Every business owner should be building their own personal brand in addition to their business – because customers and clients connect with people, not products and services.
Social media and branding expert Carissa Hill said a personal brand was important for business owners because increasingly customers want to know the people behind the company.
“People trust individuals more than companies and organisations,” she said.
“A strong personal brand also increases recognition and draws attention to your expertise.”
Carissa owned a beauty salon in 2014 and started her personal brand on social media for fun.
“Customers feel more comfortable purchasing products from people they know, love and trust.
“By building a personal brand on social media you grow an audience of people who like you, relate to you and want to know more about you.
“You will attract an audience of people who share your values and beliefs, which will in turn adds trust and credibility for your business.
Within the first year, Carissa earnt $150,000 from her personal brand and grew her salon too. After four years she was making more than $1 million per annum from her personal brand on Facebook.
She said the key for business owners looking to build their brand was to know their customers, what social media platforms they used and to share engaging content.
Her top tips on manoeuvring through the world of social media include
- Share who you are – be transparent. Show your authentic personality. Tell people about what is important to you, what you love to do, causes you support and hobbies. People are genuinely interested and curious about other people, including how they look, act and what they eat.
- Don’t overshare – be strategic. While sharing your struggles or fears can build rapport with followers going through the same thing, you do need to be selective with what you share.
- Only share content if your followers will be able to relate to it and it might help them overcome an obstacle. Do not offload your problems or seek attention.
- Be empathetic – always think of your audience. How can your followers benefit from what you share? Can you help them with something? Will your post entertain or inform them?
- Be responsive – engage with your followers. Like and respond to comments and encourage discussion. Contribute to conversations and share your opinions.
Carissa suggested that if you build an audience who benefit from what you share, you can promote products and services they will want to buy.
“You can provide links to your business, offer an eBook, provide an online course or promote products.
“While a social media brand can provide opportunities to make money, what is rewarding is connecting with people who share your beliefs and values.
Many business owners were scared to put themselves out there on social media, due to a fear of how they might be perceived.
However, Carissa urged business owners to be self-confident in sharing who they are and what they stand for. She recommends also having a plan for dealing with any criticism, negativity and trolls.
“Dealing with negativity in an honest and professional manner is a good way to build trust and respect.”
Branson has become the poster boy of personal branding. His online persona promoting adventure, philanthropy and turning ideas into reality has helped the Virgin name extend across 200 companies.
About Carissa Hill
Carissa Hill is passionate about personal branding on social media. When she was 21, Carissa started a spray tan business in her garage. It grew quickly using MySpace (before Facebook) and by the time she was 25 she had three stores, nine staff, three mobile services and a wholesale product range. In 2014 she started coaching and teaching how people could grow their businesses using social media marketing. Her Facebook page has 42,000 likes and her mastermind group Coffee with Carissa has 16,000 members.