I’ve always been more successful when…
I Put My Face Out There!
When I first started in business, I somehow knew my face needed to be ‘out there’. I knew I needed my business name, logo and my actual face to become familiar. I knew I needed to be front of mind and I understood the connection between the personality I put out there, how people perceived me and how fast my business would grow.
At one point, I attended almost every local networking event, had a fortnightly marketing column in the local paper and I sponsored nearly every local event just to get my logo and my face ‘out there’. And it worked!
That was over a decade ago, and now I understand WHY it worked. In this article, I share:
What is Personal Branding?
As defined by Influencer Marketing Hub:
Your personal brand is how you promote yourself. It is the unique combination of skills, experience, and personality that you want the world to see about you. It is the telling of your story, and how it reflects your conduct, behavior, spoken and unspoken words, and attitudes.
You use your personal branding to differentiate yourself from other people. Done well, you can tie your personal branding in with your business in ways no corporate branding can possibly succeed.
The Benefits Of Personal Branding For Your Local Business
The right personal branding can also make “selling” easier for you. By already having a favourable public profile, prospective customers may feel like they already know you, before you’ve even met. As I mentioned above, when I had my fortnightly column in the local newspaper (before social media became a ‘thing’), I would have prospects ringing me, wanting to do business with me before I’d even quoted them, just because they found my articles useful. I even had a prospective customer walk into my office with a collection of my articles cut out. She was already a fan before I even knew her name.
Another example – I recently received a referral from someone on my mailing list who I’ve never done business with, yet they still felt confident enough about my skills to refer my web design services to one of their own customers. All because I consistently, authentically and regularly showcase my personal brand (therefore promoting my business) through my newsletter.
The Link Between Your Personal Brand + Your Ideal Target Audience
Doing business with customers that already like you is also a lot easier and more rewarding! Chances are, they’re a better match to your personality, because something in you resonated with them. This is a great way of identifying your target audience – by identifying your natural personality traits and the kinds of people who you naturally appeal to.
Why Personal Branding Works!
The biggest shift in marketing in the past decade is a growing distrust amongst consumers when it comes to advertising. I’ve noticed this when I post an advertisement on my social media versus something personal, inspirational or of value.
84% of millennials trust neither the advertisements nor the brands that create them. Yet, they are prepared to believe people they feel they “know”– even the business people behind the brands they detest so much. – Influencer Marketing Hub
It’s this very trend that allows for things like #fakenews to run rampant online. Enough “influential” people shared it. It’s also how Apple and Virgin became household names – do you really believe that without the massive profiles created by Steve Jobs and Sir Richard Branson that either of these brands would be as successful? All by simply putting their faces “out there” and creating iconic and memorable personal brands. It’s set them apart from all other business owners.
It’s also how politicians play the election game…smiling, kissing babies and shaking hands in an effort to create a personal brand that the general public can relate to and potentially like (or at least dislike less than the other candidates).
Harness Personal Branding Like a Real Estate Agent
My favourite though, and how I believe ALL local business owners can leverage personal branding is to follow in the foot steps of real estate agents.
Think about it – real estate agents build their own personal profiles (even if they work for a larger company). They’re focused on creating a professional, successful and trusted image within a certain geographic region. Like I hope you’re interested in doing to promote your local business!
They do this by:
- Leveraging reviews | Real estate agents rely on reviews to bring credibility to the service they offer. It’s almost a competition among local agents to get the most 5-star reviews in certain suburbs as this goes a long way to building trust.
- Professional Photos | This also applies to politicians and real estate agents alike. The right headshot can make a real estate agent communicate sincerity, friendliness, and professionalism. It’s also how real estate agents become recognisable.
When I chat with new clients, I emphasise the impact a decent individual or team photo can have on building a brand’s reputation, trustworthiness and credibility! A little time invested and even overcoming a little discomfort (if you’re camera shy) can prove to be a very clever marketing move on your part.
- Signs + Socials | Have you ever thought that a particular real estate agent has their face everywhere? Every “For Sale Sign”, walk through video and social media post! Real estate agents never miss the opportunity to get their face out there. And it works! Let’s face it, would you sell your house with a real estate agent you didn’t know, like or trusted? They also contribute to their success by updating socials frequently. Some of the more successful local agents turn just one property listing into multiple posts.
Here’s an example…
Post 1 | This property is coming up for sale soon
Post 2 | This property is now for sale and open to offers
Post 3 | I just SOLD this property
Post 4 | Here’s the happy buyer standing in front of the SOLD sign
Post 5 | Here’s the happy seller celebrating the start of their next adventure with a bottle of bubbly
Post 6 | Here’s the seller’s 5-star review
Putting my face out there, like a real estate agent, has always directly influenced how well my business does. When I’m creating any form of content to promote my business, I ask myself “If I were a real estate agent, how much am I prepared to put myself out there, how do I want my audience to feel about me and what do I want them to know about how I can serve / support them?”
The Transfer Effect
Deciding and staying true to your branding (i.e. being consistent), flows onto to how people perceive your staff / team as well as your business as a whole.
… you still need to act in ways that match your perceived image. If you portray yourself as being caring and interested in your customers, then it is crucial that you do listen to their complaints and try and fix any problems they may encounter with your product [or service]. ~ Influencer Marketing Hub
Put another way, the energy / vibe / personality you put out as an individual, naturally “Transfers” to how your business is perceived. Even if you don’t mean it to. Your attitude in your personal life (Facebook posts count here too) transfers onto how people perceive you in your business life and it also flows on to how your team is perceived. If you’re rude, negative or even just jaded about being in business, there’s every likelihood that prospects will assume that anyone working for you will be the same. As they say “Like Attracts Like!”
More Personal Branding Resources
To further assist in building a powerful personal brand for yourself, here’s some more super helpful personal branding resources!
In a nutshell,
1. Have a focus
2. Be Genuine
3. Tell a Story
4. Be consistent
5. Be ready to fail
6. Create a positive impact
7.Follow a successful example
8. Live your brand
9. Let other people tell your story
10. Leave a legacy
Based on our 2021 workshop on the topic of target audience, we share:
- Do You Really Know Who You’re Selling To?
- How to Design Your Target Audience Profile
- Customers Worth Cloning
- Customer Personas
- Target Audience Strategy
- How getting this wrong can cause your website to fail
The Wrap Up
So you see, your local business can benefit from you getting comfortable with putting your FACE out there. It not only makes selling easier, it also makes it easier for others to refer you. Even being more recognisable makes it easier to do business because people feel like they already know you and remember “Like Attracts Like”. Focus on who you are naturally and what about you your existing customers like and appreciate… now emphasise that. This becomes part of your personal branding and can be effectively communicated through how you speak, how you write (even in your email communications), and how you present yourself (and team) in photos / videos.
For further support on how to establish and promote your personal brand for the benefit of your business growth, I invite you to contact myself and my team by filling in the online form. We’ll guide you through the entire process and know exactly how to showcase the best bits about your natural personality and what makes you unique! We’ve also helped 100s of businesses identify who their target audience is through this strategy.
So let’s grow your personal brand and your business together.