Most companies agree that brand awareness is a top priority for their businesses. Referring to how easily a customer recognizes your business’ name or service, brand awareness is what creates loyalty. An example of how brand awareness creates this association? Think about Band-Aids. Rather than saying, “I need a bandage for this cut,” we say, “I need a Band-Aid,” referring to the brand. That type of brand awareness is why Band-Aids have nearly monopolized the bandage market.
So, what about your personal brand? Many founders don’t see how who they are personallyshould denote some degree of awareness to resonate with their company’s audience. But a personal brand does resonate with an audience — it creates trust, in the same way a business’ brand awareness does. According to CEO Hangout, “82 percent of people are more likely to trust a company when their senior executives are active on social media.” Sales representatives see fruits of building a personal brand too, as it was also reported that “sales reps who use social media outperform 78 percent of their peers.” Numbers as significant as those are hard to ignore.
No, you don’t need to hire a brand consultant for your personal brand or devote an hour everyday to building it online. Consider how you are building your personal brand (even unintentionally) and see how you can double down on those efforts, instead.
1. Are You Using Social Media As Yourself?
Lorena Garcia, founder of Call Me Lore, discusses how using social media is powerful for helping to create your brand image. “Social media is a place where you can show peoplewho you are. Not only is this done through pictures, but it’s also done through captions and what you write or post to your stories. If you want to focus on being the professional in your industry, share your knowledge in the caption. If your focus is to share your interior designing skills, share beautiful photos of your home,” she writes.
Many founders focus strictly on their business social media accounts, posting about the latest features of their new products or upcoming news. If you are using social media under your name but struggling to build a personal brand, take Garcia’s advice to heart. Share with your audience who you are and how that relates to what you do or what you’re passionate about. In many cases, this can act as another point of ‘marketing’ for your business. This is why many celebrities are able to kick off successful companies: they build their personal brand first, then launch a company in alignment with it.
An example of this is affordable travel gear company ‘Béis’ created by actress Shay Mitchell, which she created because she travels constantly for her career. Now, she’s able to effortlessly incorporate her product into her posts, and because she had the devoted audience to begin with, the company hit the ground running.
2. Are You Sharing Your Point Of View Often?
On social media, it’s also important to know who you are and state it proudly. Trust is built with an audience when you treat them as though they are friends with you, which means you shouldn’t water down your content to appeal to everyone. Think of it this way: in business, you know your audience and niche and don’t stray from that. That’s what makes your product successful.
Benjamin Dinkins, the co-owner of Kodion Consulting advises, “Don’t be afraid to talk about your point of view. The largest social media influencers and entrepreneurs can’t make the world happy... so, how should you?” He used Elon Musk as an example. “Some love him, many can’t stand him... but through it all because of his antics, public talks, marketing output, and talking about what he believes in, he is arguably one of the most well known CEOs.”
This personal brand awareness matters greatly, and here’s why: “No disrespect to American Airlines, but if you were to ask 10 random individuals off of the street, maybe one knows who the CEO of that company is. Out of the other nine, three might drive a Tesla, four of them know who Elon Musk is, and two might own stock in the company, and the other individual doesn't care.” Dinkins elaborated. It’s not your job to be all things to everyone. Just be totally yourself and share your point of view, and that’s how you build awareness.
3. Do You Have A Mission Or Message That You Stand For?
To understand this cohesively, it’s also important to incorporate what you care about within your social media presence. This will usually relate to your company. To borrow from Garcia’s interior design example, alongside posting photos of your home, try to articulate why it matters to you. Perhaps you believe the home should be a place that you love to be more than anywhere else, and you prove that you stand by this by sharing your dinner parties and all of your home improvement projects.
Missions and messages are also how you land press to generate more awareness. If you are always posting about how your life mission is to help more women hit seven figures in sales, then the next time a journalist needs a comment for an article along those lines, you’ll be top of mind. This contributes to more brand awareness, which helps your business grow, too.
These efforts begin to stack up like a pyramid: it begins with who you are, and then is expressed consistently using the popular communication mediums that we have today (key word: consistently). Over time, this builds a strong platform for your personal brand awareness, which will always help you win in business.