As an entrepreneur, there used to be a clear line between a professional business brand and your personal life. The two were never mixed and in the early days of social media there was always a distinction between a business page and a personal account when it came to profiles and promoting your own business.
Think back to the news stories you’ve heard about how employees got fired because of a tweet, or something they got caught doing on video, and their employer would say “It’s not how our brand xyz is represented.”
The times have shifted and there is now a demand from consumers and audiences to have people show up as themselves online to represent their OWN companies. Your service based business is YOU, because you are the one offering the services and working directly with people.
This especially rings true if you are a blogger or influencer. You are your brand, therefore you are a personal brand.
So how can you be different in a world full of service-based brands? And how can you grow your personal brand online?
It really comes down to three key areas: consistency, authenticity and listening.
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1 – Consistency
You need to showing up the same way every day to your audience. This can be through your brand voice, images, colours, attitude, business card, fonts, e-mail signature, lead magnets, client packages and anything you put out there! Having a consistent image online makes your brand recognizable to your audience.
Consistency also comes from posting content on a regular basis, talking about your niche topics, and responding to comments and messages in a timely matter. Sticking to one idea, service offering or topic for a longer period of time helps to establish your authority and keeps your audience engaged with the content you produce. If you’re switching between different offerings and ideas, your audience is going to get confused as to what you do and how you can ultimately help them.
Becoming an established and trusted brand doesn’t happen overnight, so you need to allow yourself the time and being consistent to help make it happen!
Struggling with content creation? Here’s how to create a content marketing plan for your biz.
2 – Authenticity
If you’re not being authentic and being true to yourself, people aren’t going to buy what you’re selling. You need to be honest, real and be yourself! Do you like to swear? Use it in your posts. Enjoy having a glass of wine after a long day? Share it with your followers.
Don’t be fake and pretend to be something you aren’t! An example of this is don’t choose branding colours that are bright and in-your-face if you are a shy and introverted person, because you will need to show that YOU are those colours!
I know you have values. Your values are your brand values, and what you stand for a business owner. Share those values, show those values and stick to them for your audience.
Authenticity also comes by being relatable to your audience. Share your successes and failures. Make your content relatable to problems or issues your audience is currently dealing with. When you show your vulnerable side, people will relate to you as a human and begin to trust you!
3 – Listening
Don’t assume you know what your audience wants – or better yet assume they want what you’re offering! Listen to your audience by asking them questions through your social media, sending out surveys, asking polls or asking your e-mail subscribers directly.
What problem can you can solve for them in their life? What is their end goal with what you offer? Go search Facebook groups or Pinterest boards and look for what people are asking for help with in your industry.
Find other leaders in your industry and see what questions their audience are asking them. When you begin to listen, you can easily begin to identify with what your audience really needs and can start to establish yourself as an expert in that area.
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Tie it all together
Creating a personal branding strategy goes beyond these three key tips, but by implementing them for your service-based business, your authority and your brand will grow online! To learn more about how to grow and create a kick-ass branding strategy for your biz, send me a message and let’s chat!