Whether you think of yourself as a “brand” or not, it’s time to start acting like a brand manager, for yourself. In the past, creating a business brand meant that our personal lives could sit safely in the background while our business brands flourished and took on lives of their own. However, in the interconnected age of digital media platforms, we no longer have the option to categorize our business and personal lives in such a way.
Build YOUR brand to build YOUR business
Think you can build a successful brand for your business that is lacking the personal brand of its leader? While it has been done in the past, more and more, we can point to the massive success of companies whose leaders are creating their personal brands along with their business brands. Mark Zuckerburg of Facebook, Steve Jobs of Apple, Elon Musk of Tesla, or Ariana Huffington of The Huffington Post, all are popular personally and professionally. All of these leaders share a strategy for personal branding that drives their business platform forward using one essential benchmark.
Alignment of passion and purpose
When passion and purpose are aligned, it is easy to live your brand and be the energy behind its development. As small business leaders, others in your salon and organization look to you to set the bar for living your personal brand standards.
I recently heard an impactful quote and simply put, “Authenticity is the new currency.” Whether you own your brand direction or follow that of someone else when it comes to management of your personal brand, authenticity is the only message that will hit the mark. Living authentically goes beyond revisionist posts on social media and filtered photos that make us all look ten pounds lighter. When your customers are exposed to your personal brand through social media, they should get a glimpse of the leader who is creating direction for the business they trust. Remember this the next time you feel the need to post a political rant or tirade about an incorrect Starbucks order. As business owners, leaders and influencers, our social media is no longer private; but is it ours for the making. Be real and be careful.
Rules of Personal Brand Management
While all of us choose to keep some social media platforms more private than others, if you are an astute leader, not only are you investing in social media, but those platforms are connected and analyzing data for you both personally and professionally. Maintaining continuity between your personal brand and your business brand is extremely important. There are a few rules to consider when developing your personal brand that should be guiding principles for all online activity.
- Will this matter in six months? Before you post, rant or otherwise lose your temper, always ask yourself this question. Then, wait 24 hours to share. See if you feel the same fervor tomorrow.
- Is this an inclusive or exclusive statement? You are free to have opinions; you are not free to isolate potential customers, employees or employers.
- Would I want this comment written about me or my business? Many times, we start to react to a situation or customer service interaction via an online platform when a conversation is much more appropriate.
- Am I creating positivity or negativity? Like it or not, it is the job of a leader to create and maintain positivity within their sphere of influence – that includes your personal brand and social media, even on a bad day!