Digital marketing guide for small businesses
Digital marketing guide for small businesses
How To

Personal Branding: How to Build Your Brand

12 min read
Personal Branding How to Build Your Brand

Online marketing is serious business. It’s all fine and well putting your website up on the internet. Congratulations! It’s your first big step into the world of online marketing. But, if you don’t use the various tools, such as SEO, to make your online presence felt, you’re wasting your time. 

Website builders like Boxmode will have you covered when designing your website. Of course, we keep it affordable while being easy to use at the same time. And, you’ll get all the tools you need to improve traffic to your website. 

promote your brand with a new site

Our Boxmode support team is available to give you guidance every step of the way. Plus, we’re always writing articles, such as this one, to provide you with even more ideas on promoting your presence online. 

Which brings us to the topic of an online presence. How else can you get noticed besides being smart with content and keywords? Personal branding, that’s how. Now, a business brand is what most of us are familiar with. Companies spend a lot of time and money on making sure their brand is recognizable. But what exactly is personal branding?

Personal Branding: What Is It?

Think about brands. What comes to your mind first? It’s often a catchy logo or a name that stands out (think McDonald’s or Starbucks). It could be a mission statement phrased to stick in people’s minds. 

A company’s brand could rely on colors, certain music, or even a slogan. If you don’t think Nike whenever you hear “Just Do It,” then you’re missing something.

But while creating a business brand is essential for getting your company’s name into the eye of the public domain, have you considered your personal brand?

It’s very easy to hide behind a screen when you’re online. If you’re not careful, your personality can get swallowed up in your business brand. This is actually okay to some extent, but we’re talking about improving your online presence. 

Customers still like to know the person behind a business. Even more so when they’re not meeting you face-to-face in a store or at your offices. People want to know the story behind every company. It makes what they’re dealing with more real and tangible. And the story often entails a person — you.

Personal Branding

“All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called YOU” – Tom Peters in Fast Company

So, to answer the question as to what personal branding is. It’s basically you. It’s about all your skills, talents, and experiences coming together to create a unique personality. And the art is to merge it with your business, so your audience recognizes your business while appreciating your personality behind it. It’s the sum of your personality and your professional expertise. 

Personalizing your online presence is an extremely powerful marketing tool if done correctly. Often, a business will ignore this aspect and let the personality develop naturally as the business grows. While this can work, bringing more focus to this type of branding can add the punch your business needs to grow exponentially. 

Why Personal Branding Is Important

Think of all the times you picked a business online for shopping or services. How often do you go to the “About Us” page hoping to get more information about the owner or team members? When we can connect on a more personal level with the owner or founder of a business, we’re more inclined to do business with that company.

Take our Boxmode “About Us” page. You’re introduced to the founder and CEO of our business, Max Yarchevsky. His story and online presence tell you he (and Boxmode) realizes website building is a real experience for our clients. Immediately, you have a connection with someone who cares about you and your business. 

About Us

What a personal brand does is build trust with your target audience. By sharing your strengths, passions, and commitment to your business, you’re giving customers the confidence to use your product or service.

When you resonate with your market, you’re making people feel unique and special. And you can only do this when you’re putting yourself into the brand. Businesses such as coaching, motivational speaking, and even books rely on their stamp to be recognized as the person to deal with in such fields.

We’ve asked three experts from various fields to comment on the importance of personal branding:

Aaron Williams

Establishing a strong personal brand will help your business grow. People are more willing to do business with entrepreneurs they feel they can trust. Someone with a professional headshot and 500+ connections on LinkedIn will have an easier time closing B2B deals than someone with a blank profile and 15 connections.

Many business owners underestimate how much the subconscious affects business decisions. You want everything about your personal brand to foster confidence in potential business partners. Work hard on growing your LinkedIn network and reach and add professional headshots to both LinkedIn and your email. These small things can make a big difference, and they have for my business.” — Calloway Cook, President of Illuminate Labs.  

Calloway Cook

A personal brand gives you an additional sense of independence where your success doesn’t feel purely defined by who your employer is or was. Your personal brand has to do with desirable qualities and skills that make you alluring to a wide variety of companies and industries, as well as a good person to work with. Somebody with a strong personal brand will likely find more success in networking and will be put in a position where they stand out compared to somebody that hasn’t really worked on building their personal brand. — Aaron McWilliams, Director of Marketing at 1Dental

Aaron McWilliams

They say that you should always think of yourself as a brand when applying for jobs, working in a role or running a business and. I would absolutely  agree with that. Establishing yourself as a brand means that you’re forced to examine your goals and objectives and how you intend to reach them. This can only be a good thing. 

