Marketing

16 Entrepreneurs Explain How They’ve Built Their Personal Brands

There’s never been an important time to build a personal brand than in this era of social media. It adds to your credibility and makes your business stand out. Personal brands are not a reserve for a certain category of people and it’s important for entrepreneurs to work on growing their brands. How exactly should you do this?

We asked entrepreneurs and business owners how they build their brands and here are the insightful responses;

#1- Living by a mantra

Photo Credit: Hosea Chang

Years ago I began living by the mantra ‘You only live once,’ and it’s the cornerstone of my personal brand. I’ve found that I redefine exactly what that means to me during different phases of my life, but in general it means taking risks when my intuition tells me it will lead me to a more fulfilling experience. It’s not about being reckless–it’s about really examining what aligns with my core values. Several years ago, my mother founded Hayden Girls (named after my oldest daughter) and I had the opportunity to leave my career as a lawyer to help grow the company. This was a huge risk, as I had spent years preparing for and building a very successful career in law that I truly enjoyed. But once I reframed the move as an opportunity to nurture a concept I believed in and that my family believed in, it was a no-brainer. I realized that if I died tomorrow, that’s what I wanted to be doing. Once you define your core value, the personal brand follows naturally.

Thanks to Hosea Chang, Hayden Girls!


#2- Organizing virtual events

Photo Credit: Jan Koch

I've built my reputation through organizing virtual events and bringing together thought leaders in my industry. Through demonstrating my knowledge in the summit interviews and getting the event featured in various big media outlets, I've managed to build up my reputation. For years, this strategy has been effective and constantly opened new opportunities like taking over businesses or speaking gigs.

Thanks to Jan Koch, Virtual Summit Mastery!


#3- Highlighting my story and experiences

Photo Credit: Jing Gao

I have really built my brand around highlighting my story and experiences fighting to get my product recognition in America. As a young Asian American woman, there were many obstacles in my way getting to where I am with my company. I use my struggles in this space and industry as a blueprint for connecting on a deep, personal level with our consumers. My brand has become the story of my upbringing and how that tied into my
desire to connect with my heritage and create delicious experiences for everyone. I have used social media, such as Instagram, to share these stories and engage with those who share similar experiences.

Thanks to Jing Gao, Fly By Jing!


#4- Admitting mistakes

Photo Credit: Mike Nemeroff

Building my personal brand has not been about proving that I'm perfect. It hasn't been about covering up my mistakes, or hiding my flaws. Instead, it's about admitting I slip up, but that above all I have clear values that I follow closely. In my experience as a business owner, customers are okay with executives and companies that make occasional errors as long as they work hard to rectify them. What they're not okay with are errors that get
covered up or ignored due to companies not caring about the customer's needs and expectations. It's okay to make mistakes, just align your brand with strong values so that you're always working to improve from those mistakes.

Thanks to Mike Nemeroff, Rush Order Tees!


#5- Through a simple process

Photo Credit: Nathan Murphy

Creating a personal brand is about building a reputation that people remember, and one of the best ways to stick in people's minds is to provide value to them. For me, the process started with figuring out the skills I had, and then leveraging those skills into services I could use to help others. I was able to slowly create a brand that revolved around bringing value to the world around me, and by impacting others positively, I could mainly rely on word-of-mouth to grow my brand and network larger. Building a solid reputation is really about consistently proving you care about your customers, and the faster you're able to show that, the faster you'll have the foundation of a personal brand that people look up to.

Thanks to Nathan Murphy, QuizBreaker!


#6- Social media and thought leadership

Photo Credit: Paige Arnof-Fenn

Thought Leadership is a great way to build your brand, increase your visibility more broadly, raise your profile and attract more clients/customers. Activities like hosting podcasts/webinars, speaking at conferences online and offline, writing articles, building your following on social media all contribute increasing your awareness with potential customers and building your credibility with a larger community. Instead of trying to start your own blog or newsletter, try contributing regularly to existing well trafficked blogs in your industry or newsletters of likeminded organizations reaching the same target audience as you. You do not need to blog or be on all social media platforms but make sure you are active on the ones where you are. If your customers do not use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to find you then you do not need to make them a priority. For many professional service businesses like mine, LinkedIn matters the most. In my experience, Social Media and Thought leadership are the most cost effective ways to build your personal brand and grow your business.

Thanks to Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls!


#7- Chose a unique niche

Photo Credit: Marco Sison

To build a personal brand, you need to pick a unique topic or a unique angle to a topic, create a story that can captivate, prove your subject matter expertise on the topic, and engage with people with similar interests. For example, my broad expertise is in Retirement Finance, but I chose the unique niche of using geographic arbitrage to build wealth for retirement. I made my business with my name and image as the center of all marketing collateral. I networked with personal finance journalists to offer insight, statistics, and analysis on articles they were writing about retirement overseas.  In addition, it's essential to make sure you include your personal brand in all of your social media profiles.

Thanks to Marco Sison, Nomadic FIRE!


