A big topic for entrepreneurs and content creators these days is personal branding. It’s a concept that confuses a lot of people, and understandably so! What even is a “personal brand” anyway? Is it just the pictures of myself I post on my business Instagram account?
Let’s break it down, shall we? 😉
In a nutshell, a personal brand is the thing that makes you unique. It can be anything, from your name, style and tone of voice, reputation and more. It’s the stuff that sets you apart from the crowd and makes you different!
So the big question: How can a personal brand help my business? Do I really need one? What if I’m shy and don’t like putting myself out there? For some of us, the idea of putting our faces to our businesses is kind of uncomfortable. The other concern is, exactly how much of myself do I need to share?
According to Business Babes Collective founder Danielle Wiebe, it can hold business owners back if they’re not at least willing to put themselves out there a little bit. “If you’re trying to attract the right people and they don’t know who you are, only what your brand is, you lose that trust factor,” she says, “People tend to trust something if they relate to it, and people are easy to relate to!”
Furthermore, customers tend to want connect with real people, not just a brand. “It’s common to want to hide behind a brand,” Danielle adds, “I did it too, I didn’t actually post pictures of myself on our feed initially because I wanted to remain anonymous.”
One of the aims of a personal brand is to build a deeper connection between you and your customers or target audience. Not only does this help increase the value of your business, it also boosts your credibility and establishes you as an expert and authority in your field.
If you’re struggling with how to be authentic and find your voice, start with figuring out what is important to you. It’s as simple as writing down what you’re passionate about! For me, it’s reading books, discovering new artists, playing video games and traveling. As Danielle rightfully points out: “Not everything you’re passionate about will resonate with everyone, but when it does, your audience will automatically trust you.”
Remember, even if your audience doesn’t personally relate to your passions, they will appreciate your honesty and love your authenticity. Sure, you could try and pretend you love fashion (even when you don’t) for a short while and post #OOTDs on social media just because everyone else is doing it, but eventually you’ll be exhausted and it may start to feel forced.
“That’s one reason people feel burnout,” says Danielle, “because they aren’t being authentic and are only showing what they think people want them to show.” The secret is to share your passions in a way that will be helpful to people!
Alternatively, you can have a successful business without a personal brand, too. It all depends on who you’re trying to serve. If you’re creating a certain type of product-based business for example, where you don’t really need to be super relatable, you could do fine without a personal brand.
Finally, having a personal brand can lead to new, exciting opportunities. When people trust not only your brand but you as a business owner, you’re more likely to attract like-minded people with similar values. These customers will connect with you on a much deeper level because they’ll understand why you do what you do. This is important, because they eventually become your tribe and will help widen your network and your reach.
Hopefully this helps! Finding your voice and growing a personal brand can be kind of daunting and awkward at first, but you can do it. Just show your authentic, human self, be intentional with your posts and build a connection with your audience. You got this!