A Corporate Personal Brand, and Why you Need One

As women in business, we face a massive number of challenges every day, and one of the things that threaten to intimidate even the strongest leader is the competition felt with big brands. You know the ones: Established and heritage brands; faceless conglomerates and multinationals hidden behind logos, big-ticket marketing campaigns and depersonalised operations.

They seem to have it all: capital, leverage, mindshare, market share, global networks and relationships…and yet, there’s one crucial thing most of them are missing.

It’s the corporate personal brand, and it’s what today’s consumer is craving…and demanding.

The consuming public has come to distrust big business. They’ve seen too many stories in the news about corporate greed and scandal. They’ve grown tired of trying to reach a human being on the phone, only to be disappointed by one more maddening teleprompter loop.

They want personal business connections, and they need to know that the people behind their favourite brands share their values. That’s when having a corporate personal brand becomes essential to your success, and could make all the difference when your ideal clients are choosing between your brand and your competition.

Here are some pieces of advice I’d like to share, for creating and growing a personal brand alongside (and within) your corporate brand:

  • Let your personality shine. Your personal values, your story, your struggles…all have made you who you are today. They have shaped your personality, and therefore your brand. And in order to be authentic and attract those people to your brand who share your values (and who will value what you do and how you do it), you need to broadcast that personality and use it to attract your ideal clients. Do this by taking the time to share things about yourself with your corporate audience.
  • Create a personal brand social media page. You know you need business pages on social media in order to stay active and top-of-mind in your networks. What you may not know is that these pages can be too impersonal for the people you need to reach most directly. Create at least one page (I recommend Facebook) under your name, where you share the things that make you feel happy and fulfilled. Share select posts between the two pages, so your audience can see the person behind the corporation.
  • Get out of the office and meet with your customers. I know, there’s a lot to do. You have board meetings to chair, business luncheons to attend, corporate events to run and networks to engage. You barely have time to accomplish all of this, let alone interact with customers. However, doing so will not only engage those most important to building your brand, it will give them material for word-of-mouth advertising and a real connection with the real you. Nothing makes a bigger impact on a consuming audience than a business owner who desires genuine connections with the people she serves—and I’m not just suggesting business talk, here. I want you to get personal…really nurture and build close relationships with your ideal clients. Start by scheduling speaking engagements, town halls, workshops followed by dinner, or whatever best serves the mission and vision of your brand.
  • Share your story. People want to know why you’ve built the brand you did. They want to know about your struggles, and what prompted you to serve in the ways you do. They will use your story to draw parallels between your character and theirs. These are the things that will turn them into life-long, loyal clients.
  • Be authentic. I see too many women attempting to build the personal brand they think their audiences want to see…and they fail. There’s too much to do; you won’t have time to keep up a false identity, too. Moreover, if you’re not authentic with the public, you will attract all the wrong people to your brand—people who will not value what you do or why you’re doing it. So, like your mother told you when she dropped you off at your first big social event: “Just be yourself, and they’ll love you.”

Now is the time to poke your face out from behind that logo. People want to know more about you, so don’t be shy. Give them what they want. Let them see the real you, and the ones who share your values and appreciate your vision will flock to you.

And the rest? You didn’t want to do business with them anyway.

Want to learn more about personal branding, corporate branding or both? Connect with me to find out how I can help.

Have a beautiful day, beautiful you.