“People connect to people — not to businesses”

“People connect to people — not to businesses”

The ‘Head’ of a company is the strategic thinker, whose constant analysEs and planning helps the company grow

By Oksana Tashakova

Published: Fri 8 May 2015, 1:48 PM

Last updated: Sun 26 Jul 2015, 3:40 PM

Your reputation means everything when it comes to building a successful business. Personal branding isn’t what you should pay attention to after you’ve built your business: it’s what you should use to build buy-ins for your business before you even launch your enterprise. And personal branding can help you determine what business you should launch, what makes your business unique and valuable, and what marketing strategy will serve you best.
Successful entrepreneurs understand that it is the man (or woman) behind a business that matters. People don’t connect to, engage with, or promote businesses; they believe in people. It is your personal characteristics, unique experiences, values and ways of doing things that will make your business appealing to others. Big corporations spend a fortune trying to &‘humanise’ their brands because they understand this too.
If you build your business based on your personal brand, then you’re far ahead of the game. And there are countless reasons you should.
Business Fit
Developing your personal brand starts with self-awareness. A brand isn’t just a persona you choose or a catchy logo — your personal brand is you. It is the unique constellation of your talents and strengths, quirks and traits, values and experiences. Your personal brand is who you are, how people perceive you, and what you offer to the world. When you work at really understanding yourself, you’ll understand what type of business you’ll be best suited to run. You’ll understand how to leverage your strengths for the best outcomes and you’ll understand what type of business isn’t a good fit for you, too.
No matter how great your business idea is, its success &depends upon how well-suited you are to run that type of business and how well it fits in with your greatest talents and &beliefs. If you start a business based on need alone — like a desire for more money — or if you start a business because of a certain passion you have — without understanding what the business really requires and whether you have the necessary skills to handle the day-to-day realities of that business — then it is unlikely that the business will be truly successful or that you will be living the dream you dream of.
Unique Value Proposition
In order for your business to be successful, you’ll need a strong unique value proposition (UVP). This is what differentiates your business from your competitors and determines why your customers choose your product or services. It’s not just the functional attributes of your offering that gain you loyal customers, it’s the emotional and human components of your personal brand that infuse your business’s UVP.
People choose to do business with you because your business represents something that they connect to and identify with, something they want or need. They choose your business because of what you stand for. Customers, suppliers and investors invest in people more than they invest in an idea or any particular product or service. 
Marketing Strategy
The most effective marketing strategy for your business is one that aligns with your personal brand. You are the heart and voice of your business. When you build your personal brand, you build the credibility and expertise of your business. As you become better known for what you do, you naturally build the value proposition of your business because your business UVP is drawn from your personal UVP. The marketing tools and channels that suit your personal brand make up the marketing strategy that will be most impactful for your business.
Your personal brand isn’t limited to your business. It is much more than that because it is you and all of your potential. Within your personal brand lies the passions and seeds for your future. You may go on to develop more businesses, and different ones at that, and your life may go in different directions as a result. Personal branding is an evolutionary process, not a one-time deal — and this is the foundation of true entrepreneurship. If you don’t develop your personal brand; then your business defines who you are instead of the other way around.

Where are the Leaders?
A 2010 Forbes report noted that fewer than 10 per cent of leaders exhibit strategic skills, a “woefully inadequate number considering the demands on organisations everywhere today”.
Personal branding gives your business the identity and reputation it needs to be successful, while creating a &human bond with your customers. People want to do business with people — not companies. It is the real you that will make your business successful — the person within the business brand.
Do you understand what your personal brand is now? What other people think of you? Do you know what is distinctive and most valuable about yourself?
If you don’t take charge of your brand, building up what is best in yourself in the eyes of others, then your personal brand can suffer a lot. Clarity, consistency and constancy are the ‘Three Cs’ of personal branding.
Is your unique value proposition clear? Do you work to build the impression of yourself as the leader in your niche? Do you know what your niche is?
Do you know what your strongest attributes are? Why people should choose you and your business over others? Is it trustworthiness? Simplicity? Superior experience and insight? What do you bring to the table that no one else does?
Are you hiding behind your business? Defining yourself by what your business provides instead of what you add to your business?
Are you avoiding social media or thinking that your personal Facebook page doesn’t affect your business brand?
Work to determine what your personal brand is and then you can infuse your business brand with that special, winning attraction. Understand your greatest strengths so that you can leverage them to benefit your business. Think about what you must do to build up your position of credibility, expertise and the unique advantage you offer your customers, and you will see your sales soar and new opportunities — both for yourself and for the future of your business — start multiplying. 
(You can reach Oksana at &www.wealthdynamicsunlimited.com) 

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