Great people = great companies. It is that simple.
Wait a minute! How do we know that the Entrepreneur of a particular company is actually great?
Now that’s where personal branding comes in!
Unless an entrepreneur talks about his/her work, how would people know about it? We could wait for others to talk about it. In fact I would call that also personal branding (More about that another time). However, in this busy world, that tactic works only for a select few. For most entrepreneurs, in order to get people to recognise your work, you will need to brand it personally!
Should we talk about ourselves?
This is something that dissuades many from personal branding. The “How do we talk about ourselves?” factor. Gone are the days where talking about yourself made you a narcissist. Today, people appreciate those who are confident and understand the value of the self. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? Thanks to the internet, personal branding makes it easier to highlight achievements and it also has possibilities today like never before.
For those of you who still think that you cannot talk about yourselves, always remember that you’re actually talking about your work with little bits of information about yourself. In fact, as an entrepreneur, you are the face of your business. You are its core value. Your branding thus becomes the company’s branding. In order to build your company, you need to build your personal brand first.
Face Value = Company Value
When your company is in its nascent stage, people measure the credibility of your product/service based on your personal brand. People’s interest in your company at that stage is built purely on the reputation that you have built for yourself till then. Almost everyone (92%) trusts recommendations by people over brands even if they are strangers to them. When you brand yourself, the values that you represent and stand for automatically get communicated as the core values of your company. If your name is synonymous with integrity and respectable work ethics, your company automatically reaps its benefits as your network will attribute those values to your company as well.
Word of mouth
When you decide to launch a venture, personal branding will play a key role in enhancing the ‘word of mouth’ factor. The traditional ‘word of mouth’ is almost as big as an advertising campaign in today’s internet era. What can have a strong impact for your product/service in the market is the fact that friends, friends of friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances may try it and give their opinion about the same…and that too at no additional cost! When you brand yourself, it is easier for your network to share it. This spreads the word of your venture better than any other marketing method. With personal branding in place, you will even be able to influence others to buy your product/service with your messaging as they already look up to you as a thought leader.
Garner right interest
With personal branding, potential investors, clients and employees can reach out to you easily. Branding is also a gentle reminder about you for them when it is needed as they are connected to you online. Consider this as a subliminal advertisement of yourself. Even if they have a slight hesitation in the beginning, they can easily be reassured with your consistent messaging about your work using your preferred channels. When you share it yourself, there is credibility and with a good network, it is accepted more effortlessly.
Credibility with numbers
Writing about my perspective may not convince you completely, so here are some statistics on personal branding that you can ponder over if you’re still unconvinced. When CEOs brand their product/service, 77% people are more likely to buy from the brand. It is said that one has to lead by example. If an entrepreneur is active on Social Media, it encourages employees also to do the same. When employees share messages about a company, the reach is 561 percent more. The comparative numbers are also phenomenal when it comes to engagement, leads and also shares when people post a brand message vs. a brand do it. Last but not the least, personal branding also helps sales guys outsell their peers by 78 percent.
Does that convince you?
Never forget that as an entrepreneur, you are the main ambassador of your venture and your company’s branding is an extension of the image that you create for yourself. Most internet users trust online searches more than any other source of information. Personal branding is thus a sign of your approachability and guarantee. So next time you walk out of an interesting meeting/event, tweet about it, write about it, click a picture and post it on LinkedIn and tag your team…see how good that feels!
The right time to build a network is before you actually need one. What are you waiting for?
A communications professional with almost a decade's experience in the industry, in PRHUB, Raji Sarath handles an array of clients from diverse sectors (Retail to Technology to Personal Branding) in Social Media, PR and the Digital Space.