The Value Of A Personal Brand
While the old saying about not judging a book by its cover may hold some truth in it, everyone knows that appearance is important. If it weren’t, then marketing executives, public relations specialists, graphic artists, and others employed in the billion dollar industry of making things appealing would most likely be out of a job. Whether you are talking about a person, a product, or a business, the truth is that the way something is perceived from the outside often has a great impact on whether or not the inside is even given a chance.
“Sure,” you may be thinking. “I can understand this concept when it comes to political campaigns or a sports drink label, but what does all this have to do with entrepreneurship?” Well, I am glad you asked. You see, many entrepreneurs have failed to see the value in what is commonly referred to as personal branding. This term, which basically means marketing a person in the same way a product is marketed, is one that has not yet hit the mainstream of the entrepreneurship world. In reality, though, it can be an essential building block for expansion, growth, and branching out.
Let’s take Mr. Donald Trump, for example. Most people are not only familiar with his name, but they also associate him with things like wealth and business. While some of the associations are formed naturally, much of what we think about this businessman has been “branded” into us. Through television appearances, articles, press releases, and news media designed to market the man, the Trump name has become a legacy in and of itself. And, because of this extensive and successful branding of his personal image, new ventures or products that he starts or acquires using his name immediately have an image attached to them as well. This largely eliminates the need to market each and every brand separately, which takes both time and resources. From Trump Towers to Trump Steaks, this personal brand and name gives consumers and investors an immediate recognition of the brand, reputation, and quality. Do you see why this is important yet?
Now that you have an understanding of what personal branding can accomplish, how do you do it? Well, just like starting a business, the road to a successful personal brand begins with having a little passion. What I mean by this is that you have to decide what image you want to portray to the public and what passion you want them to see when they see you. This should come from a place of honesty and be a reflection of who you are. For some, this may mean power and prestige while others may prefer down to earth and humanitarian. Once you have decided on an overall image, start setting goals for yourself. Think about how your appearances, actions, decisions, investments, and business roles play into this and plan accordingly. Begin with simple things, like business cards, a social media page, or website to introduce “you” and then build from there, always keeping your brand in mind.
As an entrepreneur, one of the smartest things that you can do for yourself and your future is to start developing your brand. A successful personal brand is not always easy, but it will add tremendous value on a personal and professional level.
[Image via Luciano Mortula/Shutterstock]