When you are running a company, one of your primary concerns is going to be how your company reaches people and what perception your audience has of your company. Typically, a company should strive to operate in a formal and professional arena, an example of this is by placing a landline number rather than a mobile number as a contact number. People like to purchase from companies that inspire trust. In the given example, having a mobile number, suggest a lack of permanence where as a landline number suggests that you have a central base of operations or main office. Simple mistakes like this can easily undo a company’s reputation, that is why we have compiled 5 easy to follow steps to make the most of your personal branding.
Personal branding goes one step further than a tradition company brand strategy, it often places an individual at the core of a marketing campaign and can be extremely successful if utilised in the correct way.
Image Is Everything
First and foremost, with personal branding, you will need to ascertain whether or not it fits your overall brand. Typically, consumers are very vain and the face you are putting on your product needs to be up to the consumers expectations. If you’re a company director that is looking to leverage a product using your own name and face, then you must make sure that you are presenting yourself in a way that is amicable at ALL times.
A key example of this comes from the world of boxing. Many years ago, a marketing company approached George Foreman to market their grill. The product was rebranded with his name and he actively promoted the product with all the wit, personality and charisma that had endeared him to the American public. This is possibly the greatest use in history of personal branding as Big George took the grill to dizzying heights and now you will be hard pressed to find a home without a George Foreman grill. But not all personal images are created equal. Unlike George Foreman, many other boxers thought this was a quick way to financial success beyond the world of boxing, and unfortunately, they fell at the first hurdle. The likes of Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield have tried to imitate the success of Foreman to no avail, simply because they didn’t inspire consumer trust.
Big George’s secret is that he is approachable, likeable and respectful ALWAYS. With no exceptions, every waking minute of his life he presents himself as someone that cares.
Social Media Interaction
In a world where being “instafamous” is something that is aspired to, it is vital that you focus your personal branding across social media platforms. As many as possible. This means dedicating a lot of time, actively posting, engaging and sharing content to build up a following. The larger you can grow your social media following the smaller your marketing expenditure will become in the long run.
Successful entrepreneurs have vast followings on social media that they can tap into at any time to get sales. Once you have an organic following you will not need to invest heavily in advertising promotions as you can simply market to your followers.
This is vital! You must make sure that the product you are putting your name to is high quality and lives up to people’s expectations. Once you have put your name to a product there is no turning back, if that product is faulty, of deficient then people will automatically mistrust anything that bears your name.
Tying back to the George Foreman success story, the grill was so successful because it was innovative, practical, reliable and a brilliant bit of equipment in its own right. Its designer simply didn’t have a way of reaching his intended audience without the assistance of George Foreman.
By matching up a quality product with a quality personality, you are already ahead of the competition.
Work Hard and Be Patient
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you will likely have months of fruitless efforts building up a following on social media. People tend to follow people that other people are following. You will notice a snowball effect over the course of 12 months consistent posting on social media. Initially it will be a triumph to get a few followers each week, but as your campaign progresses you will be astounded by your growing followership.
Be realistic with your overall target number, it is unlikely you will obtain millions of social media followers, but with commitment and hard work you can reasonably expect 10,000 in your first year.
A word of caution; don’t be tempted to purchase followers, often this seems like a great way to present a profile that has a lot of followers, all it actually does is create a vacuum because you will likely not be measuring your metrics right and as a result not be putting in enough work to actually grow your following organically.
Don’t Give Up, Hire a Marketing Team Instead
Something that occurs quite frequently with personal branding is that company directors find they are not getting the results they are expecting quick enough. This is a long form marketing strategy and should be entered into with that in mind.
Hiring a marketing team or company such as VM Interactive to continually engage with your audience is a very sound investment. They will provide expertise as well as reduce the amount of time you would personally have to commit to the campaign, allowing you to focus on the day to day operations of your company.