I focus a lot on branding both for my business and myself. I’ve worked hard on my personal brand. As a result, my name is now synonymous with reliable, trustworthy, accurate results which has benefited me both personally and as a business owner. I’ve managed to make some great contacts and have grown my business exponentially. — Milosz Krasiński, founder and CEO of a web consulting company called Chillifruit, international SEO consultant, speaker, and blogger at miloszkrasinski.com

Personal brands have extended into the financial sector, marketing professions, and more. If you’re serious about online marketing, then your go-to for great online marketing advice would be Neil Patel. Right or wrong? That’s personal branding for you.

Your personal brand is important when you want to be known as an expert in your niche. This is easy for small businesses, especially if you only need to promote one or two people as the “face” of your business.

Entrepreneurs such as you must have huge amounts of passion, expertise, and commitment if you’re setting out to grow your business. Now, imagine feeding that energy into your company and personalizing it with your own unique stamp. Like a magnet, people will feel drawn to you and, as a result, to your business. 

For bigger companies, personalizing their brand can be more challenging, but it’s still possible. Sometimes, they’ll turn to influencer marketing as a way to have a person behind their business brand. This could be a celebrity, a well-known blogger, or an expert in the field. 

Alternatively, they’ll identify dynamic personalities within their teams and use them as representatives for their company. By adding an element of personalization to their brand, their customers are less likely to feel intimidated to approach them for business. This is why so many investment and financial companies see the power of using a personal brand to promote their business.

How to Create a Personal Brand So You Stand Out

Creating a personal brand for your business entails some serious work on your part. You can’t expect to paste your picture onto your “About Us” page (or anywhere else for that matter), utter some words, and believe your audience is going to fall in love with you and your product.

Some serious self-reflection is necessary here and a deep understanding of who you are. You need to really know what your business is all about. You also need to have a clear and concise conception of your typical clientele. 

To create personal branding, you need to portray who you are, and not only what you want. And this is often where many people fall short. Try describing who you are to someone when you’re convincing them to buy your product or service. 

Create a Personal Brand

Some questions to ask yourself here would be:

  • Am I living the lifestyle my business sells or promotes? If you’re a personal development coach, selling your services as someone who can help others transform their lives for the better, then make sure you’re living a “better” life. 
  • Do my personal values align with my business? You’re selling retirement annuity plans to your clients, but you don’t believe in saving for retirement yourself. How can you convince your clients to save if you don’t believe in doing so yourself? 
  • Do I use the products I sell? If you genuinely believe in your products to the extent you use them yourself, your true self will talk when you’re selling it. It’s that simple. 

Let’s look at the business of selling baby products. You could get away with pretending you love children, but it’s going to be hard work keeping up that persona if you actually find kids irritating. Instead, if you’re a father of a baby girl and you’re genuinely interested in all the paraphernalia that comes with parenting, you have a better chance of selling baby gear.

You could take it one step further and write engaging, humorous, real stories about your journey as a father and what baby products do to make your job as a parent easier. Immediately, your personal stamp is coming through your business. Other parents will want to listen to you, connect with you, and, ultimately, buy your products. 

So, the first step to personalizing your brand so it stands out is to keep it genuine and real. Not only do you want to care about the products and services you’re selling, but you also want to really care for the customers using your business. 

You want to be the person your customer sees as having the same issues and struggles as they’re having. They basically want to see you as a human being, just like them, experiencing the same challenges they’re facing. The one big difference here is, based on your experiences, you’ve come up with a solution. And this is your business. 

