Any business needs a ton of investments. Cash, labor, material, and ideas are all huge investments that you have to juggle whether you’re starting up a new venture or trying to keep a current business afloat. But there’s another thing you should consider investing in for your business: your personal brand.
WHAT IS PERSONAL BRANDING?
The name might sound a little dry or overly capitalist, but what it’s referring to is your personal image. Specifically, personal branding is how you present yourself to the world and interact with it through your business and professional endeavors on a day-to-day basis.
For a classic example, take Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs had a well-recognized and solid personal brand that he brought to every Apple business meeting or conference. Over time, Apple became synonymous with Jobs, and some would argue that the company never recovered from his death because of this connection. Jobs’ personal brand is so well known you can probably imagine it right now: black turtleneck, dad jeans, and a big performance showcasing the new and innovative technology Apple was bringing out next.
That’s a personal brand. When crafted and levied correctly and authentically, it can do wonders for your organization. This is why you should invest in your personal brand alongside your actual company assets.
IT’S IMPORTANT FOR INDUSTRY RECOGNITION
Personal branding is important not just for your company, but for how you are perceived across your industry as a whole. It doesn’t matter what type of business you’re involved in; if you have a personal brand deeply connected to software, clothes, restaurants, or anything else, your business also becomes tied more deeply to those things.
It’s easy to see how this could be beneficial for you and your business. The more recognized you are in an industry, the more your business is recognized and feels like a big player or staple component of the industry at large. In fact, boosting industry recognition is one of the biggest ways you can attract new clients and improve your company’s stability over the long term.
IT BOOSTS FIELD CREDIBILITY
Similarly, personal branding can improve your credibility in your field or business sector. Those who have well-known personal brands in the industry will be trusted both by new clients and by competitors or peers.
As an example, a well-known lawyer with a finely tailored personal brand that has stayed consistent for decades will be much more known in the industry and trusted with high-profile cases than a new lawyer who doesn’t have much of a personal brand at all.
Personal brand is, as the name suggests, a little more personal than company reputation. So it can also affect how easily you can draw in new talent or if you might be offered positions at other firms or businesses across your industry.
In some cases, personal brand can even save you from a career disaster if your current company goes under or your industry experiences a shakeup. Your personal brand might indicate to new potential employers that you’re still a valuable person to add to their team, even if your last endeavor didn’t go so well.
The same is true if you’re an entrepreneur.
IT TIES YOUR PERSONALITY TO YOUR REPUTATION
As many entrepreneurs know, reputation is a big part of business. This is somewhat because you have to often get startup cash or loans for every new endeavor you want to undertake. But reputation is also important since it determines what kind of talent you can attract your organization and what types of risks you’re able to take.
Your personal brand ties your personality to your reputation – preferably because your personal brand is an extension of your actual personality (or at least based on it). This does carry a few risks, as well. By tying your personality to your personal brand, people might take issue with what you do in the public sector or business industries and make things personal.
But overall, investing in your personal brand provides more boosts to your reputation than it presents risks.
YOUR PERSONAL BRAND MAKES YOU SEEM AUTHENTIC
As mentioned above, authenticity is incredibly important, which is why your brand should be as authentic as possible. Not only does this inspire more trust in your character, but it also makes crafting a personal brand that much easier. Extending your personal interests, tone of voice, or speaking style to your personal brand is a lot easier than coming up with any of those elements wholesale.
But this authenticity can also improve your business opportunities across the board. People like doing business with those who seem to have integrity or they think they can trust. If your personal brand projects authenticity, the investment in it will be well earned in future business opportunities and other benefits.
PERSONAL BRANDING CAN DIFFERENTIATE YOU FROM COMPETITORS
Another great benefit that comes from investing in your personal brand is differentiation. Specifically, your personal brand can help to differentiate both you and your company from similar competitors.
Again, take Apple in relation to Microsoft: former and current chief competitors in the software and computer fields. Apple used the personal brand of Steve Jobs to help separate them from the lanky, nerdier personal brand of Bill Gates. In fact, many old Apple computer commercials used these personal brand differences as the highlight of an entire marketing campaign, drawing in new and innovative people and college students as opposed to older, “boring” folks.
In this way, it’s easy to see how personal branding can help you beat the competition and seem more intriguing to your customer base. However, your personal brand needs to be authentic and attractive on its own.
IT PUTS YOU TO THE FOREFRONT OF YOUR BUSINESS
Finally, investing in your personal brand will let you put your own personality at the forefront of your business. This isn’t egotistical; it’s an advantage because it shows a bold desire to stake your claim on your venture, which is a form of authenticity and something many other business competitors or customers will appreciate.
It’s like signing your name on a document and saying, “Yes, I am here and in charge of this business. I am part of it, so I’ll stick with the ship whether it sails or goes down”. That kind of bravery can do a lot for business reputation, trust us!