Most business owners recognise the need for branding their business. But have you considered the value in branding yourself? Let’s take a quick look at the differences, benefits, and value of considering your own personal branding, as well as branding your business.
Your business branding is a worthwhile investment. From a physical point of view, your business logo, tagline, packaging, stationery and promotional material all add to your Intellectual Property, which is a dollar-value asset when selling or buying a business.
But as much as it is tangible, it is also the intangible aspects that create your brand. The feeling people get walking into your business, the way your team interacts with your clients, the experience clients have when enquiring, purchasing or using your goods and services, to name a few.
What Is Personal Branding?
In a country as small as New Zealand, we do business slightly differently. As much as personal relationships are valued in businesses overseas, it is imperative within New Zealand to build and connect with people – it’s how we work. We like to get to know, like and trust someone who will be contributing to our business or our personal life.
Personal Branding Aspects List
Your personal branding is made up of several aspects, including:
- Physical – How do you present yourself physically, your choice of clothing and accessories?
- Psychological – How do you make people feel – are you approachable or arrogant?
- Verbal – How do you use phrases, words, language, and tone of voice?
- Material – How clean is your vehicle? What does your briefcase, handbag or notepad look like?
- Emotional – Are you confident, empathetic or happy? Do you handle problems, awkward people or confrontational situations well?
- Physiological – Does your body language match your verbal communication?
- Professional – How do you carry yourself? Are you punctual and prepared?
- Enthusiasm – Are you passionate about what you do, the clients you help, problems you solve or things you create?
- Knowledge – Are you an expert in your field? Do you exude industry or topic confidence and experience?
Who Should Consider Personal Branding?
To be honest, everyone should at some level. If you are in business, your business branding and your personal branding really go hand in hand. If you have a great business but are known for unethical decisions personally, this will affect your business.
Take a look at Sir Richard Branson as an example. His charismatic personality has always shone through, and he personally is one of the main reasons why his businesses get a lot of attention. As an individual, he strives for personal growth, pushes his boundaries, and is an advocate for causes he believes in.
Why Is Personal Branding Important?
If you are an expert in your field or deliver professional services to clients, then your personal branding is exceptionally important. Why? Because your reputation will outlast your current employment, business or endeavour. You need to attract people to you, irrelevant of your company name at the time, physical location, or even career path.
As individuals, we grow and evolve. As an example, my reputation has stayed steady over the years, even though my skill set has vastly changed, as well as my business name. Before I got married, I also made the decision to keep my maiden name in the business, as I have worked hard to develop both my skills and reputation and have books published under this name.
How Do I Even Start?
Firstly, be the person that you are striving to be. We all have things to work on, and these change at different times. Think about what you would love to be known for – innovative, charismatic, revolutionary, compassionate, leadership. Then in everything you do, strive for this to be true. Make clear and thoughtful decisions. Your inside thoughts will start spilling into your outside actions.
Secondly, write down each heading from the Personal Branding Aspects List mentioned above, and jot down some ideas for each one on how you can present yourself in a professional and integral way.
And remember, be sincere and live your life with integrity, and the right people will find you and love working with you.
Article by Darlene Mathieson
• Business Consultant, Traction Business Acceleration Ltd
• Co-Owner, Simply Reading – Creative Learning Tools
• Motorsport Champion