By Raksha Mahabeer (The Beat), co-founder of Summertime
A business brand without a personal brand is like an empty vessel drifting at sea, without a captain to give it purpose.
I talk to clients about this all the time: you can’t just have a business brand. In fact, whether you want to admit it or not, you don’t just have a business brand. You have a personal brand too. As an entrepreneur, your business is very much fuelled by your personal values, your personal story and your personal drive – all of which culminate in your personal brand. And all of which should be harnessed to boost your business brand…
In a world saturated by advertising ill-defined brand stories, it takes a well-defined personal brand to really stand out. It’s easy to let your voice become drowned in a sea of competing voices. Without knowing what to do, a lot of people just settle for whatever they can get when it comes to building their own personal brand.
Far too many businesses have value statements on the walls that have nothing to do with the behaviour of their leaders. This can play havoc with wide eyed consumers, scouting for the best possible solution. People want to engage with businesses whose “lived’ values and behaviours are consistent with their personal brand.
Quality, like differentiation and reputation, are important foundations for building a brand, but they’re still just functional characteristics. Your business brand is an extension of your personal brand which goes way beyond your website, logos and the design of your packaging.
Every move you make will influence your brand and the art of building a unique brand around yourself as an individual, is just as important as maintaining your business brand. As an entrepreneur, often you lose track of your personal brand in the process.
A personal brand - especially for woman entrepreneurs - is critical, as all too often, women seem to back down, settle, or give in far too much, instead of strengthening that personal brand that can make you invincible.
Personal branding requires you to find a signature image, a unique voice, and a recognisable standard that your readers, fans, and customers can identify with. Modern audiences tend to trust people more than businesses, so putting a strong personal brand on the frontline of your sales process can dramatically improve conversion rates.
- Start by deciding how you want to be remembered.
As a Writer? Communicator? Problem solver? Philanthropist?
- Make a decision to identify your ideal clients.
Work with your ideal clients, it brings out the best in you; together you establish your brand actively.
- Go out and build a strategic network.
We don’t exist in a vacuum, network with people with whom you can build strategic alliances.
- Become a thought leader
Writing articles and developing good content increases credibility and keeps it real.
- Social media is the best place to show your personality,
Develop a personal identity, establish a reputation and stand out in your industry.
- Put out high-quality, thought-provoking content
Content that relates to your industry, which will develop your personal brand into a trusted source.
Your actions, which align with your brand, validate that you can be trusted and show that you are credible. People will remember you through your actions, your expertise, and the emotional connections that you make.
A business brand very often won’t withstand a crisis, but a good personal brand will.
Raksha Mahabeer, or ‘The Beat’ as she is known, is a proudly South African entrepreneur, she co-owns SummerTime, a vibrant creative studio specialising in design, branding and marketing. She is a connector, a communicator, a purpose-driven, inspired inspirer! She prides herself in partnering with SMEs in establishing new brands with a view to create jobs in South Africa and the African continent. Believing in business actualisation through conscious creativity, Raksha is a marketing and brand strategy expert with a keen strategic, creative and business mind focused on assisting SMEs in their endeavour to formulate effective marketing strategies that highlight tangible value and meet real human needs. On a personal level, she describes herself as a finger-tapping, drum-beating, music-making, cloud-watching, pixie-prancing, tree-hugging, fire-walking, soul-dancing, Yoda-quoting, oneness-embracing, effervescent, hippie-at-heart!
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