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  • Melissa Jakes

Tips for personal branding for new Entrepreneurs


1. Define your focus.

Too many entrepreneurs I’ve encountered lack focus, which as we know is the exact trait you must hone if daring to dream of business ownership. When a personal brand is well developed to support strengthening a company’s brand awareness or to reach specific professional goals, it has been well thought through in terms of where the focus will be.


As an example, many entrepreneurs come to personal branding as a question mark because they have split skills and areas of focus. Should they focus on their expertise in one industry or the other? Should they focus on specific knowledge in one industry area or build education and influence in another? Before you can get your personal brand working for you, you need to define your focus.


2. Think hard about your personal brand position and then own it.

The focus sets the tone for you to start thinking about your market position as a brand. This means that whatever you commit to as a company, you need to commit to in your own focus as a leader. This is done so that when you lead and take position on content and commentary around your expertise, it supports what your company represents.


3. Learn to delegate.

One of the things you must do to become a personal brand of influence and truly flourish, is learn to delegate. This is more than just time management. Delegation as an entrepreneur means first finding the right resources, and then allowing them to do their job. To make it big as a personal brand, you neither try to do everything, nor be a micromanager. Delegating requires the build and delivery of a system. The system needs to work for you and your business.


Imagine you are about to get on stage to deliver a speech or get on a panel. You come to find that none of the prep work has been done, you are in front of a crowd you know nothing about, your website is down, you have a client waiting for you in your office because no one rescheduled his or her visit, and so on and so forth.


Once you commit to being a personal brand of influence, you need to be prepared to go 100 percent for immediate media interviews, speeches, panel opportunities, meetings with new investors and all things in between.


4. Know, understand, love and commit to your personal brand style.

Although the way you dress and present yourself are important facets to branding, there is so much more to it -- primarily how you communicate. This means what language you communicate in, what you can and can’t get away with in terms of your intended audience (humor, fact-driven, intellectual, conversational, etc.).


Once defined, your style will become your brand. Think of people like Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and their peers. How do they dress and communicate? On a social level, where do they "hang out," so to speak? Then apply these questions inward: Who do you speak to? What should they expect? Where is your comfort level, and where do you need to expand?


5. Have a marketing plan for your personal brand.


You may think that a marketing plan is intended for a business, however a strategic marketing plan for a personal brand means all the difference when it comes to driving results, not wasting precious time and becoming the thought leader you are investing in as a personal brand.

A marketing plan for a personal brand is all about uncovering your specific strengths, focus, areas of concentration for content -- whether originally created or shared -- and making a commitment to be proactive on creating, monitoring and managing all that it entails. This means having a focus on reaching your personal brand goals and a way to achieve them and measure their success.



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