Personal branding has progressed beyond the ‘individual.’ Here are some lessons that large companies may teach you.
When you think of Facebook, you can’t help but think of Mark Zuckerberg. Jeff Bezos is the founder of Amazon. Bill Gates is the founder of Microsoft. Apple, too, is a physical manifestation of its co-founder, Steve Jobs. Tesla is Elon Musk. These people are the faces of their companies. They are linked to their brands like magnets.
Everyone is talking about personal branding, but how can we use our personal brands to better connect with our consumers and leverage our organizations?
What is personal branding?
Before we jump into the concept of personal branding, do you know what a personal brand is? First of all, everyone already has a brand and so do you, the question is: Are you managing it?
It’s not something you received or a skill you have acquired. You already have a unique mark you leave in people’s minds and hearts through the interactions you have with them. In other words, it’s how you are positioned in their minds.
Think of someone who is aggressive? Whose name comes to your mind? If you think of a great leader, what name comes to mind? When you think of someone kind and selfless, who comes to mind? You remembered these people’s names because that’s how they are positioned in your mind. These are their personal brands.
Personal branding is the conscious management of your personal brand through a set of intentional strategies designed for personal or professional arenas. It’s who you are, how you differentiate yourself from others in the market, what value you provide to customers, and how you want to be perceived and remembered by others.
Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals, it’s time to tell your story.
To create synergy between you and your company, think of branding from a holistic perspective. Your company is (or should be) an extension of who you are, your personality, values, and goals.
Companies like Amazon, Tesla, and Apple don’t necessarily do branding in a different way. Their CEOs are simply entirely committed to their companies and they use the power of their personal brands to leverage them.
They are coherent with their values, and goals. Their work is a reflection of the company’s ideals and objectives.
To become synonymous with your company/brand, you must be willing to see branding as a single force, ignoring the terms corporate and personal. Your goal is to create a united brand.
Here are some ways you can use your personal brand to leverage your company.
1. Tell stories that connect you with your business
As the human being behind the creation, you are the one who creates movement and connections that benefit your company, thus, it’s you who must add reputation to your business, never the other way round. As a leader, you want to leave your mark on the company’s identity, so to speak, your story will be part of your company’s story: the drive, desires, experiences.
See your company as a natural extension of yourself, it’s your creation.
2. Be consistent
Have a purpose for being in the business. Starting and growing a business is not easy. Successes and failures come in waves and the hardships come in truckloads. Having a clear mission or purpose is what keeps you going during tough times.
As a personal brand, you can be just what your company needs to succeed because people don’t connect with products or services, people connect with people.
As the face of your business, your purpose is to create inequality between your business and other companies, products, and services, so to speak, differentiation. You want to be remembered and considered by consumers when they are making buying decisions. What builds a strong memory of you in people’s minds is consistency and repetition!
3. Be authentic in all you do
“Authenticity, for me, is doing what you promise, not “being who you are.”
When people talk about being authentic these days, they forget that consumers don’t need/want to see them wearing bathing suits, or see what they just ate.
In branding, authenticity is about being true to your core values and how you fulfill your promise. It’s about having the courage to walk away from everything and anyone that does not match your heart’s values, even if that means losing great opportunities.
“When values are clear, decisions are easy.”
4. Match reputation with your name
The importance of a person’s reputation cannot be overstated. It’s the bedrock for communicating your narrative, being genuine, and growing your audience. You must first decide how you want to be remembered, then work to ensure that you achieve it most accurately possible. The ability to leave a legacy is based on a person’s reputation. Develop a reputable personal brand, and take strategic actions.
When people believe in you and the value you add to everything you are involved in, they trust the products and services you offer.
This is how you can use your personal brand to leverage your business.
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Branding Strategist | Branding Manager at Hasmark Publishing
International Speaker | Bestselling Author