Do You Need a Personal Brand?

On the one hand, having a personal brand doesn’t make much sense. After all, it’s not that easy to sell. It’s not usually regarded as a business asset…

But should it be?

The trend in personal branding:

Several wealthy people have built solid personal brands over the years. It is a notable departure from the days when personal brand, personal branding, how to build a brand, lisech marketing strategy consultingthe actual people behind businesses were only known to their peers, and the business brand was all the public could see.

Think about people like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson and even Tony Robbins. Their personal brands have turned them into celebrities.

Of course, there is also the other side of the coin: There are countless “influencers” on social media who have built their actual businesses on being well known. These range from self employed people on Instagram to huge Youtube channels.

The quest for transparency:

As the internet – and people’s lives – became more and more accessible to the everyday person, people (customers/consumers) wanted to know more.

They wanted to know who the people behind their favorite brands are. They wanted to know if those are people they can relate to. Most importantly, though, they wanted to know if those people share their values.

In the early days of online marketing, affiliate marketers quickly realized that making sales on the internet depended on people knowing, liking and trusting you. That’s where the whole idea of mailing lists came from – the need to be able to nurture relationships.

Note that this happened even before the days of Myspace, never mind Facebook.

Social proof:

The stronger your personal brand is, the easier it is to sell your ideas to people. The stronger your personal brand is, the easier it becomes for people to trust you.

Think about it: You land on someone’s Instagram profile, and you see they have half a million followers. Let’s say it is someone talking about cars. Well, it is unlikely that half a million people would be wrong, right?

Your personal brand eventually adds to the reputation of everything you do, no matter which line of business you want to get into next.

Tap into your personal network:

Most of us have substantial personal networks. Over time, we connect with more and more people. It just happens. While most of these people may be unlikely to buy from you, their engagement with your content will help you to gain exposure to people you don’t have direct access to (because social networks rewards engagement with additional exposure, outside your sphere of influence).

It adds value to your business brand:

The stronger your personal brand becomes, and the bigger your audience becomes, the more people are funneled to your business brand/s.

They come across you on social media, note the “social proof”, and decide to trust whatever you do – because they trust YOU.

As a result, your personal brand becomes yet another channel for marketing and acquiring new customers.

Your personal brand becomes a launch pad for new ventures:

The stronger your personal brand becomes, the bigger your leverage when launching a new business venture.

Not only do you instantly have an audience at your disposal – even before you start advertising – but many of those people will help you to get even more exposure. On most social media platforms, the engagements of your followers by itself – even without sharing – is enough to get your content pushed out to many more people who do not know you, and have no connection to you.

Imagine having a following of say, half a million people. Their engagement causes your content to be pushed out to another say, one million people.

On top of that, the shared content is considered “a vouch for you” by those who see it shared by someone they know and trust…

Which means that those who are exposed to shares are more likely to engage with your personal brand, and your new business brand.

While the cost of advertising and customer acquisition differs between industries, try to calculate the monetary value of that “social media launch pad”. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Not to mention that, since your followers are connected to you already, you can plug “news” about your new venture repeatedly.

Your personal brand puts you on the radar of your peers:

As your personal brand strengthens, and your audience grows, other successful people in your industry start taking note.

This, in turn, can open doors for joint ventures and symbiotic business relationships.

Not to mention opportunities to gain exposure to other people’s audiences: Imagine you are a florist, and you connect with a wedding planner – you can exchange social media posts without being in competition.

In conclusion:

Having a personal brand does not necessarily determine the success or failure of your business venture. However, it comes with so many advantages that it seems illogical to not make use of it.