#8- Being a mom

Photo Credit: Nanda Davis

Being a mom to two children has helped me build my brand as a divorce attorney who understands just what is on the line for my clients who go to court to settle matters regarding their children. It is impossible to understand the enormous demands and rewards of parenthood unless you yourself are also a parent. Motherhood has given me perspective and insight, and I know that when you're talking about your children, the stakes just don't get any higher.

Thanks to Nanda Davis, Davis Law Practice!


#9- Consistency in providing positive results to clients

Photo Credit: Julian Goldie

Knowing where I'm good at and exploring for things that make me improve is my headstart. Connecting to people of the same mind and goals is a plus. Once I've built a solid network, I started getting clients. It is very important to take care of my clients' needs and deliver positive results with collaboration. And in turn, I've earned their trust and confidence as I continually show undying effort as we grow.

Thanks to Julian Goldie, Goldie Agency!


#10- Sharing tried-and-test hacks

Photo Credit: Immanuel Debeer

I have been building my personal brand as the face and chief points nerd of FlightHacks. Naturally, people connect with people, and not just with the site or platform. Being at the forefront of my website and social media accounts, by posting my own personal experiences and hacks to achieve luxury travel next to nothing, I connect with my audience. Continually curating and creating my digital presence, I show honesty and transparency through my posts to boost the deals and discounts featured on the site. Sharing my tried-and-test hacks helps me set myself apart from others and builds trust in my expertise, and reflects who I am.

Thanks to Immanuel Debeer, Flight Hacks!


#11-Using different strategies

Photo Credit: Ryan Jones

When building my personal brand, I have been able to use a number of different strategies. Twitter, for me, has been the biggest one. I am able to share my thoughts on SEO, digital marketing and give people some wider career advice, all the while building my reputation within the space and growing my network of other professionals in the industry. I have also been a guest writer for industry websites such as RankWatch, AccuRanker and have also been featured for marketing tactics in Forbes. I am now in the process of building out a personal blog to share my experience with a wider audience.

Thanks to Ryan Jones, Land of Rugs!


#12- Examining and expressing my skills

Photo Credit: Sara Abate Rez

I believe that building your personal brand can be one of the most important things you ever do in your life as it will showcase your abilities and authenticity like no other. I began building my personal brand by examining the rare combination of my skills, talents, passions, personality, sense of humor, outlook on life, and my way of being in the world. I was then able to express my brand visually and verbally on a personal website by designing a brand that captured the true essence of me and everything I represented. I continue to build my brand by writing blogs, sharing videos and content online related to my area of expertise. I now have a platform that I can continue to build my know, like and trust factor from and help others on a similar journey.

Thanks to Sara Abate Rez, My Personal Brand!


#13- Creating an appealing online presence

Photo Credit: Jennifer Foster

Ensuring your online presence is appealing to potential employers, coworkers, and others—even if you're not looking for work—is one of the most critical aspects of personal branding. Since there are so many various social media platforms currently available, your online presence will most certainly vary based on the channel you use. Although your message should be consistent across all channels, knowing where your target audience is most likely to go can help you focus your attention on telling your best story there. Furthermore, if you really want one of your pages or accounts to be just for friends and family, make sure your privacy settings are adjusted so that prospective employers don't come across any details that might jeopardize your job search.

Thanks to Jennifer Foster, Authority Astrology!


#14- Three ways

Photo Credit: Belinda Aramide

I started by getting clear about what I wanted to be known for (sales strategy) and by whom (startup founders and executives). Then, I did two things: First, I started sharing relevant content that showed I could provide valuable insight around the things that mattered most to how they do business. Second, I began commenting on the popular content I knew they were paying attention to again with insights and expertise.

Thanks to Belinda Aramide, Claim Your Space!


#15-  Identify your target demographic

Photo Credit: Alina Clark

Before you begin developing your personal brand, you must first decide your target audience. Is it some opinion leaders in the industry? A certain employee of a particular company? What about recruiters? The quicker you describe your audience, the simpler it will be to design your plot, since you will have a clearer understanding of the kind of story you would share (and where you need to tell it.) If your objective is to connect with hiring managers and recruiters, for example, you could begin by building or upgrading your LinkedIn profile. How come? Since 92% of recruiters use social media to source high-quality recruits, and 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn. In the other side, if you're a graphic designer looking to inspire current clients and draw new ones, you may like to share your story via a personal website or portfolio, which allows you to showcase your diverse selection of abilities.

Thanks to Alina Clark, CocoDoc!


#16- Constructing a bio

Photo Credit:

Make a brief bio to keep on hand. A professional bio is required for freelance writing gigs, speaking on panels, networking events, and maintaining an up-to-date LinkedIn profile. Your education, work experience, any published writing or press hits, honours you've got, volunteer work, and probably some of your personal interests may all be included in your bio. Personal branding is not limited to the portfolio website or social media accounts. Writing a bio that is on-brand will ensure that your reputation follows you everywhere you go.

Thanks to Chana Charach, Income.ca!


How have you been able to build your personal brand? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community.

Mercy - CBNation

This is a post from a CBNation writer. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue 16 Media.

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