Do you feel like you’re just talking to no one when you’re posting on social media, recording your podcast or YouTube videos, or sending marketing emails?
Think of how many ads and marketing messages you’re seeing every day. It’s a ton! Your customers are also experiencing the same onslaught. So how do you break through the noise and make an impression? Especially as a small business?
Bring in the Personal
One way to cut through the noise is to bring you, your personality, your face and your experience into the conversation around your business.
This is especially helpful for solopreneurs and entrepreneurs of smaller companies. Chances are, your prospects and leads are researching a few companies. What ultimately can get them to work with you versus one of your competitors is probably who you are more than anything else.
We’ve known for a long time that customers like to do business with people they like. It makes total sense after all. Especially if you’re a service provider where you might be working with your clients for weeks or months at a time, they want to enjoy the experience.
It’s not always about who can do the job the best. In fact, it’s often not. I’ve been hired by lots of companies that talked to bigger agencies with multiple staff members. They chose to work with me because I could do the job but also because they liked me and wanted to work with me.
Build Trust with Your Customers
Providing a personal view into your business does more than help people to like you. It helps them to trust you.
Knowing your unique background, your skills and qualities can help to showcase that you do in fact, have the qualifications for the job you’re trying to do.
More than that – adding in a personal touch with your customers reminds them that you are also human. It builds trust with them that you understand their own problems and issues because maybe you’re going through them, too. Or it can show them your unique experience to solve the problems they’re currently having.
Especially if you’re an online business owner, building trust in your digital marketing is key to turning those browsers into prospects into buyers. One of the quickest ways to cut through that is to inject a bit of the personal into your business.
Creating a Personal Brand
Now, I’m not saying that creating a personal brand is about sharing everything going on in your life. In fact, when I mention personal branding, your mind may go to those long LinkedIn or Instagram posts where someone shares this awful moment that brought them to some epiphany and it just feels like you’re a voyeur by the end.
It’s not that at all. Social media expert Jasmine Star has a great benchmark example – share only what you would with someone sitting next to you on an airplane.
You can divulge a little, but you don’t have to get into the nitty gritty of your life either. Personally, my social media – both my business accounts and my personal ones – rarely show my out-of-office activities. I don’t like putting everything online. But I share fun pictures and videos of my husky Mac and the trouble he gets into throughout the day. I share some struggles, highs, lows, but nothing that would make me uncomfortable to share.
As a Solopreneur or Entrepreneur
Personal branding, especially when you’re a solopreneur or leader of a small business, is a lot easier because your company is also about you. It certainly feels more natural.
I’m not saying that you have to create all new social media accounts and post in new places either. All you really need to do is to inject some of your personality and a few tidbits into what you’re already doing.
- Don’t shy away from getting your face on camera. Pictures of you and videos of you help.
- Stories (on Instagram and Facebook) are a great way to show some behind the scenes of your day without divulging things you’re uncomfortable with
- Use your personality in your brand voice. Make it sound like you!
- Have customers provide testimonials about working with you personally and how you’ve helped.
- Bring in examples of when you’ve struggled with something that you know your clients have struggled with.
- Connect things in your marketing with an experience you’ve had. Tell a story and connect it back to them.
Within a Larger Company
Building a personal brand when you’re part of a larger company can be a bit tougher. Chances are you don’t have as much control over your brand voice or perhaps you just prefer to remove yourself from your brand if it’s your company.
When you’re part of a company, you can still showcase the employees’ days through stories. Have an individual employee do a takeover and show a bit of a “day in the life” or show them off through your posts. Share testimonials that mention employees by name and bring in one of their stories that your customers can relate to.
If you want to build up your own personal brand and you’re part of a larger company, you probably do want to create new social channels and maybe even a blog. Showcase your expertise, how you help, why someone can trust you, and more. Link everything back to your main company’s channels and talk about your position there so it all links.
Human Connection in Marketing
Personal branding is not all about promoting yourself. It’s kind of the opposite. It is about giving your customers someone to connect to.
The way the world works today, we really just want to connect and feel heard and supported. We’re choosing businesses to work with because we feel like they treat us like a human. Like they hear us. Like they empathize with us.
Injecting a bit of the personal into your digital marketing helps your audience to connect with you, but also with your business. Remember, they’re just humans. Show them you are, too.