Every business owner should have a personal brand on social media because customers and clients connect with people, not products and services.
It’s important for business owners because increasingly customers want to know the people behind the product.
Consumers naturally trust individuals more than companies and organisations and feel more comfortable purchasing products from people they know, love and trust.
By building a personal brand – for example, on social media – you grow an audience of people who like you, relate to you and want to know more about you.
You will attract an audience of people who share your values and beliefs, which will in turn adds trust and credibility for your business.
A strong personal brand increases recognition, draws attention to your expertise and gives your business depth and substance.
I owned a beauty salon in 2014 and started my personal brand on social media for fun.
Within the first year, I earnt $150,000 from my personal brand and grew my salon at the same time. After four years I was making more than $1 million per annum from my personal brand on Facebook.
My personal brand has allowed me to live out my dreams because the people I connect with online trust me.
If you want to build your brand, the key is to know your customers, what social media platforms they use and to make sure you share engaging content. Outside of social media, you can put yourself out there as a speaker, media commentator or expert consultant. All of this helps to build you up in addition to your business.
Tips for building a personal brand:
- Share who you are – be transparent. Show your authentic personality. Tell people about what is important to you, what you love to do, causes you support and hobbies.
- Know what makes people feel uncomfortable. While sharing your struggles or fears can build rapport with followers going through the same thing, you do need to be selective with what you share. Only share content if your followers will be able to relate to it and it might help them overcome an obstacle. Do not offload your problems or seek attention.
- Be empathetic – always think of your audience. How can your followers benefit from what you share? Can you help them with something? Will your post entertain or inform them?
- Be responsive – engage with your followers. Like and respond to comments and encourage discussion. Contribute to conversations and share your opinions.
A personal brand on social media has been instrumental in the success of many business owners, such as Richard Branson (Virgin), Janine Allis (Boost Juice) and Lorna Jane (Lorna Jane Active Living).
Mr Branson has become the poster boy of personal branding. His online persona promoting adventure, philanthropy and turning ideas into reality has helped the Virgin name extend across 200 companies.