It’s really easy to get wrapped up in getting good results for your clients when you first start a business, but this often means entrepreneurs let aspects such as their own brand fall by the wayside. In order for customers to want to do business with you and recommend you to others, they need to feel connected to you, which is where personal branding comes in.
Personal branding is not just about getting some great photos taken however and pasting them all over your website and social media. Personal branding is an art, a process and if you want to grow properly it does take a bit of thought, time and effort. You have to show at least little glimpses of yourself and your passions, and nurture your (potential) clients, in order to grow the KNOW, LIKE and TRUST that they have in you and equally importantly, you have to show up consistently. Whether that is simply in the form of regular social media posts, regular email newsletters, or whether you can commit to a weekly or bi-weekly live video at the same time so your clients come to expect it and enjoy your content. Whenever I start to think about all the things I could be doing to up my game, to improve my brand presence online, I start to feel a little daunted, overwhelmed and a little frustrated that I am not doing all that I should, but then I remember, I am also a busy mum of 3 small people, and that even baby steps are better than nothing! This is all a process that can be implemented little by little if needs be and your clients will enjoy the ride as you develop over time, just like a caterpillar turning into a beautiful butterfly.
If you want to hit the ground running however and you want your personal brand to thrive, I have put together the below list of a few of the most common personal branding mistakes you should avoid:
Mistake 1: Not getting yourself out there. If you want people to do business with you, you need to show them who you are – be the face of your brand, not hide behind a logo or a statement. In an age where consumers are bombarded with advertising, entrepreneurs and business owners need to give people a reason to trust them. Have your brand photographs taken by a professional photographer who specialises in personal brand photography to really make an impact. Consider using video and going live on social media more often.
Mistake 2: Not building your network. To grow your personal brand, you are going to need to keep making connections and nurturing your relationships with customers and potential customers. The internet makes it easy to avoid face to face interactions, but they are still important in order to create genuine connections. So remember to grow and build your network both online and offline (although of course, the offline bit can be much more challenging in the current climate!).
Mistake 3: Failing to share your story. Tell your story, WHY you do what you do. WHY you feel so passionate about helping people with your product or service. People need to be able to relate to and trust you, so if you want to grow your personal brand, you need to be willing to share your story. Storytelling is a powerful marketing tool and one which can be used in a multitude of ways on many different platforms. If you feel a bit nervous about doing this, there are ways to do it gently, only giving away small things about yourself, but still allowing your clients into your life just a little. Just ask me more about this if it’s something that bothers you.
Mistake 4: Being inconsistent. Your brand needs to be prominent and consistent if you truly want to make an impact. Consistent in the look and feel and also consistent in the regularity of you showing up. Be where your audience is and make sure that they’re hearing from you on a regular basis. Consistency is another way to build trust, which is crucial to the success of any business. Being consistent also gives you the chance to get to your customers before your competitors do.
Mistake 5: Failing to grow your online presence. It’s no secret that we live in a world of technology and instant gratification. Customers can find almost any information they want within a matter of minutes. If you want your personal brand to thrive this year, it’s important for you to create a digital footprint that will ensure more people are finding you online, more often. It’s also a good idea to review which platforms you are currently present on, are these the places your ideal client can be found? And check whether you are missing out on any key opportunities.
Mistake 6: Being afraid of lives and video. Your ideal client needs to get to know, like and trust you before they will do business with you. Get yourself out there. Get behind the camera. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Your ideal client will love you , no matter how you trip over your words, or what your hair looks like. They are looking for the real you, warts and all, so show it.
Putting together a well thought-out bank of imagery is certainly a great starting point for your personal brand growth though, to save yourself time and stress trying to scrabble for that image to use each day in your communications, and so that you feel confidence in how you are presenting yourself to the market.
If you feel like you need to up your game with your online imagery and that having a bank of pre-prepared, well thought-out, professional imagery would be invaluable for your business, do get in touch for a chat – I would love to help you out.