You probably clicked on the link to this article curious to discover if you are making a mistake that could be hurting your business. If you are a budding entrepreneur, a baby boomer who isn’t too savvy with technology or a solopreneur with a million and one things on your to do list, you probably have neglected this important piece in the marketing process. Want to know what it is? It’s quite simple: you haven’t promoted your expertise or built your credibility. I know what you’re gonna say, “But Emmelie, I’ve created my business website, I do speaking engagements, I network, I even have an email newsletter.” Those are all pieces of a much larger puzzle. To develop your expertise as an entrepreneur and make people want to do business with you, you need to develop your personal brand consistently and strategically on multiple channels.
Before we talk about what you should do, let’s talk about the why. Why do entrepreneurs need personal brands?
We often get so involved on working in our business that we don’t spend any time working on our business and tailoring the strategy and vision to help it grow. People are more likely to do business with you, when they trust you, and one way to build trust is to show them that you are the best person for the job. Being an entrepreneur and the sales process is very much like interviewing and the job search, you need to prove why someone should hire you over someone else. Why do they need you? You cannot only tell them about the skills you have and the results you provide, you have to demonstrate it with clear examples, measurable outcomes, case studies and other factual information that would decrease the liability in them hiring you. In this economy, your potential client or customer wants to limit the risk of investment and want to buy something they know they can trust. A personal brand is a consistent way to keep showing your target market what you can do. Instead of saying that you are up to date on the latest news and trends, you show them by blogging about those topics and sharing industry news on your social channels. Instead of saying that you are an expert in your field show them by providing information on your speaking engagements and media coverage. I could go on forever, but I’m sure you see the difference. A personal brand shapes your reputation and the perceptions that others have of you, and when it is done properly, it makes people want to buy from you because you have proven your worth.
Why CEOs Should be Engaging Online
1. 81% of employees believe that CEO’s who engage on social media are better equipped to lead companies in the web 2.0 world. (Source: Go-Gulf)
2. Major benefits of CEO participation in social media (Source: Go-Gulf):
- 78% say better communication
- 78% say improved brand image
- 64% say more transparency
- 45% say improved company morale
- 45% say better leadership
3. 82% of consumers are more likely to trust a company whose CEO and leadership team engage on social media. (Source: Go-Gulf)
4. 77% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company whose CEO and leadership team engage on social media. (Source: Go-Gulf)
5. 78% of professionals would prefer to work for a company whose leadership team is active on social media. (Source: Go-Gulf)
Now that you understand the importance of having an online presence, here are some ways to get started building your brand online as an entrepreneur.
- Create a personal website tailored to attract speaking engagements and media attention
- Write for other blog sites to develop thought leadership
- Seek opportunities to elevate your expertise by being featured in publications
- Become a content marketer, consistently adding value to others
If you need some extra help creating your entrepreneurial brand, check out the Brand Studio, a workshop designed for business owners, solopreneurs and millennials who want to grow their side hustles.