Business owners have it pretty hard sometimes, particularly when you are in the early stages of starting your company - you wear so many hats - sales director, HR manager, accountant, and marketing department! This tends to take up most of your time and energy, and you can end up so focused on getting your brand off of the ground, that it's easy to overlook one of the main things that make your company unique - YOU!
Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, even Vivienne Westwood - all very different, but all encapsulate their brands... And don't even get me started on Elon Musk (he's a whole other blog post).
Making yourself a cornerstone of your company brand is a great strategy to build trust with your clients, and really let the world know what you are all about.
So here are five tips to get yourself out there, and start making sure that you are synonymous with your brand.
1. Be a visible face of your company
If you're just a name on your company website or a line on the registration documents - you need to rethink! If you want to be associated with your brand, your customers need to know who you are, and, dare I say, what you look like! Have an 'About Us' page on your website? Make sure there's a nice biography explaining why you decided to build the business, and what you are all about. Trust is now the most important element of the purchase decision process, and how will anyone trust you if they don't know who you are.
2. Engage on Social Media
Think of social media as an extension of your natural networking - and a great chance to directly interact with your existing and potential clients. While it can seem daunting if you're not a regular social media user (though research shows that 66% of the UK have a social media profile) Think about where your potential clients, competitors, and contact are hanging out on social media... If you're a B2B service, chances are LinkedIn will be beneficial - here the posting tone is more businesslike, so if that's where your comfort zone is - start there. More of a visual person - what about Instagram - try posting images of you going about what you do best! Despite the character limit, Twitter is one of the best platforms to reach people interested in you! Keep your social posts relevant, current and in your tone. And talking of tone, do try and keep it real - am sure we can all think of one Twitter poster who's tweets you could recognise with no need for explanation.... and if you can't guess who I mean then I'm afraid 'You're a LOSER... Sad'.
3. Get guest posting
You know a lot about both your industry and, as a business owner, you should know a fair bit about business in general - so start sharing your expertise on a larger platform. All industries have their own publications, forums, blogs etc, get talking to them about what you can offer in terms of sharing your wisdom. From an SEO perspective, guest posting can be a great way to increase your site's ranking, but beyond that, it's a great way to talk to people who are already interested in what you have to say.
4. Find Public Speaking Opportunities
Ok, Ok, I hear you! For some, this sounds terrifying - according to some surveys, people fear public speaking more than death but it's not all massive stages looking out into the bright lights of an intimidating audience. Seek out places to speak that suit both your company aims, but also your own style. Take a look at what events are going on in your industry that you can get involved in. What about hosting your own small workshop, or mentoring group. Really can't face a live audience? Think about webinars and video - how can you get your voice heard?
5. Be Yourself
With all of the above, one thing to note is that it's important to be authentic. Don't try to wear the cloak of a public persona that doesn't suit you - it will come across as false, and will lose the trust of your following. Not every great leader associated with a brand is known as cuddly and friendly (Steve Jobs anyone)? The main thing is that you get across the passion for your business, and if you don't have that - why on earth are doing it?
If you want help with any of the above, or just want a chat, do get in touch, we are happy to have a no obligation talk about what marketing can do for your business