Through my experiences managing both corporate Twitter accounts and helping local businesses improve their social media engagement, one thing has become exceedingly clear: people want to connect with other people. You can have a fully optimized website, outsource your order fulfillment, keep one eye on your website’s analytics and the other on your expense reports, but if your potential customers only see a nameless corporate entity, they’ll be wary of doing business with you.
Personal branding, no matter what field you find yourself in, is a way to set yourself apart from the pack. Done correctly, it will improve engagement with your customers, help you rank better in search results and become a key part of your marketing efforts.
Reasons To Develop Your Brand
Building a personal brand will set you apart from everyone else in your field. Proving that you have both the desire and ability to engage with people in a meaningful way will help you establish relationships that can lead to network opportunities, referrals or sales.
Showing customers that you’re personally available to them can engender further trust in you and your business. Allowing your customers to contact you through social media means that if something goes wrong, like a customer’s order is missing or late, they can contact you with their problem and you have the chance to publicly respond and fix the situation. This will not only please your customer, but it will show other customers that you’re serious about customer service and will do whatever it takes to fix any problems that come along.
By sharing your knowledge and expertise – and tying your personal brand closely with your business – you establish your professional legitimacy, gain customer respect and build a reputation as a leader in your field. In doing so, you can develop people’s perceptions of you and your products, giving yourself a prestige boost.
How To Develop Your Brand
In developing your brand, you need to be easily identifiable, engaging, consistent and productive. Use the same username and photo for various sites, like Twitter, LinkedIn and your blog.
Twitter is especially useful for engaging with customers and potential customers, because it allows near real-time communication and conversation. LinkedIn is indexed by search engines and can help more closely tie your personal brand with your company.
A blog is a great way to establish yourself as a leader in your field and provide relevant content to customers. If you can provide advice or information that solves someone’s problems or answers their questions, you’re more likely to gain their trust and, eventually, their business.
Make sure all the information you provide across your social media platforms is consistent and be sure to establish a unique and consistent tone or you risk confusing potential customers. The best way to develop your brand is to be authentic and engaging.
How Your Brand Can Help
Establishing a personal brand can help drive traffic to your site, make your marketing efforts more visible and increase customer engagement.
If you’re constantly sharing your thoughts and ideas, the respect you’ve earned through your community engagement will increase interest in your site and, if you maintain a blog on your site, will aid your search rankings based on the amount of people in your networks sharing your ideas with others.
Participating in discussions in your field will help you remain aware of customers’ concerns and will make you more visible online.
Personal branding is an integral part of doing business in the current world. Taking charge of your identity and being responsible for shaping people’s perceptions of you can benefit your customer outreach efforts as well as build loyalty. By providing relevant, useful content and engaging with others in your field and with your customers, you can set yourself up as the go-to person in your chosen area of expertise.