What do you stand for? And how can you stand out?
Do you remember your school telling you that whilst you were wearing school uniform – regardless of where you were or what you were doing – you were representing the school?
It’s a bit like that with personal branding, only you don’t get to go home at the end of the day and take your uniform off.
When you run a small business, you are your brand. People will make decisions about whether to purchase your products or services based not only on your business’ reputation, but on yours.
People buy from people. It sounds superficial, but what people think about you really matters.
How do you want people to see you?
This is what personal branding is all about – it’s the way you present yourself to the world as the person who runs your business. It’s how you demonstrate that your own personal values, motivations and ethos reflect those of your business.
Personal branding is not about being straightjacketed into a one-size-fits-all corporate mould. The chances are, you set up your business to do something that you are passionate about, and which means something to you. What this is will be different for everyone, so your personal brand can and should be as unique as your business offering and personality.
This is where the photos that you share and the words that you use can make a big impact. Think for a moment of the profile pictures that you use on your social media profiles, and what they say about you. If your business tackles serious issues or requires your customers to trust you with sensitive information, you might want to think twice about using a lairy photo from a drunken night out (remember when those were possible?!) as your profile picture.
Even if your social media account is not connected to your business account, your customers are likely to do a bit of research about you as part of their decision making process – particularly in this strange time where face-to-face meetings are almost impossible – and if your personal brand doesn’t match your professional brand, you risk losing their trust before you have even interacted with them.
What do you want people to know about you?
The words that you use to describe yourself and your business are more powerful than you might think.
It’s not easy to sum up what you do and why you do it in one sentence – particularly if you are fulfilling a lifetime ambition or there are a multitude of circumstances that have brought you to where you are today. This is, however a really worthwhile exercise.
Our social media straplines have become the modern day ‘elevator pitch’. We need to get across as much as we can about our ethos and offering in a limited number of words. Take, for instance, your LinkedIn headline. This appears under your name on your profile and on every post you create or interact with. If you write too much here, your words will get cut off, so it is important to be succinct and get your message across at the very start.
Creating your mission statement
What is the single most important thing you want potential customers and contacts to know about you? It’s hard to pin down, isn’t it.
That’s where personal branding coaching can help – someone who can gently and objectively help you to discover the things that make you tick, and the words to use to showcase what you do and why you do it. In other words, your mission statement.
A coach is likely to ask you a lot of questions, but personal branding coaching isn’t an interrogation; it’s a way of drawing out the important things that you want others to know and see about you. It helps you to see the wood from the trees, providing clarity from the clutter of busy lives and even busier minds. It helps you to position yourself as the ‘go-to’ person for the products and services that you offer.
If you think some personal branding coaching would be helpful for you, get in touch for a free, informal chat to find out more. I love nothing better than helping people to uncover the hidden gem that makes them – and their businesses – stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons.
Take care and stay true,