woman showing off her personal brand
From offering educational tips to your followers to creating engaging videos, there are several ways that your personal brand can elevate your business success. — Getty Images/izusek

As you develop a strategy for promoting your small business, don’t overlook one of your strongest assets.

“You might not have a globally known brand, but the asset that you have that makes a difference is you,” said Ramon Ray, an author and speaker on marketing and technology and founder of Smart Hustle Media. “Your personal brand helps attract people to you. Once they like and trust you, you’ll earn the right to make a sale.”

Ready to get started? Here are five top tips on how to build a personal brand to support your business.

[Read More: The 6 Elements of a Successful Personal Brand]

Build a fan base

By setting up social media pages for your personal brand, you’ll have a wider audience to tap into when it comes to attracting customers and clients. Just keep in mind that relationship building is a gradual process. “The long-term play is to build a community base and then nurture them to a sale,” said Ray.

Try to connect with your clients on the mediums they’re likely to use. “If they’re more business-focused, they might be on LinkedIn, while Instagram is a good place for millennials and Gen Z,” said branding expert Caroline Leach, founder of The Carrelle Company. “TikTok is popular with Gen Z or younger, while Baby Boomers and older generations are often on Facebook.”

Educate

To keep your followers engaged, provide them with valuable content. “If you have a funeral home, educate them on how to buy a coffin,” said Ray. You might even consider publishing a free downloadable book or small guide on your personal website, which you can promote and link to on social media. If someone visits your website to download your free guide, they might also join your email list. From there you can keep them informed about your products and services, or even offer them a free consultation.

Podcasts are another smart way to use your personal brand to promote your business. You can interview experts in your field and provide advice while also including a call to action, such as visiting your website or joining your email list.

“You’re offering the educational assets to draw people in, then you can convert them to buying,” said Ray.

Video humanizes and personalizes your brand.

Ramon Ray, founder, Smart Hustle Media

Add links

Be sure to include a link to your business’s website in the bio section of your personal social media pages. It’s also a good idea to include links to your business’s social media pages on your personal pages, both in the bio sections and in posts that relate to your business. “Make it easy for people to find your business,” said Leach.

Create videos

“Video humanizes and personalizes your brand,” said Ray. If you have a small budget, you can use your smartphone to create videos for free. Instagram and Facebook Stories allow you to post videos that stay at the top of your followers’ feeds for 24 hours before vanishing, while Facebook and Instagram Live can let you interact with your followers in real time. It’s also a good idea to create educational videos that teach skills or offer tips. Again, include links to your business’s website and social media pages when it makes sense.

Become a speaker

Booking speaking engagements, whether in-person or virtual, can be a great way to establish yourself as a leader in your field. “Think about where your potential clients hang out and what they would want to know about, then pitch a speech on a particular topic in your field,” said Leach. “It could be for a chamber of commerce, a professional association or even a school.”

The majority of your speech should provide valuable information, but it’s usually okay to briefly mention your business. “Make sure that everyone has your contact information, your website and how to follow you on social media,” said Leach. “If you’re building an email list, give people a way to opt in and consider offering a special promotion.”

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published June 29, 2020