Personal branding, a service once reserved for politicians and superstars, is nowadays the key to entrepreneurial success. Personal branding is the venture of the future. It is the best investment you can make in yourself
Personal branding is a disciplined process meant to differentiate and elevate the brand owner from the competition. A clever personal brand entails a series of elements such as but not limited to strategy, logo, website, professional photos, social media platforms, social circles – depending on the goals of the entrepreneur.
Owning a personal brand not only ensures the entrepreneur sells more, it also increases legitimacy, transforms the entrepreneur into a respected thought leader, attracts investors and partners and ensures overall upward mobility.
Even though branding is a current buzzword, proper personal branding remains a mystery for most entrepreneurs. To navigate this intricate process, read the following real-life tips for brand building and reputation management.
1. You are not born a brand, you become a brand
From Oprah to Obama and Ellen to Elvis, every grand personal brand was once a mere mortal – just like you. They had a dream and they hustled just like you. Personal branding when done right is interlinked with personal development. Through an intricate process and an array of strategic actions, entrepreneurs just like you became world-wide leaders.
Branding is an ongoing process.
When in doubt, ask for professional help; an entire team is involved in managing a brand.
Do not compare your first week to someone’s 40th year.
2. Do not be a copycat
Good brands get replicated. Great brands cannot be replicated. If you want to own an average brand, go ahead and copy one. However, you will only be able to copy another brand up to 80% and usually the remaining 20% makes the difference. If you aim to be special, you should incorporate your authentic self into the brand – showcase your mission, vision and story. If you cannot do your business at a superior or different level from your competition, you should probably be doing something else!
3. Stable is better than spectacular
In the world of Elon Musk and Richard Branson, the brand of the average entrepreneur may seem quite dull. Remember though that your mission is to receive legitimacy to sell your services not appear in the tabloids.
You do not want to be a one hit wonder. You want to be in business for many years. Focus on building a stable base for your brand that will evolve and develop throughout time.
4. You network really is your net worth
Who you surround yourself with is who you become. You know it, but are you implementing it?
Every business is run by an inner circle of individuals; befriend them! The creme de la creme have specific mannerisms and a characteristic way of doing business. Learn to speak, act and behave that way.
Before you break the rules, you should know the rules. You learn the rules when you are at the right place with the right people.
When your potential customer sees you with accomplished entrepreneurs, you receive instant validation.
Your friends with a bad reputation might be costing you brand equity.
5. Brand building is a life-long game
Building a brand that sells takes time. You are not selling a product in the supermarket, you are selling a perception. Every online and offline interaction potential clients have with your personal brand straightens or decreases its value. The ROI is often slow in the beginning.
Once your brand is established, the world or some part of it will be at your feet!