There is a saying in sales, people buy YOU and not really your product. They buy into who you are and what you represent. And this is no more important than today’s convoluted marketplace. In the present global economy where anyone can sell anything, or anyone can copy what others are offering, having a strong personal brand is crucial in order to stand out. And not just to stand out, but to be trusted, that is the key. People trust something they can relate to, like a person, and not just a brand. With that trust comes loyalty, and with loyalty comes fans who proudly recommend your brand to others. Think of free advertising on social media and word of mouth from strangers, who are willingly advocating that you (and your product or service) is the best they have ever had. And we all know a third-party testimonial or review is the most powerful one there is.
Having these online reviews serve an even greater purpose. According to a study by Kredible, 52 percent of online vendors lost potential sales because of information (or lack thereof) about them online. This clearly underlines how important customer reviews are, for you and your brand. More than that, it shows how a strong personal brand can make or break your business.
So, start the new year strong. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a solopreneur, or just about anyone thinking of improving their personal image; here’s a list of why you should take the time in growing your personal brand this 2019:
6 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs and Business Owners Should Build Their Personal Brands
1. A Strong Personal Brand Adds Trust & Credibility
How many smart and talented people do you know who are struggling financially or career wise? Chances are… quite a few. Despite having the skills and expertise, they somehow fail to jumpstart their businesses or careers. A big reason for this is that they lack the credibility outside their current circle of influence. This is where personal branding helps. A personal brand is quite simply a strategic presentation of a person’s talents, skills, and expertise designed to first, expand his or her circle of influence, and second, increase his or her credibility in that expanding circle. Think of it as a “Credibility Bank”, where constantly working on your personal brand gives you an opportunity to make small daily and weekly credibility deposits. And over time, as you further increase your circle of influence, you also increase your credibility to more and more people.
Why do you want to increase your credibility you might ask? Well, people will naturally want to do business with you when they trust you. If you’re having trouble getting people to purchase your product or do business with you then building up your personal brand is something worth considering.
2. A Strong Personal Brand Makes You Attractive to Clients
We’ve all been there. After a great initial meeting, we’re pretty sure we’ve landed a new client. Only for days to pass by and we hear nothing back. And, yes it happens, we make the first follow up. And then the next, and the next. Later on, do we realize that we are chasing the client away from us. It’s a tiring game, financially and emotionally, to chase someone that never seems to want us back.
Now imagine the same scenario, but the other way around. When you have so many clients chasing after you, one after the other. That can happen with a strong personal brand. Because it acts like a magnet of sorts, funneling business back to you. A well-built personal brand is attractive. Just like how people are drawn to anything stable or strong, or for the lack of a better word, attractive. And the more attractive you are, the more clients you will have. It will not happen overnight, but the rewards of having more clients is well worth it in the end.
3. A Strong Personal Brand Lets You Work With Quality Clients
Working on your personal brand not only gives you more clients, it also gives you better quality clients. As you grow your brand and become more successful in your field, you attract the more successful and better-known names in your field (and other fields) too! Success attracts success. And with better clients to work with, you now have the freedom to choose only the ones you like.
4. A Strong Personal Brand Increases Your Asking Price
Along with a strong and attractive personal brand comes higher demand for your services. And the more in demand you are, the higher your asking price becomes. It’s the basic law of demand and supply. Simply put, your supply of working hours a day stays the same, while the demand for your time, skill sets, and expertise increases. This puts you in a better position when it comes to negotiating your price with a client.
A quick way to increase your asking fee or value is to work in a specific niche of your industry. By establishing your brand in that specialized field, you can focus more and achieve better returns for your clients. And the bigger your returns are for them, the higher the fee you can charge.
5. A Strong Personal Brand Gives You More Time Freedom
By being able to charge more for your time, you can choose the number of hours you want to work. Yes, you can still work long hours, for up to 16 hours a day, and make more money. But, you can also choose to take it easy and work sparingly with only the clients you want.
It will take time. Maybe at the start you can only charge $25-$40 per hour, but with strong dedication to excellence and working on your personal brand, you can move up to charging $100 or more per hour. With a strong personal brand to back you up, you can eventually, if you so desire, work just 4-5 hours a day and still make the same or more money when starting out. The choice of being able to work less and yet, live more, and make more is freedom. And for some, having this freedom is priceless.
6. A Strong Personal Brand Builds a Bigger and Better Network
In business, or in any aspect of life really, your network determines your net worth. Who you know or the type people you have access to, have a strong correlation on how much you make or how high your value is. And a strong personal brand increases the width and the quality of your network.
A strong personal brand gives you access to exclusive networks. A good example would be getting an interview with, let’s say, Michael Jordan, arguably the best basketball player that ever lived. And also a very big celebrity. Between a blogger with nary a personal brand and Mark Cuban of Shark Tank fame, who do you think have the better chance of landing an interview with MJ? A betting man would choose Mark Cuban 10 times out of 10. Of course, with Mark Cuban a celebrity in his own right, with a well-built personal brand and reputation, he will have access to other celebrities and high-class individuals and businessmen as well. At least more than anyone without a name or with a negligible personal brand.
Nowadays, it’s much easier to build a personal brand, using the critical aspect of a readily available platform in cultivating a loyal following. Even without previous business experience or a TV show to back you (like Mark Cuban’s case), if you can build a podcast over the next year or so and grow that to a 10,000 downloads-a-week show, you now have the ability to pull in higher-quality guests to come into your show. And the only way to do that is to work on your personal branding constantly. By building your personal brand, it establishes your platform and gives you access to a wider and better network, which again, strengthens your personal brand. And the cycle goes on. It’s really a gift, when done right, that keeps on giving.
Aside from having access to a better network of people, a strong personal brand also offers new opportunities that could lead to a higher reach and influence. With the case of podcasts, a channel that has been very popular in the recent years, people with well-crafted personal brands are most often invited to share their experiences in business and in life. This is a clear example of how taking the time to improve your personal branding can attract an even stronger network.
So, are the reasons I’ve just mentioned making you excited on growing your personal brand? If you want to get started then check out my Top 3 Books To Start Growing Your Personal Brand Today!