The Digital Face of Your Business
When you think of a business brand in the digital age, it’s pretty much what you’d expect. There’s a Facebook page, a LinkedIn profile, and a Twitter handle, all neatly branded under the company’s name. But it’s not just about the logo and color scheme; it’s also about the soul of the business—its vision, values, and ethics.
The Journey of My Personal Brand
I spent a good chunk of my twenties at Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group, navigating through ownership changes and corporate shifts. I thought I had a personal brand, built over nine years and countless relationships. But the moment I stepped out of that corporate bubble, I realized how fleeting those connections were. That’s where platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook became my lifelines.
What’s Your Personal Brand, Anyway?
Your personal brand isn’t just a fancy term; it’s the essence of who you are within your organization. It’s how you amplify your company’s message and become its human face. CEOs, listen up: Being at the top doesn’t exempt you from having a digital presence. I’ve heard executives say they don’t need LinkedIn because “if someone needs to contact me, they’ll find a way.” But that’s missing the point. Your online presence isn’t just for you; it’s for your team and your business.
The Richard Branson Effect
Take Richard Branson, for example. The man could be sipping cocktails on his private island, but he chooses to stay connected with his audience. I get it; I’m an adaptive introvert myself. I can socialize in bursts, and then I need my “blanket fort” time. But even if you’re not a natural socialite, you can learn to be one, at least digitally.
Crafting Your Personal Brand
To build a compelling personal brand, align your story with your company’s narrative. I used to ask hotel staff to write me letters about why they chose to work there, what they loved, and what they’d change. The exercise was eye-opening, not just for them but for me. It gave me insights into the culture and what needed fixing. The same principle applies when you’re an ambassador for your company.
The Customer is the Hero
Your personal brand isn’t a self-praising monologue. It’s about your customer—what they want, what they need, and how you can make their life easier. Your role is to guide them on this journey, not to be the star of the show.
Content with a Purpose
Once you understand your role, you can be more intentional about the content you share. It’s not just about posting; it’s about connecting on a human level. For instance, on ANZAC Day, I don’t just announce that we’re open; I share my family’s military history to connect with my audience on a deeper level.
Aligning Personal and Business Values
Your personal and business values should be in sync. If they’re not, it creates a jarring experience for your audience. So, be genuine. The digital world is an extension of you, and people can sniff out inauthenticity from a mile away.
Niche Down to Stand Out
Don’t be afraid to specialize. At Social Media AOK, we focus solely on social media marketing. We don’t do web design or branding. And that’s our strength. People value expertise, and when you’re clear about what you offer, you can voice your opinions confidently.
The Power of Genuine Interaction
As your business grows, your time becomes more valuable, but never too valuable for genuine interactions. Whether it’s a coffee meeting or a LinkedIn comment, take the time to engage. Your personal brand is built one relationship at a time.
The Long Game
Building a personal brand isn’t an overnight success story. It’s a long-term commitment that requires strategy and consistency. If you’re not getting engagement, don’t look outward for blame; look inward for improvement.
The Tagging Trap
Be mindful when tagging people in your posts. Context matters. If you’re going to tag someone, make sure it’s relevant to them. Better yet, send them a private message. It opens up a dialogue and shows that you value their opinion.
The Bottom Line
Your personal brand is more than just a digital avatar; it’s an extension of who you are. By aligning it with your business brand, you not only amplify your company’s message but also build a narrative that resonates with your audience.
– Cultivating online relationships benefits both you and your business.
– Authenticity attracts the right people to your brand.
– Building a personal brand is a marathon, not a sprint. Consistency and strategy are key to creating a brand that aligns with your business goals.
So, there you have it. The dance between your personal and business brands might be intricate, but when done right, it’s a beautiful performance that benefits both.