Personal Branding For The Business Owner
At Markon, we talk a lot about business branding. It's our thing. We are a design agency that loves to help entrepreneurs get from startup to success as fast - and with the best design - possible. Today we want to take a moment to talk to the business owner. As a business owner, you represent your brand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In many ways, you're the business. Especially when it's starting up. You have to portray an image at all times (as exhausting as that may be).
Here are a few tips that may seem obvious, but sometimes get forgotten.
Always be presentable and ready to give your "elevator speech"
By all means, do get down to your casual wear for the pool party you're going to this weekend. Just remember, for you, casual means "snappy casual." You're human, you can get comfortable at private gatherings with friends. You can get comfy in your shorts or summer dress, but be clean and presentable. You never know who you might meet.
Be prepared to have your social media scrutinized
Maybe . . . you don't need to go on that rant about the latest policy initiative that has you riled. Perhaps that social commentary you wanted to make about a particular event isn't quite necessary. By all means, stay a free-thinker, but when it comes to posting online, remember that it's nearly impossible to entirely lock anything down (make private) and that the people who may be funding you, including future customers, are more conscious about the values of who they patronize than ever. Be professional. Use the platform's technology to promote your business, your expertise and the reason your brand deserves to grow.
At the same time, don't be afraid to share a bit. If you love food and exploring new places, by all means, show your human side. Just keep it neutral.
It's not uncommon for a user to have profiles on various social media platforms. Maybe you share all of your travel photos on Instagram and personal news on Facebook, that's normal. Keep your "voice" consistent. Remember that you ultimately represent not just yourself, but your company.
Ultimately, you don't need to be friends with everyone. Protect yourself and your brand by only allowing people you know and trust into your personal networks. Twitter and Instagram are public by nature. Facebook, on the other hand, is not. Similarly, when making public posts on LinkedIn, be sensitive to what you post. Be mindful of who you connect with as well.
Share Your Knowledge
With platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn, there are plenty of opportunities for you to share your business acumen, product ideas and other thoughts that define who you are, and what your business is and does. As the person behind the brand, there is no need to pay for ad space or solicit media attention. Use these venues to make your ideas and opinions known. This will go a long way in building relationships with others. Take a rational amount of time to do it at a regular frequency.
Starting a business is exciting. Overseeing its development can be one of the most rewarding experiences in a person's life. Maintaining its image is critical to developing its brand value. Keeping that in mind while you're in and out of the office will go a long way.