Many entrepreneurs and business owners focus exclusively on building their business brands. If you look closely at their business branding and marketing, it’s pitch perfect. The look and feel has been carefully coordinated. The messaging refined until it’s within an inch of its ideal customer profile. Platforms are chosen with the utmost care. Google Alerts conscientiously monitor every company mention.
But when you take a closer look at what’s being done to help the leaders of the business manage their personal brands… silence. It’s a common mistake, but there are many reasons, both personal and professional, that business leaders need to incorporate their own personal brands into their company’s broader branding and content marketing efforts. Here’s a closer look at why it matters, and some simple steps you can take to easily build your personal brand and manage your reputation.
Why We Don’t Focus on Ourselves
There’s a common misconception in business that it’s the company’s brand alone that matters. In certain areas, this is true. For example, when considering small ticket items that are consumer goods such as toothbrushes or toilet paper, the vast majority of buyers are not interested in the company’s CEO. But for smaller businesses, service oriented firms, B2B companies, and artisan B2C companies, the owner’s brand is absolutely critical.
There are many reasons that this may be true, in whole or in part, from the customer’s point of view:
The name behind the company is part of the value proposition.
You’re buying the expertise of the company’s principal, and/or the weight of their brand.
You’re buying the creative inspiration or artistic vision of the company’s principal, as embedded in a product or service.
Your purchase is in the hands of a sole proprietor.
You’re making a purchase in an impersonal industry, and a personal face behind the business helps increase your know/like/trust factor.
You’re making a purchase in a highly personal industry (for example, think personal training or life coaching) and chemistry with the person behind the business is vital.
And so on. The key here for business owners is to understand that there are many contexts in which your personal brand is as important, or even more so, than the corporate brand you’ve built for your company.
Why Your Personal Brand Really Does Matter
There are numerous reasons that having your own brand strengthened by your content strategy benefits your business. I’ve covered how a personal brand relates to your content strategy in my article, “How to Grow Your Personal Brand With Your Content Strategy,” which is worth a read if you’re already employing a content strategy. But it’s also important to think of your own bigger goals. Do you hope to start future companies, where customers and investors are likely to be attracted to a strong brand? Do you hope to publish, appear in media, or in other ways expand your own platform?
Have you ever considered consulting or going after an executive position at a company, where a strong platform will help you command high rates? Building your personal brand now helps your business, but it also helps lay the foundation for your future success – whatever direction that might take.