OCT 24, 2015 @ 9:48 PM / By Rohit Arora, Contributor Forbes.com
When did business people become “a brand”? Donald Trump. Mark Cuban. Jay Z. For 30 years before he became a Presidential candidate, Donald Trump built his name into a symbol of high end luxury and his personna as a guy who could get tough jobs done. He has always been a media darling, but as he now runs for the White House, he is in our consciousness nearly every day.
Perhaps it’s the age in which we live: always on, always available, and always ready to spring into action.
And along with availability, there’s a hi-tech, hi-touch approach to business that leads to the creation of a Personal Brand. It really puts the “I” in “me,” allowing people to share their hopes, dreams, goals, and objectives to their immediate peers. Many times, the larger world that is suddenly more approachable from their electronic devices.
We can approach personal branding from both sides of the coin. There are those who follow a pattern similar to newsmakers we see in the media every day: headline-grabbing, gossip-swirling, tabloid-spinning personalities who comment on everything and anything.
But to truly make your mark for your small business, brand yourself as someone who contributes to the community. If your family has been in the business for generations, you will find yourself upholding a reputation as well as carving one out for yourself. This is easily accomplished by remaining involved in all the things your family has been doing: chamber of commerce, local school board, and community activist, if needed.
The latter are the ones that your neighbors, customers, and colleagues will appreciate.
New to town? Become known as a “good business citizen.” Give generously to local causes; those that mean the most to you and your employees. Participate in local events (where you gain the added benefit of exposure). And provide time, goods, or services to those in need.
Brand yourself – and by extension your small business – in a good light and the time and effort will pay off handsomely in the long run. Continuously improving your personal profile now, in order to enjoy future returns, is well worth it personally and professionally.
So, start making your name a community staple, and watch customers turn to your small business.
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