Starting and growing a business has never been more difficult, and in today’s competitive environment, your personal brand is, in many ways, synonymous with your business. In fact, it could be argued that one’s personal brand is more important than their business brand alone. As the leader of your business, you are the face of the company – this means the way you present yourself in the public eye can make or break what your target customers and clients think of you and your mission.
In a recent episode of The JourneyUP podcast, we had an opportunity to chat with Angela Middleton, CEO of MiddletonMurray, a multi-award-winning apprenticeship and training provider based in the UK. In addition to be being an expert on all things personal branding and workforce development, Angela knows what it takes to build a thriving and sustainable business from the ground up.
When it comes to building a personal brand and a business, Angela puts it this way: “Look, I need to be this person, the CEO of the business now. I need to get more well-known. I need to build a brand because that’s gonna help us build a business, it’s gonna help us add value and be a trusted source when the time comes around for our services.”
Here’s some of the valuable insight Angela shared regarding the role of personal branding with one’s professional endeavors:
1. Invest in yourself.
In business and life, you are your biggest asset. Before allocating money and resources anywhere else, it’s critical to invest in yourself and identify your strengths. Going through the learning process will help you determine what areas you need to work on and who can assist you in these areas, as well as what unique skills and abilities you can capitalize on in branding yourself in your industry. After all, how you can you effectively position your personal brand if you don’t know which parts of your expertise to leverage? Taking the advice of mentors and undergoing some self-reflection will allow you to identify how your time and money will be best spent in growing your business and professional reputation.
2. Be intentional on social media.
Social media is one of the biggest drivers of a successful personal brand, especially when it comes to owning and operating a business. Being intentional with your social media efforts and sharing meaningful content that’s aligned with your values can help you dramatically grow your audience, and ultimately, your future client or customer base. What’s most useful about social media is that you can connect with others in a more human way. For example, many business owners have their own separate individual accounts on sites like Facebook or Instagram, in which they share aspects of their personal lives – such as pictures of their families, pets or vacations. On the other hand, LinkedIn is the best site to showcase professional credentials and build a reputation by promoting your own industry content, business news and other pertinent updates. The key to personal branding on social media is to be strategic and consistent – and most importantly, true to yourself. In many ways, social media is an escape for people. Giving them a glimpse of who you are outside of work will indirectly draw them to learn more about your business.
3. Become your own PR person.
Having a successful personal brand involves constant management of your reputation in every aspect possible. The path to effective, long-term personal branding requires that you essentially act as your own PR person, crafting messaging and a perception that fits with your personal and professional mission and values. In addition to building your online reputation, you can do this by finding opportunities to highlight your work, such as speaking engagements, sponsorships or mentorship initiatives. Over time, actively engaging in outlets that allow you to share your expertise will help you build credibility and trust with your audience, as well as increase your exposure within your industry.
In many ways, a sustained effort to grow your personal brand will give you the best return on investment for your business. By taking the steps above to develop and promote your personal brand, you’ll set the stage for long-term success in every aspect of your professional career.
Ready to take your personal brand and business to the next level?
Our team can help you develop a plan that does just that! Your Applicant Tracking System is vital to the success of your business. Please contact us today and let us help you reach your ATS and business goals.