When you started your business, you had goals and a mission. Over time, those factors merged into every interaction you performed.
From your social media posts to your client communications, you created a voice and a brand.
For most of us, that brand creation was intentional and the product of lots of sleepless nights and countless hours to put together. For others, it just came naturally, until one day, you realized you were using the same style over and over.
But whether you have a dedicated brand or you’re working on yours, it’s important to stay true to it. It’s your personal statement, and it should never be a copycat of someone else’s vision.
In a world where peer pressure is global, and trolls will quickly call you out, it can be hard to stick to your ideals. Your business is yours, and your brand tells your target audience who you are.
If you love your personal brand but aren’t sure others will use these tips to strengthen your resolve and stay true to it.
When you started your business, was it to make an impact on your market? Did you want to make a difference or strike it rich?
Connect that goal to your brand. Where do your voice and style show your mission?
You should be able to easily pinpoint the pieces that represent your business, proving that it’s working for your original target. If you can’t, or your goals have changed, it might be time to revamp your brand.
There’s a common saying that you are who you hang around with. In business, this means that your work partners’ brands and values reflect on you.
For instance, you wouldn’t want to be a vegan-based retailer with partners in the meat sales industry. Eventually, those ties would be made public, and you’d lose a lot of consumers, along with your reputation.
While you’re building your network, do your research before you choose other businesses to work with. Make sure their values and yours align or at least aren’t clashing.
There are a lot of “angel investors” and outside financial services jumping into the world of small and medium businesses today. Their money may be helpful, but their opinions … not so much.
Having stock options and letting others invest in your company is financially advantageous. The problem is that at some point, you lose full autonomy in how your business is run.
Slowly, your personal brand may be lost in the goal of making money for your investors.
Keeping your finances in-house and in your control as much as possible is essential. If you need money, go the traditional route and get a loan, or check into other lending solutions, like invoice factoring or a line of credit.
What’s your true personality? Are you a bundle of laughs? A wallflower in public but outgoing behind the screen? Or do you prefer to stick with the facts and let them speak for themselves?
Whatever your authentic voice is, try to keep it ingrained in your brand, too. Consumers can tell when a business owner is faking their content. They try too hard or lack consistency.
If you’re not sure what your personal voice is, don’t try to integrate any social media accounts yet. Do some research and soul-searching first. Otherwise, your followers will catch on quickly that there’s no consistency yet as you try out different tones.
Decide if you want to get up close and personal with your followers or stay professional and distant. Do you want to be caring and warm, or serious and businesslike?
By taking the time to analyze different voices and how they match your brand, it will be easier for you to stick to the one you choose later. You’ll remember that you researched your options and picked the one you felt best represented your business.
Your “About Us” page tells the story of you, and how your business was created. When this story matches your brand, it connects your audience on a deeper level.
Here’s an example that everyone recognizes. The Starbucks logo is an image of a siren, but many people simply see it as a woman with a crown.
In reality, the creators of the company chose this image because it connected the history of coffee, Seattle, and the sea together. Although the logo has changed over the decades, the siren has remained its focus.
Your brand may evolve, but it should always remain firmly connected to your story.
In front of every successful business is a brand that helps them to be recognizable to their audience.
Your personal brand is your choice, and when you find it, stay true to it. It’s about you and your hard work, and no one else knows your journey the way you do!