You’ve got your product, your budget and your marketing strategy–but if you’re struggling to see growth in your lead base, then something could be missing.
Any marketing resource will tell you that businesses rely heavily on branding and marketing strategies to stand out from competitors. One way to make your plans more effective is to leverage a personal brand to better communicate your way of doing things.
Many business owners see their company as an extension of themselves, so they pour a lot of their vision, hard work and values into it. However, when something happens to the ‘face,’ of the business, whatever they’ve established becomes easy to forget, and the business suffers for it.
That’s where personal branding comes in: communicating one’s expertise in the field, your reliability, professionalism and integrity as a business. Without effective personal branding for you, then you might find your business is lacking that spark that builds your customer base.
3 signs that personal branding is the missing factor in your marketing strategy
One of the main requirements of your marketing strategy is to increase the visibility of your business to a wider audience, and your personal branding needs to be aligned with your overall plan. We’ve shortlisted some of the signs that your marketing strategy needs that final missing piece.
1. You need a marketing tool to tell your story
Storytelling and personal branding are closely related concepts that help communicate and connect with audiences; personal branding involves the creation of a distinct identity for an individual, while storytelling involves using narratives to convey a message.
People retain details better when they’re structured in a narrative, and with the average personal brand containing more than a handful of important aspects about what you stand for, you need to make sure your audience learns about them, in an order that makes sense.
This is where storytelling comes in; when combined with a thoughtfully created personal brand, you’re able to get your message across, leave a lasting impression and build deeper connections with your audience. When you use narratives to communicate your personal brand, you can anticipate a few positive changes to your marketing strategy, such as:
- The topics you create content about make a lot of sense because they’re often more targeted since you’re moving through a specific journey set up in your narrative.
- You have the chance to be more authentic about your marketing since you’re sharing elements of your personal brand, and sharing content that lines up with it.
- You reach your audience better since your marketing is based on a journey that’s cultivated your relationship with your audience over time, through value-adding content.
Personal branding pairs with a storytelling approach for a marketing strategy that makes sense connects with your audience and increases your chances of converting them into customers.
2. You have a lacklustre online reputation
A notable online reputation is crucial for a business to succeed; if nobody knows who you are, then how do you expect them to pay attention to what you’re offering?
That being said, a weak reputation can just as simply hinder a company from achieving success. Nobody said your company has to be the pioneering leader in your industry, but if you’re not at least mentioned in the conversation around new players in the field, then it may well be due to a reputation that leaves much to be desired.
Going further, a bad reputation can hinder your work, limit your visibility with key people who can potentially support your business’ growth and prevent customers from getting to know you. You can be overlooked in favour of other companies in your industry if your interpersonal relationships, supported by your personal brand, aren’t working hard enough for your success.
Attach a lousy deed and enough poor public reviews to your business, then find your reputation significantly damaged. When you haven’t shown audiences why you’re worth paying attention to, they have no reason to look past whatever cursory knowledge they have, and your negative reputation precedes whatever assessment they could have made of your company.
With a personal brand that’s built on your values and communicated effectively, you can go back to a few core elements of your messaging, so you can recoup any damage that’s been done to your business reputation because you know where your story can start from again.
3. You want to attach a human face to the company
The average consumer wants to buy from another human being, not a shell of a company; it’s why influencers have made such a killing online, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t humanise your brand without one.
Personal branding can add that crucial human face to a marketing strategy; by sharing personal stories and what makes your brand trustworthy you build better connections with audiences. Companies with a face to their brand are more easily recognised by the people they want to reach as opposed to those without; it’s about creative positive associations with good stories.
Some people have made a living off of their personal brand; they’ve been able to communicate their strengths, values and perspectives as individuals so well that audiences globally associate them with their specific field and point of view. You don’t have to reach the scale of renown these personalities have, but they’re great examples of how to do a personal brand well:
- Oprah built a media and lifestyle empire based on her straightforward and empathetic approach to conversations, demonstrating how she connects with her audience even with her body language in every show.
- Bill Nye made science funny and accessible for most audiences and combined that with objective thinking to get the general public more interested in science.
- Steve Jobs was known for taking Apple to stratospheric levels of popularity as much as his enduring legacy of keeping everything (including complex features introduced) simple, down to his uniform of turtlenecks, jeans and sneakers at every product launch.
These individuals have mastered how to share the best parts of themselves, so much so that they have been able to establish an enduring personal brand that lends credence to the businesses they set up. This would have been more difficult to achieve if they were unable to associate a human face with their brand–one that audiences can recognise immediately.
How to build your personal brand
Personal branding has a major impact on your marketing, but the process itself is simple; it’s how you promote yourself and differentiate yourself from competitors by creating and implementing a cohesive marketing plan to showcase your stories, values and abilities.
While being yourself is important, personal branding needs to be consistent and unified to be effective:
- Complete your LinkedIn profile and be thoughtful about the images and text you add.
- Develop a positioning statement that summarises what you’re all about.
- Follow a consistent posting schedule so you build the habit of engaging audiences.
When done properly, your personal branding boosts your visibility and credibility. You might imagine that only media personalities can benefit from personal branding, but anyone who wants to develop a good reputation and share meaningful stories can benefit from the process:
- Personal branding can help you cut through the competition because you communicate what makes you special.
- You build your network over time with a personal brand that represents you accurately.
- Your personal brand helps you define what your future looks like because you determine what’s important to you and what you need to do to achieve these goals.
How to incorporate personal branding into your content marketing strategy
Your personal brand goes a long way, beyond just generating new opportunities for you as an individual. By incorporating personal branding into your overall marketing strategy, companies can effectively convey their values, tell their story and establish their unique selling proposition.
There are a few ways you can integrate personal branding into your marketing strategy, but these loosely fall into two main categories: visual and conceptual. The first involves identifying the brand’s distinct image and values and incorporating branding elements such as logos, fonts, and colours into marketing the brand’s collateral, which will make the brand stand out.
Conceptually involving personal branding means you leverage storytelling to share experiences that resonate with the audience, and consistently being genuine and authentic about the messages you’re sharing to help build your brand’s credibility over time. It’s all a matter of combining visual and conceptual elements so you tell a compelling story.
Personal branding is not limited to individuals and can also apply to businesses. By applying personal branding to the marketing strategy of a company, you can strengthen your identity, stand out from competitors, connect with audiences and achieve marketing goals.
We’ve got more than a couple of ideas too; contact us now to discover how to elevate your marketing strategy through personal branding!