Personal brand of an entrepreneur: a small manual

Today, the concept of “personal brand” causes many double feelings. On the one hand, it’s a kind of “boasting”, they say, look how beautiful and successful I am, and in general, I have just EVERYTHING. But there is another side of the coin. Modern society, especially millennials, are already so tired of corporate advertising that they increasingly trust people. And who are these people? These are bloggers, influencers with a developed personal brand. This is who they believe, and that’s how they manage large crowds of people!

Well, yes, 84% of millennials don’t trust advertising. These results were obtained by my company Amillidius, conducting a study among employees of organizations, whose leaders have a recognizable bright personal brand: 91% of the staff say that their work gives them real pleasure; 80% are sure, they are useful to others; 74% think that they could become tops at their work. Not a bad result, is it?

For entrepreneurs, a personal brand generally comes first. A strong personal brand opens up opportunities for savings, for example, on attracting employees. With a well-designed personal brand, it is easier to attract investment, find profitable partners. A charismatic professional leader, a true influencer in his field of activity – this is exactly what employees, tops, partners, investors, and clients want to see at the helm.

According to Amillidius research, a company headed by such a leader is three times more resistant to shocks, crises and has all the chances of scaling up the business. A leader with a strong personal brand will rally the team and make the company stronger than most competitors.

What is a personal brand, and how to build it?

To begin with, this is an image. The biggest mistake when creating a personal brand is to consider that you are the brand! It is fundamentally wrong, and it is better not to create an idol from yourself. Your public and personal selves should be separated from each other.

As I said, a personal brand is not your beautiful face in a gold frame, but an image, how people see you from the outside. First, a personal brand is your “business reputation”. Between these two concepts, ideally, there should be an equal sign. If one of the concepts significantly prevails over the other – your business will inevitably collapse.

When building a personal brand, you should focus on two key indicators: target audience (TA) and reach. TA is the people you focus on when creating your personal brand. In no case, you should create a personal brand “for all”. In my marketing lessons, I gave an example of contextual advertising. A personal brand, just like contextual advertising, should be bound to your target audience. Here the concept of “for all” is fundamentally wrong and losing. Understanding the target audience, its needs, expectations, and the language it speaks is key to a quick building a personal brand.

The concept of “reach” defines the average number of your followers per unit of content. Here you should not be guided by the concept of “the more, the better.” Work on quality, not quantity! Reach, like the target audience, should be sufficient. Why so, you would think? And here we come to the most important thing – to the goal of creating a personal brand.

A personal brand must be sound. If you still don’t have a goal, then I advise you to abandon this deliberately failed undertaking right now.

If you still decide to deal with the main tasks and get to the bottom of the main goal of creating a personal brand, here are some tips.

Speaking about your personal brand, start with the formulation of simple applied tasks or metrics by which you can judge the success of the brand-building process.

What could it be? If you are a consultant, then your goal is to increase the cost of an hour. If you are a manager, then a reduction in staff turnover. And if you are an entrepreneur – growth in sales, reduction in advertising costs, growth of the multiplier to assess the capitalization of your business.

Defining your personal brand formation goals is key, as it allows you to define both your target audience and reach requirements. Subsequently – to build a reasonable plan for creating a brand.

A way to a personal brand

And here is a ready-made, well-written plan for creating a personal brand. And what’s next, you may ask. The next step to success is to determine the positioning of your target audience. Next – the content, but more on that later.

So, how do we determine the positioning? In fact, it’s very simple. You need to interview yourself and answer the basic questions. For example, if you are an entrepreneur, answer yourself such questions: who are your partners, which businesses did you create, which of them were successful, did you attract investors, and how, which teams did you manage to put together? And, of course, in what fields you are an expert? And how do you differ from other experts? What is your “thing”, and where you are not so good?

Now that you know who you are and who is your target audience, it’s time to understand how to bring all this to life. How, and with the help of what to reach your target audience and provide the necessary coverage over time? There is only one answer – content. Content is your product, the way to public relations. You need to learn how to create unique content, something that will distinguish you from hundreds and thousands of others. Well-made content will allow you to receive regular feedback. This type of communication is almost the only option to understand what your target audience likes and what is worth changing in your content. Next goes scaling up your activities, which is increasing the reach of your target audience and, as a result, increasing the popularity of your personal brand and sales.

A few words about the content

So how is content created? First, you need to identify topics that you understand more than others. Usually, I do it in the form of “topics”, for example, I am an expert in business, advertising, fashion.

Next – you choose your style. For example, I’m fond of longread. There is nothing wrong with “plagiarizing” famous eminent bloggers or writers at first. Over time, you will “gain” experience and come to your own method of presentation. Besides, do not forget that your content is designed for your target audience, and therefore, should be common to it.

And also good content – these are jokes, stories from personal experience, you can slightly embellish. However, it is better not to overdo it with imagination, so as not to arouse suspicion among the audience. Also, people do not like dry texts without examples. Here you can take both your own developments and statistics, and refer to information from trusted sources. For example: “American scientists said…”

Play with words, meanings, use sarcasm. All this makes the content alive and increases its popularity. However, do not go over to personalities and criticize someone for the eyes, this can turn your audience away from you and bring down your personal brand once and for all.