As global entrepreneurship grows, developing a personal brand strategy as a founder has never been more necessary in order to cut through the noise, be seen and be heard.
This is especially true at the beginning of the start-up journey when founders and entrepreneurs are trying to make their mark, build their reputation and create buzz around their mission and vision.
For new entrepreneurs this is when having an already established personal brand and recognised name can help to support getting their business idea off the ground. Reputation is everything and using your personal brand strategically to support your business brand as it grows and evolves is a winning tactic.
So where do you start?
We all have a personal brand whether we are aware of it or not, the difference is if we consciously take control of how we develop our brand through our marketing and communications. Every brand needs a “face” and relationship building is an essential part of the personal branding process. As the saying goes, “people buy people” so the more your audience can get a sense of who you are and the value you bring the easier it is to build customer loyalty and grow your audience.
It is something which business owners are consciously investing time and resources into, knowing that the rewards will benefit them throughout their business journey whether it’s to attract new talent into their company, build customer engagement or when seeking investment to move the business to the next level.
Tips to start building your personal brand strategy
If you’re trying to promote your start-up, building a personal brand strategy in place which focuses on both online and offline activity will help you to start building momentum.
Share your Story
Start with your company website and make sure you have a detailed About Us page which includes your founder story and bio – don’t forget to include your “why” for creating your business. People want to know why you started your company, what your experience of entrepreneurship has been like so far, your vision and the problems you are solving with your product or service.
Creating a personal brand without telling a story of it will give to it less importance.
Social media is one of the best ways to develop your personal brand as a founder. Linkedin and Twitter offer great opportunities for building your network and connections and also attracting potential new leads. Make sure you have a strategy in place and be clear on your message.
Get into the habit of using LinkedIn regularly. Even checking in for 15 minutes a day and looking at opportunities to like, share comment on what your network is talking about will help you to start building your brand.
A note on LinkedIn
Make sure your profile is optimised. From your bio tagline to your summary and headshot – are they all truly representing you and your personal brand.
A great way to start building your brand online and showcase your expertise is to self-publish content – this could be on your blog, LinkedIn or a platform like Medium as a starting point. Work out what your signature topics might be and then plan out your content.
Be PR Ready
One of the best ways to get your story out there is in the media. Think business and trade specific industry titles and start to think about story ideas you might like to pitch
Make sure you have your media assets ready – that’s your images, bio, editorial ideas and any previous media coverage your start-up has achieved saved in a Dropbox folder or similar, so you can easily share via email to journalists and writers.
Networking and Events
Also seek out other opportunities like guest speaking, collaborations, being interviewed for a podcast etc – there are lots of ways you can get your story out there, so be creative!
Written by Victoria Watson