April 3, 2017 | 4-minute read (762 words)
The Head and Shoulders shampoo motto back in the 1990s was, “You never get a chance to make a second impression.”
Today that phrase is used often in the realm of business. Let's take a look at why startup founders should invest time in personal branding, because you really do only have one shot at the first impression.
Investors Invest in People
The first reason to invest time in personal branding is that investors like to invest in people as well as products.
While you might have a superb idea, an investor might pass you up because you aren’t the right fit.
Your potential investors might get to know you by first searching for you online. They’ll take your online personal brand into their meeting with you. In fact, you can consider that their first impression.
To make sure you portray the right image, invest time in your online personal branding.
Branding Sets You Apart
You want to stand out with your target market, customers and investors. To do that, you need a personal branding strategy.
As the startup founder, the branding of your company starts with you. If you haven’t figured out your own personal brand, how can you expect to stand out among the competition?
Your personal branding gives you leverage in the following ways:
- It lets people see your expertise and previous experience.
- You’ll find it helps you attract business partners, employees, and customers.
- People might seek you out for speaking engagements, articles, videos, and more based on your personal branding because it establishes you as the expert.
Decide Who You Are
Before you start branding yourself, decide who and what you want to be known for.
Find out what is at the center of your personal brand. Are you the big picture guy, the developer, the tech specialist, or the communicator? What one word describes you?
Then ask yourself how you are different from others in your field. How and why are you unique?
Once you know what sets you apart, you can begin to market it.
Dive into how others see you. Are you respected in your field? Have you engendered trust? Do people see you as the expert?
If you answered yes to those questions, then answer the why.
Finally, when figuring out your personal branding, look at how you can assist others. What do you have that’s of value to someone else?
Working on your personal branding helps you with the broader picture of your startup branding as well.
Here’s How to Brand Yourself
It’s time to take a long hard look at your social media platforms.
If you aren’t involved, it’s time to dive in. If you are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram or others, look at your messaging.
Make sure that what you’re portraying will be seen positively by your audience.
Then, devise a content strategy. Decide what you’ll post on your social media pages. Sure, it’s okay to post family information, but think about adding some posts that are beneficial to your audience.
Ask yourself if your potential investor would like what he sees on your Facebook page.
Your personal branding extends beyond the digital realm.
Join professional groups and participate in networking. Build relationships with reporters so they’ll look to you when they need expert info.
Lastly, don’t put anything out that would cause your startup harm. Remember, your startup branding begins and continues with your personal branding.
While you’ve spent countless hours and all of your energy building your startup, you may have forgotten to consider that you are part of the investment.
Your reputation holds as much weight as the product you developed or service you provide.
This is why it pays to invest time in your personal branding. It can be just the catalyst you need to jump start your startup’s marketing.
Know who you are and what you stand for and portray that image in your own branding.
This way, your investors, customers and target audience are wowed by your accomplishments, and they’ll want to take part in what your startup has to offer.
Are you a new startup ready to succeed? Are you looking to get your new business off the ground and watch it rise to success? We are here for you. We can help answer your questions and guide you through the process. Outsource your HR duties, finances, payroll and more to us. Contact Escalon today to get started.
Image: Roberto Nickson