Since 2016, I have been leading workshops with young people and entrepreneurs across the country, focusing on the importance of developing one’s personal brand on digital platforms. A problem that seems to be often present among entrepreneurs is their difficulty in recognizing the importance of this brand while raising their business. By talking with entrepreneurs about their brand and using social media as a promotional tool, many told me they wanted “their work to speak for them” or they did not want to “To expose oneself too much” for fear of being judged. However, in today’s world, digital platforms represent an important opportunity to create and build relationships with the target audience; to ask them questions, get to know them and vice versa. Having talent is very important but, what makes the difference is to develop and promote its brand. Nowadays, the personal brand of a founder is as important as the brand of his company. A good example is a group of guys I love:Muesli Boys . They are the founders of a French startup called Dear Muesli , located in Paris. This startup, as you may have guessed, sells organic granola. The guys started with zero marketing budget. And in a very short time, they created a trademark for their business (Dear Muesli) , as well as a personal brand for them (Muesli Boys) . The account of the Muesli Boys is there to tell what is happening behind the scenes, bring out their different personalities, share what they like, show their strong work ethic, allow guys to ask questions to their audience. With that, they managed to create a brand related to their business.
I will be honest with you. I have, for years, said that every entrepreneur should have a strong personal brand. However, it’s only been six months since I started really thinking about my business goals for the year 2018 and how to incorporate my personal brand into my business goals.
Here are some tips to help you think about your personal brand:
Who are you ?
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Who are you ? And why should others pay attention? When I start my brand development workshops, my first instinct is to walk around the room and ask each participant to tell me three things about them. Then we move on to a fun exercise that involves teaming up and finding five questions that will help to find out about the other person. The goal of this exercise is to not only get to know a colleague or stranger, but also to think about yourself, who you are and what highlights our strengths. You can also do this exercise with a friend or a colleague. What comes out of it (the answers) will be the basis of your personal brand.
Show the real you!
As I already mentioned, in today’s world, buyers want to be connected with the people behind the brand. They want to get to know you; Who are you ? What are you? What is dear to you? Why do you do what you do? What are your social values? It is very easy to answer all these questions by telling your story about the digital platforms used by the audience you want to join. Your “storytelling” may be a combination of your work (obviously), but it is also important that you hear and see. I totally understand the fear of judgment, I felt like that too and I had to face this fear, the fear of sharing photos of me or my life without feeling like a narcissist. I understand that if people subscribe / follow me, it’s because they want to see me. So, no choice to show off and share what I love. In onePrevious blog post , I mentioned some tools that you can use to plan your publications because becoming more visible is one thing, but what do you mean? What does it look like?
In terms of personal branding, networking and learning new knowledge is essential. It’s very important to participate in events in your industry to develop your brand. You have to be on the lookout for new trends and then share this information with those who support you. Your supporters, future customers and partners will see you as a reference for everything new in your field, which will allow you to position yourself as a leader. Finally, going out and meeting people (supporters, etc.) in person is very important for the development of your brand and your company. It’s cool to be present beyond the digital world.
Now that you have shown others who you are, you need to communicate with your supporters and those you want to join. I will not lie to you, it takes time to build but it is worth it. Leave comments on things that interest you, follow people, respond to your comments (even if you do not know the person!). Tonight, I have to answer more than 300 comments on one of my Instagram photos (oof!). I waited too long and was overwhelmed by the answers, but I still have to do it. If people take the time to communicate with you, take the time to answer. The important thing is to be social on social networks!
I hope this has given you some tips to help you start thinking about your personal brand and what it will look like in 2018. If you have more tips or questions, leave them in comments!