Some Tips for Creating Your Personal Brand

So, when it comes to personalizing your own brand, consider the following tips:

  • Keep it real. Be genuine about who you are and what you care about. It doesn’t take a person long before they pick up you’re not authentic. While it’s acceptable, you’ll need to fabricate certain parts of yourself to suit your business, going to the extreme will expose you as a fake. 
  • Use beautiful imagery on your website (or any other medium such as business cards and flyers) that portrays you without exaggerating yourself. In other words, make sure your photograph reflects you without major Photoshop work being done on it. People get easily disappointed when they meet you, and you look nothing like the 20-year-old self you’ve chosen to put on your website. 
  • Don’t discount the encounters in the world beyond your website. If your business does take place face-to-face, then make sure your appearance is appropriate. If you’re a financial advisor, your clients expect you to wear a suit. 
  • Use business cards. Yes, even to this day, business cards are one of the most powerful and yet simple ways of getting your name into someone’s hand (literally). But, there are business cards, and then there are business cards. Make sure your business card reflects your personality and expertise effectively and concisely. 
  • Your actions count. Behave in a consistent manner that supports your image. Appearing rattled during a mindfulness coaching session won’t go down well for your image as a calm, mindful coach.

When people talk about you, it must relate to the brand you’re living by for your business. 

Developing Your Personal Brand Online

How do you go about personalizing your brand online? Remember, you’re wanting to inject your unique brand by combining your personality and expertise. It’s relatively easy to build a website with images and descriptions of your products and services. But it could get a bit more challenging when it comes to bringing your own stamp to it. 

Developing Your Personal Brand Online

Which brings us back to the importance of knowing who you are, what you like, and how you want your target audience to see you. If you don’t have a grip on any of these, head back to your personal drawing board and do some more reflection.

But, let’s agree you’ve done the hard personal work, and you’ve got a good sense of how you want your customers to see you. 

This is where a good website builder, such as Boxmode, can help you with your personal profile. By offering enough tools and features, we can help you create a website unique to you. By having flexibility when creating your website, you can inject your personality effectively.

The following features give you the versatility to play around with and bring in your own unique brand:

  • A wide range of templates provides you the opportunity to decide what look suits your personality and business best.
  • A flexible drag and drop editor gives you more versatility as to how your website will turn out.
  • Customizable widgets allow you to put in all the information and images you want while keeping the look professional and personal all at the same time. 

Having the best tools to build your website is essential and always the first step. But what you put on your website is just as important. So, you need also to consider the following:

  • Great photographs (including yourself, of course). Get creative and if you have to spend a bit of money using a professional photographer to give you beautiful images, then go for it. To make it easier for you to get beautiful and free images, we integrated Boxmode with Unsplash, a famous stock photo platform.
  • An eye-catching logo. Yes, you may have a logo for your business brand, but does it reflect your personality? Think about this one very hard if you’re serious about personalizing your business. 
  • Design, design, design. This brings us back to your template and style. You get good designs, you get pretty awful designs, and then you get those incredible designs. An awesome design includes all of the above and more. It’s the design that makes your audience want to stay longer and to browse further to find out what you have to offer. 
  • Content is king. SEO loves high-quality content. Make sure the information you put onto your site reads well, is unique, reflects your personality and expertise, and is free of any grammatical or spelling mistakes. (Yes, it counts, believe it or not.) 
  • A blog to your heart’s content. Another way to get your personal profile noticed is to write articles. But not just any articles. Your articles must be so good other people are linking to it. You want to see your blog or article appearing all over the web. This is how people start noticing you. And, it’s an excellent tool for injecting not only your unique personality but showing the world you know your stuff. And copyright them so the other site credits your blog.
  • And do guest blogs. While you’re working hard at getting your own website noticed, drive more traffic by writing for other well-known sites. Places such as Hubspot, Investopedia, Entrepreneur, and Lifehack are some of the most successful sites you could consider writing a guest blog for. 
  • Social media: Develop a social media strategy. Decide which platform works best for the type of business you’re running and the niche market you’re promoting to. You don’t want to be spending hours every day on social media, but this is another sure-fire way of establishing your personal profile online. 

A Final Word on Personal Branding

Your online presence needs to highlight your strengths, your passions, your knowledge, and skills. Each one of us has these components in ourselves. If you don’t recognize yours yet, then find them.

Because when you do, you can transform the way you personalize your business. Your clientele will increase, and of course, your business will grow. When your heart is in your business, you’re giving it the energy to thrive.

And that’s the power of personalizing your branding. You’re injecting your fantastic personality and professional expertise into what you care most about. By sharing your personal brand, you’re becoming the solution to your niche market. Isn’t that why you’re in business, after all?

Personal Branding: How to Build Your Brand
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