, and advertising to reinforce the brand. As a small business or personal brand you can use the same concept. Use color, images, design, and other branding elements to strengthen your brand.
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Consider getting a custom logo, a personal brand website, or using consistent color palettes and fonts in your social media posts. These are great ways to reinforce your brand. Then, consider more subtle and traditional branding methods like having personalized checks, business cards, and pens you can hand out during meetings or presentations.
A great example of personal branding is @jake.pnw on Tiktok. Jake has over 9 million followers thanks to defining a niche and brand on TikTok. All of Jake's videos are of him interacting with sea life in an entertaining way. He found what works with a very niche audience and built a very profitable brand around it.
5. Be Authentic
Last but not least, be authentic. Customers are becoming savvier and savvier, and they’ll quickly call out fakes on social media. When you’re recording videos or taking photos, remember to create an emotional connection with your audience. When it comes to personal brands, well-designed videos with high production won’t cut it any more. Customers want real-life interactions that show the true you. The explosion of TikTok is a perfect testament to that. Have anything to add? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.
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Lance Reis CEO of Kickass Designs