We are in the era of the micro. People want human to human connections, they want real stories, they want to feel. And at the end of the day, people buy from people, not companies.
It used to work for big brands to have a macro, broadcast voice, but any of the companies hanging onto that old school approach aren’t going to be around much longer. Which means there is a lot of opportunity out there for smaller, entrepreneurial companies to shine.
“To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” ― Tom Peters
Consumers are 82 percent more likely to trust a company if the CEO is active on social media, but as it stands now, only one in five CEOs use social media to connect with their consumers.
Now, your business may just have yourself or maybe a handful of employees. Either way it is still important to consider both your personal brand, and your business brand. Let’s explore why….
Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away
Like it or not, you already have a personal brand. Google yourself and more often than not there are plenty of results out there. So given people are going to find you anyway, wouldn’t it make more sense to be pro-active about what they find?
And it’s not about being fake (of course), it’s just about having content you like out there, that best represents you. First impressions count right?
The connection is faster, and longer lasting
People connect with people. Imagine you are out at a networking event, you meet someone and hit it off straight away. So, you become interested and want to know more about them. You are more likely to naturally connect with them on social media first, and potentially follow their company social accounts once you know them better, or if you are particularly interested in what they do. Personal brand is in fact bigger than a business brand in that people leave companies, sell companies, start new endeavours, but the personal brand transcends it all.
There is only one you
There are billions of people on this planet right this very second, but there is only one you. Your personal brand elevates the experience, knowledge and interests that intersect and make you uniquely you. It’s a great way to differentiate from the competition – so consider how you can leverage your most valuable asset (yes, you) to elevate and grow your business.
Stories gain more traction than facts
Neurologically the human brain is 22 times more likely to remember stories rather than facts. Which is why journalists are far more likely to share stories about you as a founder, rather than your company. The people behind brands, founder stories, are the new kind of celebrity. Got big plans? Be ready to share your story.
Building your personal following will naturally flow into growing your company following. It’s good to have a plan for both – how they are different, and how they will intersect.
Hot tips for personal branding
- Reputation is everything. Be pro-active in shaping it.
- Spend time delving into the foundation of who you are – what drives you (your underlying purpose), and your values (how you show up in the world).
- Your brand merges personal and business, these are no longer separate. Define who you are and be the same person everywhere (you might dial certain areas up and down depending on the channel, but be authentic always).
- Be helpful, educational and entertaining.
- Create content, loads and loads of it across many channels. The more you own the impression of you the better.
- Connect with people all the time and collaborate. How can you add value to them?
- Understand your expertise, and why you are different and tell the world.
- Show your personality. Bland is just bland.
- Don’t be overcome by fear, be yourself.
Jodie + Em xx