Most entrepreneurs think that the business or product they represent is the most important aspect of their business and that the face of the business is of no importance. This, however, isn’t necessarily true. While it might not be the primary reason for going into business, entrepreneurs have to realize that they are as important to their business as their product or service itself.
In my years working with many entrepreneurs, I’ve often found that they prefer to play a supporting role when it comes to selling and promoting their business or product. They’d rather send a staff member to industry or networking events and avoid press altogether—they’re not interested in the limelight.
However, entrepreneurs who shy away from building their own personal brand stand to lose great opportunities to build brand awareness and important business connections. Here are three ways entrepreneurs can use personal branding to promote their business.
Live and Breathe Your Brand
If you expect others to believe in your brand or product, you have to be the first to stand behind your product or business 100%. That may mean wearing the clothing you design, eating the food you sell, using the technology you license, or simply living the lifestyle your brand endorses. Expecting others to become brand promoters without you being your biggest brand cheerleader is as effective as teenagers asking their parents for the car keys without making a case for how good a driver they are. It doesn’t work very well. Passionate entrepreneurs believe in their product and can sell it like no one else can. Make every opportunity you get an opportunity to let others know about your brand simply by upholding your brand’s promise.
As a marketer, I’m always excited to learn about how other business owners manage and market their business—a short way into the conversation and my mind starts rolling. Soon enough, we’ll be contemplating the best marketing channels for their business.
Network Boldly (With Everyone You Meet)
A network of connections is critical for an entrepreneur just starting out. Building a personal brand begins with making and building relationships. Every opportunity you get to network, you should aim to make some meaningful connections. After all, you never know whom you’ll meet. Whether it’s growing your LinkedIn profile or attending local networking events, entrepreneurs have to network boldly.
As the founder and CEO of OneIMS and Clickx, Solomon Thimothy has built his career around his passion for helping other businesses grow an online presence and thrive in the digital world. Solomon works with clients big and small to develop uniquely customized and highly effective marketing strategies that meet every company’s individual goals. Follow him on Twitter @sthimothy.
BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.