Whether it’s personal or corporate branding, you have to start with a plan of action. Otherwise you’ll end up with a muddled strategy and no clear direction. Over the last few years, branding has gone on from being an additional responsibility to one of the top priorities in marketing a business.

Entrepreneurs are competing for resources and opportunities that enable them to tell their story and build their reputation. If you’re an entrepreneur who isn’t actively branding himself, rest assured that your competitors will waste no time in branding you, which may hurt your image, company valuation and bottom line.

Entrepreneur-Success

Here are 10 secrets to brand yourself as an successful entrepreneur,

1. Find commonalities and own them

It would be great if you could identify certain key attributes that are common between you and your company. Once you figure those out, you can proactively work towards aligning the two in the eyes of your customers, thereby making a strong association and “owning” that quality. Every product or service has certain impressions associated with them such as honesty, effectiveness and/or customer focus, which are important to the customers. Identify these characteristics and incorporate them into your identity.

2. Be the expert

You need to ensure that you lead your turf and show that your competitors can only follow suit. If you can keep up with this, it will make you come across as a trustworthy innovator and a thought leader, thereby making you more influential with time. It will project you as someone who can identify and fill gaps in the market better than anyone else. Your customers will perceive you as the one who cares enough to meet those needs, which weren’t met before.

3. Network better

Networking with the right people will put you in the good books of the industry bigwigs as well as the potential customers. It is crucial that you think of a networking strategy that works for you. And irrespective of the strategy, bear in mind the law of reciprocity: When you connect with people and exchange ideas and information without worrying about who is paying you and when, the generosity will come back to you manifold.

4. Be a great communicator

Not only will having excellent communication skills portray you as an effective leader, they will also help you stand out. Watch what you say, learn to write better and mind your grammar and spellings.

Work on your presentation skills; they’re extremely critical for an entrepreneur, especially a successful one. If you can present well, you and your organization will be perceived as more effective.

Apart from that, become comfortable with being on video. Whether it is an online video, company video, product video or one meant for corporate training, interviewing, and/or customer support, you need to be adept at making the most of all modes of communication for your advantage.

5. Use social media

It’s easy, interesting and quick. Most of all, your customers are on it. So you should be on it, too. I’m talking about social media. Do remember to be on your best behavior when using social media though, as that can either earn you an army of fans or cost you your business. Moreover, remember to keep your personal and business brand separate.

6. Go offline, too

Just because digital branding is the most effective and far reaching form of marketing and advertising doesn’t mean it’s the only method. You can’t forget about offline branding. This is especially true if you’re targeting a specific location or geographical market.

If part of your value proposition claims that you care about serving others, prove it! Find a couple of local causes that you believe in and give back to the community. On top of genuinely helping those around you, this gives you a chance to associate yourself with positive initiatives (ultimately enhancing your trustworthiness).

7. Be yourself, be authentic

Whatever you do, do not lie about being someone you are not. Your lie may be called out by your competitors, leaving you red faced. It is best to be consistent and authentic at all times, regardless of who your audience is.

We live in times when it is important that entrepreneurs not only brand their company, but also themselves. This means coming out from behind the scenes and into the forefront, making yourself visible and communicating with the customers through as many channels as you can. Only by doing so can you make your personal value known with precision and consistency.

8. Learn to present better

In a similar vein, presentation skills are vital for a successful entrepreneur. In your role, you will be perpetually selling, whether it be making a pitch to investors, presenting to prospective customers, or getting the company’s employees fully aligned. The better you can present, the more effective you and your organization will be.

9. Get comfortable with video

Video is rapidly becoming a staple of the entrepreneurial world. In addition to messages about the company and product, video is an entire category of Internet search result that your audience will miss if you’re not participating or if you’re not doing video well.

Furthermore, video is an increasingly important component of corporate training, interviewing, customer support and for customer sales calls that formerly took place only in person or via non-video phone. The more comfortable and effective you can be on video, the greater advantage to you as you work to increase the leverage of your communications.

10. Associate with more powerful brands

In the beginning, every personal brand starts out as a small fish in the proverbial big sea. This can be extremely frustrating, especially when you know you have the skills and knowledge to compete with the “big fish.” Well, the quickest way to rise from obscurity in the digital age is to associate your personal brand with more powerful brands.

If you’ve worked with big clients in the past or have content published on reputable sites, don’t be afraid to include badges and links to those brands. Any time you can tap into a brand that’s already established trust with a large market, you should take advantage of it.

About Author

Ankur Chandra

A software engineer by education, Ankur is go-getter, who leaves no stones unturned to find a solution to a problem. He is passionate about technology and automobiles. And, is a big foodie at heart. Watching cartoons is his favourite off-field indulgence. At KnowStartup, he is an integral part of the editorial team.

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