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A Personal Touch for Your Brand: What It Is and How It Helps

Just a decade ago, the norm for companies was to remain faceless—impersonal entities pushing products through broadcast-style advertising. This approach worked effectively in a time when consumers were less focused on personal engagement. However, times have changed dramatically. Today, simply operating behind a brand is no longer sufficient. Consumers crave authentic connections and seek to understand the values behind the companies they support. They expect to see the faces and hear the stories of the leaders at the helm. As a result, brands must evolve, placing their leader and subject matter experts at the forefront of social media and advertising efforts in order to foster genuine relationships and trust with their audience.

Two marketing team members

Recent studies underscore this change: 82% of Americans believe that companies are more influential when their founders or executives are known, trusted, and followed. Furthermore, 67% of all Americans—and 80% of older Millennials—would spend more money on products and services from companies whose leaders' personal brands resonate with their own values.

Therefore, for business leaders, the importance of cultivating a personal brand extends beyond individual success. It directly enhances the company's connection with consumers. When business leaders actively develop and promote a personal brand that exemplifies trustworthiness and aligns with their audiences’ values, it amplifies their influence and positions their businesses more favorably in competitive markets. Such personal branding efforts help attract better opportunities and top talent, too, playing an important role in humanizing the corporate image. This human element makes the company more relatable and trustworthy to consumers.

A company leader’s well-defined personal brand can act as a bridge to create a deeper, more meaningful connection between the company and its customers. It transforms the corporate brand from a faceless entity into one with a personality and story that customers can relate to and support. 

Crafting Your Personal Brand

To ensure your personal brand reaches the right audience and fosters trust, engagement, and loyalty, follow to these three principles:

  1. Be Authentic

Be genuine and transparent in your interactions and communications. For leaders, this means aligning your public persona with your true self and your organization’s core values. Authentic leaders are perceived as more trustworthy and relatable, which fosters stronger connections with their audience. Consider sharing personal stories that reflect your values, admitting mistakes, and showing vulnerability. This will humanize your brand and make it more approachable.

  1. Create Visibility

Make yourself known and accessible to your target audience. In today's digital world, this means maintaining a strategic presence on platforms where your audience is most active. This could involve engaging on professional networks like LinkedIn, hosting webinars, participating in industry podcasts, or using social media platforms such as X (formerly Twitter) or Instagram. You want your  audience to see, hear, and interact with you regularly.

  1. Stay Consistent

Maintain a uniform style, tone, and message across all communication platforms. This coherence creates a recognizable brand image that helps people remember you. Whether your audience reads your blog, follows your tweets, or attends your presentations, they should consistently encounter the same core messages and personality. Extending this consistency to the frequency of your communications helps keep your audience engaged and reinforces your brand’s reliability.

How to Choose Personal Branding Topics

Building a personal brand starts with selecting topics that resonate with your audience and highlight your expertise. Here’s how to choose topics:

1. Clarify Your Unique Value Proposition

  • Detail Your Expertise: Begin by mapping out your areas of deep knowledge, particularly those where you have success or recognition. On what topics could you present with no notice? On what topics are you continually asked to provide input?

  • Highlight Your Passion: Discuss how your personal interests align with your professional skills. What’s important to you? What are your personal and professional values? 

2. Conduct Market Research

  • Identify Market Needs: Use tools like Google Trends or industry-specific reports to identify topics that are under-discussed yet highly demanded in your field.

  • Analyze Competitor Topics: Look at what topics your peers are covering. Identify gaps that you can fill or topics you can approach from a new angle to differentiate yourself.

3. Engage with Your Audience

  • Use Polls and Surveys: Directly engage with your audience through social media polls or surveys to find out what topics they are interested in. This direct feedback can help guide your content strategy.

  • Analyze Comments: Regularly review comments on your and your industry peers’ posts to gauge audience interest and concerns. The real-time feedback can be invaluable.

4. Integration with Broader Industry Trends

  • Link with Industry Movements: Connect your topics with broader industry trends or movements, or recent news articles. This approach ensures that your personal brand remains relevant and forward-thinking, reflecting not only your depth of knowledge but also your ability to adapt and innovate within your industry.

Three Examples of Personal Branding Done Well

Once you've crafted your personal brand, actively promoting and leveraging it is crucial to maximizing its potential. Here are three strategic, actionable steps to help you get started:

1. Post on LinkedIn: Start by sharing your insights and expertise on LinkedIn through articles or posts. Or, comment on other industry leaders’ posts. Focus on the topics you've identified as being aligned with your personal brand. 

2. Reach Out to Podcasts: Identify podcasts that align with your expertise and pitch yourself as a guest speaker. Prepare a brief pitch that highlights your unique insights and how they can add value for that audience.

3. Submit Proposals to Conference: Look for conferences within your field and submit proposals to speak about your areas of expertise. Tailor each proposal to the conference’s theme and audience to increase your chances of being selected. 

Developing a strong personal brand isn't just a flashy marketing trick—it's about being true to yourself and letting that shine through publicly and in an intentional way.When you're genuine about who you are and what you believe in, people naturally gravitate towards you. They can sense your authenticity. When you embrace who you are, you attract others with whom you’re aligned. That’s good for connection, for momentum building, and for positive, trusting associations with your brand.

If you're ready to take the next steps forward to craft your personal brand and help propel your business forward, let us know.

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