Why Small Business Owners Should Market Their Personal Brands

Wednesday, March 23 at 07:20 AM
Category: Business Banking
As a small business owner, your time is already leveraged to the hilt. You are super busy promoting your business, running your business and making your business’s customers happy. Too busy, in fact, to consider devoting even a small amount of time to focusing some of your business-building talents on marketing something other than your business, right?
 
Why even consider using up that valuable time and effort to promoting … yourself?
 
Why not? 
 
Owners need to pay attention to the brand they are building for themselves and not just the business. If a transition were to happen in the business, like a sale, then the owner’s identity as a success gets swallowed whole along with that business unless they have built their own brand alongside the brand of the business. 
 
Strong personal brands can help entrepreneurs start new businesses faster than the previous ones. With a personal brand, the successful business becomes part of the track record of the owner rather than the owner becoming part of the history of the business. A smart entrepreneur can use the equity of a strong personal brand to capture attention and build a record that can be trusted by potential investors, lenders and, ultimately, future customers. 
 
What is a personal brand? In the simplest terms, a personal brand is your story. How you became interested in what you do, what you did, and why you are an expert in what you do. It’s not enough to just have a story; you must share your story often and with the right audience. By focusing the brand on your expertise, you are advertising your knowledge and experience, which in turn, can help support your business endeavors. 
 
If you don’t control your personal story, someone else will. You have to craft and support your story publicly. If you don’t, the only story anyone will know is what others create about you. That’s why you need to get your story out into your target community and network. Every entrepreneur needs to work hard at becoming known, not just for your current business, but also for any future business you might start. 
 
Why should a business owner “tell their story?” Because crafting a good story is more important now than it has been in the past for any business — service, production, but especially retailers — to set itself apart in the global and online marketplace. Anyone can create a website or rent shop space, stock it with merchandise, hang up a sign and open up for business. But if they don’t create a reason for customers to click on the website or deviate from their path and open the door, customers won’t. Successful businesses create an experience that customers know they will not get from other businesses. That experience becomes what customers expect from that business, or for the entrepreneur, from that person. 
 
So the story becomes an expectation, a brand. That is how the audience perceives the business owner. It differentiates you from your competition, from other businesses. Expectations are important. If you craft a story of quality, success and achievement over a consistent period of time, customers and investors begin to anticipate that whatever you are doing next will be of high quality, be successful and achieve your goals. 
 
A carefully crafted and curated brand sets the expectation of the audience. An audience that has an expectation of something from a source, whether it is a person or a business, usually looks to find that expectation fulfilled. 
 
Tags: Arvest Biz, Business Banking
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