If you want to succeed in business in the 21st Century, building an influential brand is essential. However, many people still feel that in order to succeed in this arena, their company brand is all that matters. Having spent the last decade training executives from a range of different-sized companies, I have found that this is a common misunderstanding. Most of them have these incredible products, services, and offerings – yet don't know how to harness their own skillset to aid it with a personal brand. If you're a small-business owner looking to grow your personal influence, here are my five simple strategies you can use today.
1. Treat your personal logo and company brand as one
More than ever before we are seeing people turn away from following “big brands” and instead looking to the individuals behind them for what true values lie beneath. At a time where people are following people, you need to see your personal and company brand as intertwined. So, prior to you making any more decisions about what to complete to grow your company, consider whether you really believe in your business? Does its values match your own? Your company is a representation of you, so ensure that everything it produces, reflects your values and character.
2. Put the “visuals” on the back burner
No one is denying that having a visual brand is extremely necessary to growing your business and gaining recognition. But at the end of the day, a logo or visuals, don't mean anything. A real brand is built upon its values and the integrity of the people behind it. So, by all means, get a well-designed logo, invest the cash in some great assets, but don't make it the focus. Your visual brand is essential, it's what might get you in, but it won't launch you into the stratosphere. The integrity of your business and its actions will propel you upward as a leader.
3. Don't be afraid to state yes
When I first recovered from my car crash, I was asked to share my story having a local youth group. At that moment, I had a split decision to make; did I get over my fears and say yes to this opportunity? Or did I hide away and pretend like it never happened? Well, I'm very glad I said yes, as I discovered I had an interest and talent for emailing people, and it led me forward into my current career path. So, as a business professional who's looking to grow their personal brand, I'd encourage you to say yes as much as possible. Whether you are being asked to speak publicly, run workshops, perform some media interviews-you need to be comfortable doing what must be done to get your name out there.
4. Don't neglect your personal channels
With so many small businesses popping up every day and consumers inundated with content, your audience may connect with your personal face and profile instead of just your brands'. So, don't forget to continually keep your social channels current including Linkedin, Instagram etc. Even if your audience is small, keep them engaged and demonstrate that it comes with an approachable personality behind the brand they know.
5. Make your ultimate goal unachievable!
While it may sound highly controversial, I am firm believer that the company's ultimate vision ought to be unattainable and even somewhat ridiculous. While you may never reach the destination in your lifetime, the beauty of building a personal brand means you get to lead your teams in purpose, towards a destination that you see as the ultimate goal.
So, at the end of the day, don't let anything stop you or get you down on your journey to building a personal brand. You might not possess the awareness, the finances, staff, or assets yet, but never reduce the scale of your vision and don't stop until your personal brand is equally as important to you, as your own business.